New York-based Juno Films has acquired all North American distribution rights to “Munch,” the upcoming Rotterdam Film Festival opening night film which is backed by Viaplay, Scandinavia’s leading streamer, and directed by Norway’s Henrik M. Dahlsbakken’s (“The Outlaws”).
“Munch” is produced by The Film Company. The deal was negotiated between Vondah Elizabeth Sheldon on behalf of Juno Films and Vimish Gandesha, VP Viaplay select & content distribution. The feature is expected to premiere in New York, late spring 2023, with a nationwide run to follow.
“Our latest Norwegian feature paints a sensitive portrait of one of history’s most enigmatic artists,” says Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group chief content officer. “[Edvard] Munch’s work is famed around the world, but his equally fascinating life is much less well-known.”
The film, which opens Rotterdam on Jan. 15, is, in some way, a quadriptych, split as it is into four chapters. Each part captures a moment in the artist’s life. Munch is played by four actors, Alfred Ekker Strande (“Ida Takes Charge”), Mattis Herman Nyquist (“Headhunters”), Ola G. Furuseth (“Made in Oslo”) and Anne Krigsvoll (“Lilyhammer”). They play Munch aged 21, 30, 45, and 80 respectively. Four writers each took on a chapter to accentuate the changing periods in Munch’s life.
The visual style of the film takes a journey, from B&W Academy Ratio to the low contrast warmth of vintage colour film.
Few artists are as synonymous as Munch is with one masterpiece, but this story draws you through the soul of the man to show he was much more than “The Scream.”
“Viaplay and Henrik M. Dahlsbakken have brought to life one of the most revered artists in the world,” said Juno Films CEO Sheldon. “This portrait of Munch highlights four chapters of his remarkable life and will help viewers understand the events and the eras that shaped the man and his work.”
A strong supporting cast joins the leads, with Anders Baasmo (“The King’s Choice”) and Jesper Christensen (“Spectre”) in key roles.
Viaplay, whose Viaplay Select SVOD service is now available in 18 markets in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America, will have delivered more than 70 series and films by the end of 2022.
Upcoming Viaplay titles include “The Åre Murders,” a drama series adapted from the Swedish crime novels by the same name, penned by bestselling author Viveca Sten (“The Sandhamn Murders”), and “End of Summer,” a psychological thriller based on Anders de la Motte’s bestseller.
Launched in 2017 by Vondah Elizabeth Sheldon as boutique distribution company and world sales agent, Juno Films’ distribution slate includes Gaelic Feature “Róise and Frank.”
Recent releases take in “Hilma,” from Lasse Hallström (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”), which as also acquired from Viaplay, Lucile Hadžihalilović’s “Earwig,” Peter Hedges’ “The Same Storm,” and the Sundance documentary “The Most Beautiful Boy In The World.”