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The Swedish Film Institute supports six international co-productions


- Swedish companies have boarded Dome Karukoski’s biopic Tom of Finland and Birgitte Stærmose’s ballet feature Darling, among other titles

The Swedish Film Institute supports six international co-productions
Director Dome Karukoski, whose Tom of Finland is receiving backing from the Swedish Film Institute

Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s first English-language feature, Tom of Finland – a biopic on homosexual Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, named the most influential creator of gay pornographic images (read the news) – will be co-produced by Sweden’s Anagram Väst. The €3.8 million portrait of “a man before his time, who courageously stands up to a world hostile towards a homosexual man with homosexual fantasies” will be staged by Finland’s Helsinki Filmi (the film’s scriptwriter Aleksi Bardy, Mila Haavisto and Annika Sucksdorff). The producers from Anagram are Gunnar Carlsson and Emma Åkesdotter Ronge.

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The Swedish Film Institute has chipped in €216,000 worth of production funding for the production and will also contribute to another five co-productions that Swedish companies have boarded with foreign partners.

Danish director Birgitte Stærmose will depict the ballet milieu in Darling, which boasts an original screenplay by Kim Fupz Aakeson, and stars Denmark’s Danica Curcic as a ballerina (Darling) and Sweden’s Gustaf Skarsgård as her choreographer husband. The Marie Gade production for Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments now involves Lizette Jonjic and Madeleine Ekman from Zentropa Sweden, and the institute will back the project to the tune of €108,000.

Danish director Karla von Bengtson’s Next Door Spy, from Denmark’s Copenhagen Bombay Rights (Mette Valbjørn Skøtt), is an animated thriller for children, about lone wolf AC, who dreams of becoming a master detective. When she moves into a new neighbourhood, she takes on a theft case, which seems simple at first glance, but turns out to be far more complicated. The Swedish team will be CB Sverige’s Lina Jonsson and Rodrigo Villalobos, and it is being supported with €65,000.

Danish director Elvira Lind’s Bobbi Jene is a documentary portraying an American dancer who, after ten years as a star with Tel Aviv’s Batsheva Dance Company, decides to leave both the company and the love of her life, and return to the US to create her own material. Sweden’s French Quarter Film (Mathilde Dedye) will co-produce the Sara Stockman production for Denmark’s Sonntag Pictures, which has been allocated €40,000.

Norwegian director Mats Grorud will use puppet and 2D animation to follow 11-year-old Warda, a fourth-generation refugee, during the surrealistic everyday life in a Palestinian camp. Produced by Norway’s Tenk TV (Frode Søbstad), The Tower shows how people deal with problems in different ways – with humour, anger, warmth, despair and apathy. Annika Hellström’s Cinenic Film is the Swedish co-producer, and the title is receiving €86,000 from the institute. 

Finally, in Game Count, Polish director Agnieszka Holland tells the story of a dog lover in a remote corner of the Polish countryside. When Duszejko’s own dogs disappear, she defends other animals from local hunts and ends up as the main suspect in a murder case. Produced by Krzysztof Zanussi and Janusz Wachala for Poland’s TOR Film, the project has been boarded by Swedish producer Fredrik Zander for The Chimney Pot Sverige, and it has been granted €86,000 by the institute.

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