“Midsommar” producer Patrik Andersson from B-Reel Films and Jakob Abrahamsson, a distribution veteran from NonStop Entertainment, have joined forces to launch Mylla Films, a Scandinavian genre film and TV production company.
Aiming to nurture local talent and stories, folklore and myths for an international audience, the banner is bowing at Cannes with a strong slate comprising of “Devastation,” Sweden’s first gothic Western, and “Hoin,” a conspiracy thriller based on a hit Swedish podcast and penned by Jerker Virdborg (Netflix’s “Black Crab”).
“Devastation” revolves around two brothers who keep a town under a tyrannical stronghold during the never-ending winter and plague of 1867. An uprising begins from the most unexpected place.
“Hoin,” meanwhile, is a thriller based on Andreas Ericson’s popular podcast of the same name. Virdborg penned the movie, which Andersson described as “‘Chinatown’ meets ‘The Ring.'” The story follows a journalist who travels to the barren archipelago of Stockholm, where food is scarce, military powers are at the doorsteps and locals believe in an evil legend.
Mylla is also developing “The Aquanauts,” an ambitious eco sci-fi series about two female scientists looking for a new and potentially dangerous human species in the depths of the valley of Lake Siljan in Dalarna, Sweden.
The series, which Andersson and Abrahamsson are describing as a botanic sci-fi drama, is based on an IP created by prominent artist Pompe Hedengren, who’s behind several high-profile exhibitions and shows. Andersson said the show was going to be reminiscent of movies such as “Annihilation” and “Avatar.”
Andersson and Abrahamsson, who became friends in the late 1990s after meeting at the Stockholm Film Festival — where they worked on the programming team — make a powerful duo with complementary knowledge and stellar track records in their respective fields. They’ll now be aiming to produce two to three projects per year, including films and TV series. “We want to be a lighthouse for strange and interesting ideas,” said Andersson, who cited Ali Abbasi and Tea Lindeburg as filmmakers with whom Mylla would like to work.
Besides “Midsommar,” Andersson’s credits include Lisa Langseth’s “Hotell” and “Euphoria,” as well as series “Thunder in My Heart” for Viaplay. Abrahamsson, meanwhile, boasts 25 years of experience in film distribution, sales and licensing. He is the CEO and co-owner of Nordic and Baltic distribution company NonStop Entertainment. He also co-founded and co-owns the stylish Art Deco theater Bio & Bistro Capitol in Stockholm.
“The journey I made with ‘Midsommar’ was an obvious exclamation mark that we have so many stories and so much creativity to unfold from the basis of the myths, sagas and stories in our corner of the world,” said Andersson.
“For reasons hard to grasp, these stories are still underdeveloped territory. With Mylla Films, we will aim to create worlds that hit global audiences with wonder, yet make sure to keep our feet in the Scandinavian soil,” added Andersson.
Abrahamsson, meanwhile, said, “Mylla is Swedish for fertile soil, epitomizing a hands-on, home-grown and tactile environment that we believe will benefit the kind of ideas and universes currently sprouting in Nordic filmmaking.”
The executive said Mylla Films will provide a “solid base of experience in production and financing, as well as unique insights in the areas of distribution and sales.” Abrahamsson added that he and Andersson share a “mutual and well-rooted love for the extraordinary” and will be “bringing the mythical aspects of the Nordic landscape to an international audience.” Abrahamsson pointed out that the scripted landscape was highly competitive with many players, but also full of opportunities.
“There’re more platforms and TV channels than ever before, but there’s shortage of films and a lack of imaginative storytelling — Swedes tend to Nordic crimes and drama comedies, not that much happening in genre so there’s a blind spot we’re stepping into,” said the producer. He pointed out audiences have been lured by genre cinema over the years and especially in times of crisis, like during World War II and the Vietnam War.
The pair is attending the Cannes Film Festival to look for partners and financing for their first three projects: “Devastation,” “The Aquanauts” and “Hoin.”
Here’s a first look at Hedengren’s concept art for “The Aquanauts”: