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PRODUCTION Finland

Came to Cannes as an actress, but will leave as a Queen

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- Sweden’s Malin Buska was today presented as the lead in Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s Kristina of Sweden, the role Greta Garbo played in 1933

Came to Cannes as an actress, but will leave as a Queen

28-year-old Swede Malin Buska (photo) flew into the Cannes International Film Festival as an actress, but she will leave as a Queen.

Today on the Scandinavian Terrace, 55 la Croisette, Buska was presented as the lead in Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s Kristina of Sweden, stepping into the shoes of Swedish screen legend Greta Garbo, who played the part in US director Ruben Mamoulian’s Queen Christina (1933).

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“She was a young woman, trying to bring about change, surrounded by a group of conservative men in a conservative, religiously narrow-minded world, where change was not a viable option,” Kaurismäki said about Kristina. “The key to this film – which will shoot from February 2013 on Swedish locations - will be a sense of youthful energy and drive.”

One of three women buried in the Vatican grottoes, Kristina – the only surviving child of King Gustav II Adolph - was Queen regnant of Sweden 1633-1654, ruling from age 18 to 28. Sometimes referred to as King Kristina, she was raised as a prince wearing mannish clothes – on her father’s orders – and she caused a scandal when she abdicated and converted to Catholicism.

“Kristina was a revolutionary free thinker, a connoisseur of art and science, a precursor of the feminist movement, a strong and visionary politician, a new European – and at the same time she was a confused, restless, eccentric and isolated young woman. I want to create a “modern” and rebellious figure of immediacy and contemporaneity, not a conventional period piece,” he concluded.

Scripted by Canadian award-winning screenwriter Michel Marc Bouchard – whose new play about the same character, Kristina, The Boy King – will open at Montreal’s Théatre du Nouveau Monde in November – Kristina of Sweden will be produced by Sweden’s Anagram Film, Kaurismäki’s own Marianna Film (Finland), Canada’s Triptych Media, Germany’s Starhaus Filmproduktion and France’s Arsam International.

Buska, though, is not totally unfamiliar with red carpets – she was named Rising Star at the recent Stockholm International Film Festival for her film debut, Swedish director Björn Runge’s Happy End [+see also:
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, which she represented at the San Sebastian Film Festival. A graduate from Sweden’s Malmö Theatre Academy, her stage performances include plays by Donald Margulies, Federico García Lorca and Joyce Carol Oates.

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