Jesper Ganslandt’s Jimmie wins the Eurimages Lab Project Award in Haugesund
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Swedish director and his son Hunter star in his cutting-edge fourth feature, still in production, which was presented at the Norwegian International Film Festival
Still in production, Swedish director Jesper Ganslandt’s new film Jimmie [+see also:
film profile] won the €50,000 Eurimages Lab Project Award for Most Promising Project in the New Nordic Films market at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, which ended yesterday (24 August). There were nine contenders for the prize, all experimental in terms of production, form and/or narrative style. “This story is screaming to be told,” said the jury, which was impressed by “the footage proposed and the director’s approach to this original story”.
Ganslandt and his son Hunter play the leads alongside Anna Littorin, Ellen Sarri Littorin and Christopher Wagelin in the cutting-edge feature, which follows four-year-old Jimmie and his father, who are forced to leave Sweden for a safer land. They travel across black waters, wander along railway tracks and rely on the kindness of strangers; the film was shot as a wandering road movie between Sweden and the Mediterranean, as seen from Jimmie’s perspective.
“The film shows that a child’s universe is both very small and bigger than an adult can imagine,” explained Swedish producer Hedvig Lundgren, of Fasad, who is staging the €600,000 project with Jesper Kurlandsky and Juan Libossart. “Ganslandt has been working on this project for the last five years, regularly filming his son while developing a screenplay – and part of this footage is used in the film, which was mainly shot in May and June last year. We still need to get an important scene in the can.
“It has been a very personal project for Ganslandt, and also personally strenuous to realise – he told me that when they returned from filming in Croatia, Hunter had hardly seen his mother in two months,” Lundgren continued. Jimmie was supported by the Swedish Film Institute’s Moving Sweden scheme, which encourages filmmakers to open new doors, move borders, and touch audiences with strong stories in new and exciting formats.
Ganslandt, whose first film was the award-winning Falkenberg Farewell [+see also:
film profile] (2006), which was followed by The Ape [+see also:
film profile] (2009) and Blondie [+see also:
interview: Jesper Ganslandt
film profile] (2012), made two features in 2016 – besides Jimmie, he also helmed his first English-language production for America, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Pablo Schreiber, which he is currently readying in Hollywood for a launch next year.
The jury of the Eurimages Lab Project Award, which is also presented at the Karlovy Vary, Thessaloniki and Les Arcs Film Festivals, gave Special Mentions to Icelandic director Kristín Jóhannesdóttir’s Alma and Norwegian filmmaker Katja Eyde Jacobsen’s The Second Sex.
With a record number of 450 participants, the New Nordic Films market – headed up for the 16th year by market director Gyda Velvin Myklebust, flanked by programme coordinator Aleksander Huser – screened 23 films and four television series, and introduced 52 films in production or as works in progress at Haugesund’s Edda Cinema and the Scandic Maritim.
The Best Project Award, which is presented in conjunction with the Producers Network at the Cannes International Film Festival, went to Norwegian director Ole Giæver’s My Wife, My Replica and I. Produced by Maria Ekerhovd for Mer Film, it follows married couple Ole and Eva in a spaceship, as they make their way back to Earth after an expedition. Because of a virus detected in Ole’s blood, he is not allowed to return, so he clones himself using a 3D printer. The result is surprisingly good, but it turns out that the clone – Ole Copy – has his own needs and desires.
Finally, Danish director Puk Grasten won the Nordic Script Pitch Award for her third feature, War, What If. Her debut, 37 [+see also:
film profile] (2016), was based on the 1964 murder of 28-year-old Kitty Genovesein Queens, New York, which was witnessed by 37 neighbours who did not intervene, and it earned her the Best Director Award at the Moscow International Film Festival. This time, Grasten has used a novel by Danish author Janne Teller to inspire her story of a generation that is afraid of change and is willing to sacrifice liberty for security under a dictatorship.
Here is the complete list of awards given out at New Nordic Films:
Eurimages Lab Project Award
Jimmie [+see also:
film profile] - Jesper Ganslandt (Sweden)
Alma - Kristín Jóhannesdóttir (Iceland/Sweden/France/USA)
The Second Sex - Katja Eyde Jacobsen (Norway)
Best Project Award
My Wife, My Replica and I - Ole Giæver (Norway)
Scandinavian Debut Award
Library of God - Stian Hafstad (Norway)
Ebba & the Lover – Johanna Pyykkö (Norway)
Nordic Script Pitch Award
War, What If - Puk Grasten (Denmark)
Next Nordic Generation Award
Little Dancer - Nils Holst-Jensen (Denmark)
Land of Our Fathers – Ulaa Salim (Denmark)
Schoolyard Blues – Maria Eriksson (Sweden)
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