Country Focus: Sweden
The Swedish Film Institute backs 12 new movies by €5.3 million
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- After two television series, Anno 1790 and Real Humans, which followed in the wake of his feature debut, Certain People (2011), Swedish director Levan Akin will return to the big screen with The Circle, the first part of the Engelsfors fantasy trilogy, about six teenage girls who discover they are witches and must learn to work together. Sara Bergmark Elfgren scripted the effort, which will be produced by Benny Andersson (formerly ofABBA) for RMV Film, among others.
The Circle is one of 12 features and documentaries that the Swedish Film Institute has set in motion with €5.3 million (SEK 48.8 million) in production funding. One of them is a debut, Bitte Andersson’s Dyke Hard, from her own script, about a lesbian hard-rock band on its way to a music competition, fighting with “ninjas, cyborgs and roller-derby girls”.
After his comedy-drama Flicker (2012), Patrik Eklund turns to out-and-out drama in Of Biblical Proportions, which follows a group of international scientists tucked away in a conference room somewhere in the US to discuss the origins of a mysterious cranium found under 300 metres of ice in the Arctic. Eklund also wrote and will produce the film for Framestation.
Three documentaries were supported, including Bani Khoshnoudi and Tova Mozard’s Alice 1974, about a young woman who does not know her father but has a pretty good idea who he is – Harry Dean Stanton. Other backed documentaries are Magnus Gertten’s April 28 - Every Face Has a Name, seeking out some of the (until now) nameless people who came to Sweden and freedom in 1945 from the German concentration camps, and Stefan Berg’s Who the F-k Is Stefan Berg, a depiction of his own life as “a man who never fitted in”.
The institute also chipped in for two Danish films with Swedish co-producers: Danish director Susanne Bier’s A Second Chance [+see also:
film profile], which had its world premiere last month at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, and Swedish director Lisa Ohlin’s Ballon (Walk with Me [+see also:
film profile]), a love story about a young prima ballerina and an elite soldier. Bier’s feature was produced by Zentropa Entertainments with Zentropa International Sweden, while Ohlin’s was staged by Asta Film together with Sweden’s Illusion.