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FESTIVALS Nordic countries/Toronto

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Swedish Gentlemen to check in for Toronto


- Mikael Marcimain’s follow-up to Call Girl will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival between 4-14 September

Swedish Gentlemen to check in for Toronto
Gentlemen by Mikael Marcimain

Swedish director Mikael Marcimain, whose feature debut, Call Girl [+see also:
film review
film profile
, received the international film critics’ FIPRESCI Discovery Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, will return to this year’s showcase (4-14 September) with his new film, Gentlemen, adapted from Swedish author Klas Östergren’s acclaimed 1980 novel. 

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Screening as a Special Presentation, and starring David Dencik, David Fukamachi, Ruth Vega Fernandez and Sverrir Gudnason, Gentlemen is part love story, part international thriller. The film follows the Morgan brothers during 40 years in post-war Europe in a society undergoing major changes, involving jazz, poetry and espionage. 

Östergren also scripted the production by Fredrik Heinig, Johannes Åhlund and Mattias Nohrborg for B-Reel, which after the world premiere at Toronto will be domestically released by Svensk Filmindustri on 17 October.

The Canadian showcase has also added Danish director Ole Christian Madsen’s Itsi Bitsi [+see also:
film profile
to its Contemporary World Cinema selection. It depicts the real-life love story of Danish beat poet Eik Skaløe, lead singer of the legendary group Steppeulvene, and the peace activist Iben, nicknamed Itsi Bitsi.

Skaløe meets her in 1962 and falls head over heels in love, but she refuses to commit herself to just one man; he tries desperately to win her over, but in 1968 he admits defeat and travels to the land of his dreams, Nepal, from where he will never return.

Itsi Bitsi – also an iconic song in Danish music history – was written by Madsen and Bo hr. Hansen, and introduces two newcomers in the leads: Joachim Fjelstrup and Marie Tourell Søderberg. It was produced by Lars Bredo Rahbek for Nimbus Film and will be launched in Denmark on 19 February next year by SF Film.

Still showing in Iceland, so far having sold over 45,000 tickets (to more than 1/8 of the country’s population), Icelandic director Baldvin Z (for Zophoníasson)’s Life in a Fishbowl [+see also:
film review
film profile
will be on show in Toronto’s Discovery sidebar. Produced by Júlús Kemp and Ingvar Thórdarson for The Icelandic Film Company, with Finland’s Solar Films, the Czech Republic’s Axman Production and Swedish outfit Harmonica Films, this second feature was written by the director himself together with Birgir Örn Steinarsson.

It tells the story of three people who end up having a lasting effect on each other: a young, successful writer who finds himself in a stormy marriage, divorces his wife after the death of their daughter, isolates himself from the outside world and drinks himself to death in 20 years; a young, single mother who has a job at a nursery school and works as a prostitute on the side to survive financially; and a former professional football player, now climbing the ranks in the world of banking, while his family falls apart.

Les Arcs call

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