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GÖTEBORG, Sweden — On Saturday night, audiences at the Göteborg Film Festival, the largest movie-TV event in Scandinavia, were privy to the world premiere of “The King,” a documentary by Swedish journalist Karin af Klintberg for which she was given unprecedented access to follow Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf for two years.

REinvent International Sales has taken on world rights to the film which will be released in Sweden next month. SF Studios is co-producing and will be distributing in the Nordics.

“The King” is produced by Stina Gardell and Petra Måhl for Af Nexiko, in co-production with SF Studios, the Swedish Film Institute and public broadcast network SVT. 

It wasn’t an easy journey for af Klintberg who was told by the King’s team that, as she had spent close to two hours doing small chat with him, when she first met him, it was a yes. 

She filmed for a while, she says, then didn’t hear from Carl XVI Gustaf for six months, leading her to seek therapy. “My therapist said, ‘Well, you have to ask him if he agrees to the project,’” she recalls. “‘Because he had never actually said ‘yes.’ When I asked, he said ‘no,’ and then we just continued shooting.”

He also said no to having dinner with her, and it’s not like they are now best of pals. “I’m not allowed his mobile phone number,” she said. 

When she asked him if he wanted to see the film, he told her: “It’s enough to look at myself in the mirror each day.”

While af Klintberg is promoting the film – it’s the first-time worldwide anyone has been given that kind of access to royalty for a film, she says,  – she’s now, “looking for my next king. I don’t mean a literal king,” she said.

Interest in royalty has clearly peaked with the Harry and Meghan Netflix documentary and Prince Harry’s recent book. Now Sweden has something to look forward to. 

“The King” is set to premiere in Swedish theaters in Feb. 2023 to mark the 50th anniversary of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s ascendance to the throne which makes him the longest-serving regent in Swedish history.

The King Courtesy of SF Studios