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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Sweden

Björn Runge directing Burn All My Letters

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- The Swedish helmer is adapting Alex Schulman's successful semi-autobiographical book for the big screen

Björn Runge directing Burn All My Letters
Director Björn Runge

Swedish director Björn Runge, known primarily for his recent English-language debut, the award-festooned film The Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Björn Runge
film profile
]
, is not limiting himself to simply preparing his upcoming US-produced movies, the sci-fi flick StarDream and the period drama Remember Me, as it has been announced that he is returning to his homeland to adapt famous Swedish podcaster and author Alex Schulman's successful semi-autobiographical book Burn All My Letters for the big screen.

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The novel, which was released in 2018, revolves around a secret and passionate love affair. Schulman narrates the story of his own grandmother, Karin Stolpe, who in the early 1930s was married to author Sven Stolpe and had an affair with young writer and then Dagens Nyheter editor-in-chief Olof Lagercrantz. Karin was afraid that her well-known husband would find out about what was going on, and when that happened, a conflict blew up between Sven Stople and Lagercrantz that lasted for decades. While Schulman was looking for answers today, he remembered the time when, as a child, he found a pile of letters belonging to his grandmother. That discovery raised yet more questions on whether the affair actually ended back then, and how this affair could be related to the near-fatal car accident that his grandparents had.

According to the official announcement, the dramatised adaptation of the book will “weave together three perspectives into a story of love and tragedy that overrides both time and space”. Runge will handle the adaptation, while Schulman will also be involved on a creative level.

The director stated: “For me, this is a passion drama, a blossoming love affair that has unintended consequences. What attracts me to it is the opportunity to have people who, in different ways, at different times, relate to emotional trauma, a fire no one tried to gain control of, until now. In this drama that moves between different times, momentary deceit evolves into the real source of the story. It’s a perfect starting point for me as a director.”

Produced by SF Studios, the movie will form part of a strategy to make films with local stories but aimed at a wider international audience. Annika Sucksdorff, head of film production for Sweden, added: “I think Schulman is one of the strongest writers of our time. He has touched a wide audience with his books, and it is not without good reason that book after book he delivers become bestsellers and also win prizes. The competition for the filmmaking rights was fierce, and I am incredibly happy that we are getting to make a movie on this amazing love story. The fact that we can do it with Björn Runge in the director's chair is a dream come true.”

More details on the dates of production, cast and further crew members will be announced soon by the Swedish production company.

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