GOTEBORG, Sweden — New Europe Film Sales has boarded “A White, White Day,” by Hlynur Pálmason, and sealed new deals on “The County,” from “Rams’” director Grímur Hákonarson.
Both Icelandic titles will be pitched at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Market (Jan 31.-Feb 3) as works in progress.
“A White, White Day” marks Pálmason’s second feature after his artistically daring debut “Winter Brothers,” which won nearly 30 prizes and opened in more than a dozen territories.
“Hlynur was a revelation for us in 2017, a real nugget in the arthouse mine,” states New Europe Film Sales’ managing director Jan Naszewski.
He added: “We love his vision of approaching works totally-image, sound, message and emotions. I love it when instead of sending a script, he can send us a ‘gif’ which in his mind, better explains his intention with a new work.”
“A White, White Day” stars Ingvar E. Sigurðsson as an off-duty police officer who suspects a man of having an affair with his wife who recently died in a car accident. His obsession for finding the truth gradually endangers himself and his loved ones.
The film was produced by Join Motion Pictures, in co-production with Denmark’s Snowglobe and Sweden’s Hob. Producer Anton Máni Svansson says the domestic release is set for September 2019.
New Europe Film Sales’ other Icelandic protégé Hákonarson is gaining traction with his second pic “The County” produced by Netop Films, in co-production with Denmark’s Profile Pictures, Germany’s One Two Films and France’s Haut et Court. Fresh deals were closed with Germany/Austria (Alamode), Spain (Karma), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Aerofilms), Poland (Gutek Film), ex-Yugoslavia (Demiurg) and Romania (Transilvania).
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Previous pre-sales announced in Variety were negotiated with the U.K./Ireland, Benelux (Imagine), Switzerland (Xenix), Australia/New Zealand (Palace), Hunary (Vertigo) Greece (Strada) and Scandinavia (Scanbox). Haut et Court will handle France and Sena the domestic release.
“’The County’ is a different film to ‘Rams,’” notes Naszewski. “It’s a drama focusing on a woman who feels that she needs to make a change in her life and protect the values that she believes in. It’s still set in the countryside among farmers, perhaps less quirky than ‘Rams,’ but still very inspiring.”
Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales, whose catalogue consists of one third Nordic content, is also screening at the Göteborg market its latest Danish acquisition “Sons of Denmark,” bowing in competition both in Rotterdam and Göteborg.
“It’s a very powerful portrait of ethnic tensions in modern Denmark”, comments Naszewski. “It centers on people who are integrated but misunderstood and manipulated by different groups. It’s a real punch in the gut, a very personal and political film by Ulaa, but also a great thriller, very visual and very well acted.”
He went on: “The film really catches the zeitgeist of Europe today and reminds me of the works by Jacques Audiard and Fatih Akin. It has the energy of a near future-set ‘Taxi Driver.’”