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FUNDING Nordic countries

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Citizen Schein, the man who kicked-started the golden age of Swedish cinema, gets funding


- Maud Nycander’s biopic of the Swedish Film Institute’s founder and first CEO is included in the institute’s new support package

Citizen Schein, the man who kicked-started the golden age of Swedish cinema, gets funding
Director Maud Nycander (© Leif R Jansson/Scanpix)

Austrian-born, Swedish chemical engineer and writer Harry Schein (1924-2006) made his name in Swedish cinema when in 1963 he became the driving force behind the film reform, which guaranteed continuous production: it was decreed that 10% of the cinema box office should be returned and used on new films through a new organisation, the Swedish Film Institute (of which Schein was the first CEO, from 1963-1978). 

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The film reform kick-started the golden age of Swedish cinema, featuring such directors as Ingmar BergmanBo Widerberg and Jan Troell. “He was a unique character in Swedish public life, a cultural-political visionary unrivalled in Sweden's modern history – his life story is a drama that could have been inspired by a Hollywood movie,” said Swedish producer Rebecka Hamberger, of Sweden’s Breidablick Film Produktion, which will produce the Citizen Schein biopic dedicated to him.

The documentary, written and directed by Maud Nycander (whose latest film, 2012’s Palme [+see also:
film profile
, was about Schein’s good friend, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme), will receive production funding from the Swedish Film Institute, which has included it in a €1.7 million support package, along with another feature and eight shorts. 

The other feature is Swedish director Karin Fahlén’s comedy All Inclusive, scripted by Daniel Karlsson, about two sisters who go with their mother to Croatia to celebrate her 60th birthday. She is rather unhappy, since her husband has just left her, so they compete to get her back on her feet. The film will be produced by Anna Croneman and Anna Anthony for Avanti Film; Fahlén most recently directed Stockholm Stories in 2013. 

The Oslo-based Nordisk Film & TV Fond has chipped in €1.4 million for four Nordic features and a TV drama. Norwegian directors Harald Zwart’s The 12th Man and Joachim Trier’s Thelma will benefit, along with Swedish director Maria Blom’s so far untitled project and Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Under the Tree. The TV series is the second season of Swedish director Richard Holm’s Gåsmamman, an Endemol Sweden Nordic noir production for CMore/Kanal5.

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