Sweden prepares the centenary of Ingmar Bergman with a major film project
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Swedish director Jane Magnusson will portray the legendary filmmaker in a documentary and TV series that will have its world premiere in 2018
In 2018, legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman – who directed 60 films and numerous plays, wrote several books, was married five times and had nine children – will have been born 100 years ago. To celebrate the centenary, Swedish director Jane Magnusson and producers Mattias Nohrborg, Fredrik Heinig and Cecilia Nessen, for B-Reel Feature Films, have started a €1.8 million documentary and three-part TV series entitled Bergman, intended to get a theatrical release.
In 2013, Magnusson (with Hynek Pallas) made Trespassing Bergman, the feature spin-off of the television series Bergman’s Video, where international filmmakers – several at Bergman’s home on the island of Fårö – talked about his influence on their work. These directors included Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Claire Denis, Michael Haneke, Ang Lee, Zhang Yimour, Takeshi Kitano, Lars von Trier and Tomas Alfredson.
“Bergman has done so incredibly much himself, and adding what people have written and filmed about him – you really need an overview,” Magnusson told Sweden’s DN. “The ambition of the film is to find out who Bergman really was, to explore the mysteries behind the man who, through his artistic work, affected a worldwide audience,” Nohrborg explained to the Nordisk Film & TV Fond, which has also supported the project.
“Bergman is probably one of the most interesting and contradictory Swedes who has ever lived. Today you have to achieve success early in your career, but Bergman failed several times. It is fascinating to see how the cinema scene looked then – his life becomes a journey into Sweden's modern history,” said Magnusson, who has been working on the project since October last year.
Bergman will be co-produced by Swedish pubcaster SVT, Swedish film region Stockholm-Mälardalen-Gotland and Norway’s Motlys, among other companies. Svensk Filmindustri will be in charge of Scandinavian distribution, while Germany’s The Match Factory is managing the international sales.