×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscars: Sweden Selects Ali Abbasi’s ‘Border’ as Foreign Language Entry

Sweden has selected Ali Abbasi’s Cannes winner “Border” as its entry for best foreign-language film at this year’s 91st Academy Awards. The Swedish Film Institute announced the choice Tuesday.

Abbasi said he was “overwhelmed” that his film had been selected. “I thought it was impossible to even get to Cannes, but as the film has grown and now is being screened at festivals all over the world, the Oscars [don’t] seem so far away all of a sudden,” said Abbasi, who was born in Iran and educated in Denmark.

The film was chosen by the seven members of the Swedish Oscar Committee, which was presided over by Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute.

Border” saw its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard program at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May, where it went on to win the section’s top prize. It follows a customs officer (Eva Melander), with an extraordinary sense of smell, who develops a strange attraction to a suspect she’s investigating, leading to revelations that call into question her entire existence.

The film was co-written by Abbasi with Isabella Eklöf and John Ajvide Lindqvist, based on a short story by Lindqvist. It was produced by Nina Bisgaard, Piodor Gustafsson and Petra Jönsson.

The Swedish-Danish co-production was produced by Meta Film Stockholm and Black Spark & Kärnfilm AB in co-production with Meta Film Denmark together with Film i Väst, SVT and Copenhagen Filmfund. Additional financial support came from Eurimages, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Danish Film Institute and the Swedish Film Institute.

“Border” is set to see its North American premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema program of the Toronto Intl. Film Festival in September. Neon has U.S. rights.

A Swedish film has been nominated for best foreign-language film Oscar on 16 occasions, winning the award three times with “The Virgin Spring” in 1960, “Through a Glass Darkly” the following year, and “Fanny and Alexander” in 1983 – all directed by Ingmar Bergman. Sweden’s entry has reached the nominations in both of the last two years, with Hannes Holm’s “A Man Called Ove” losing out to Iranian entry “The Salesman” in 2016 and Ruben Ostlund’s “The Square” missing out last year to Chilean entry “A Fantastic Woman.”

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22, 2019. The ceremony will take place Feb. 24, 2019.

More Film

  • Loureiro’s Abano, Aragón’s Caribe Music Team

    Chelo Loureiro, Emilio Aragón Team on Animated ‘Valentina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES – Spanish producer-turned director Chelo Loureiro of Galicia’s Ábano Producións has teamed with Spanish multi-hyphenate Emilio Aragón at Caribe Music to produce the upcoming animated feature “Valentina.” Valentina turns on a girl who is tired of having Down syndrome, and believes it to be the reason she’ll never be a trapeze artist. But Valentina’s [...]

  • Morelia Brings Four Shorts To Cannes

    Morelia’s Daniela Michel Presents Four Standout Mexican Shorts at Critics' Week

    Since 2005, the Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week and Mexico’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM) have enjoyed a reciprocal relationship. Each year, a selection of short competition films from Morelia is shown in a special selection at Critics’ Week, with the features from the Cannes section screening five months later in Morelia. The short film [...]

  • Fedor Bondarchuk Drops Teaser for ‘Attraction

    Fedor Bondarchuk Drops Teaser for ‘Attraction 2’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES–Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk and his Art Pictures Studio have released the English-subbed teaser to “Attraction 2,” the sequel to Bondarchuk’s 2017 sci-fi blockbuster, which Variety has acquired exclusively. The director behind record-breaking Russian films such as World War II epic “Stalingrad” was in Cannes this week, where he presented footage from Art Pictures’ slate of upcoming [...]

  • Gkids Takes North American Rights for

    Gkids Takes North American Rights for ‘Weathering With You’

    CANNES–Gkids, the U.S. distributor of 11 best animated feature Oscar nominees, has acquired North American rights for “Weathering With You,” the new film from director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura. Gkids has set an awards-qualifying run for 2019 with a theatrical release in early 2020, in both the original Japanese and a new English-language [...]

  • Transilvania Film Fest Launches New SVOD

    Transilvania Film Fest Launches New SVOD Platform

    CANNES–The Transilvania Intl. Film Festival has announced a new SVOD service, TIFF Unlimited, which will launch during the festival’s 18th edition, which bows May 31 in Cluj, Romania. The service will curate titles from current and previous editions of the festival, while also showcasing other hand-picked auteur-driven productions, presented in partnership with local distributors. It [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content