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The making of the first Swedish large-scale disaster movie, The Abyss, is under way


- Directed by Richard Holm, the picture revolves around the devastating events unfolding in the mining town of Kiruna and the Kiirunavaara iron mine

The making of the first Swedish large-scale disaster movie, The Abyss, is under way
Lead actress Tuva Nuvotny and director Richard Holm on the set of The Abyss (© SF Studios)

Last week, SF Studios announced Sweden’s first large-scale disaster movie, titled The Abyss and directed by action veteran Richard Holm, best known for the TV series Mother Goose and The Machinery. His new picture revolves around the devastating events taking place in the mining town of Kiruna and the Kiirunavaara iron mine.

The Abyss is filmed partly on location in Kiruna, northern Sweden, and partly in Tampere in Finland, where many of the interior scenes in the mine were shot. Last week, filming wrapped in Kiruna, and the production team is now moving to a studio in Las Palmas, to be followed by extensive VFX work.

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“There is no doubt that something is about to happen in Kiruna; the only question is when,” states the production’s official synopsis. It is described as “the story of a family faced with the unthinkable when the disaster everyone feared suddenly becomes a reality”. At the centre of the events is Frigga (Tuva Novotny), who tries to juggle her risky job as a security manager in the Kiirunavaara mine, her family life, her new love Dabir (Kardo Razzazi) and her ex, who doesn't want to let go (Peter Franzén). But when the ground suddenly starts to shake beneath their feet, the puzzle of life doesn't matter any more, and the struggle not to be pulled into the abyss begins. Other cast members include Felicia Truedsson (the TV series Young Royals), Tintin Poggats Sarri (Charter [+see also:
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) and Edvin Ryding (Young Royals).

Speaking about his exciting new endeavour, Holm said: “I've directed a lot of action during my career, and to now be able to take it one step further with a truly large-scale disaster film feels fantastic. But no action engages if there are no characters to identify with. That’s why it’s been extra fun to develop the family characters together with the actors during rehearsals. Also, the film’s disaster theme has a large dose of truth in it. You move an entire town because the ground around it is cracking due to the mine, so as a storyteller, you only need a ‘what if…’”

“Kiruna is the most important place for the story we want to tell. Therefore, it has also been important for us to be able to shoot on location. But to complete the film, and maximise both the storytelling and the quality, we are filming in three more European countries. It is also fantastic that SF Studios and all of the other financiers have dared to bet on a genre film, which historically we see very little of in Sweden,” added producer Joakim Hansson.

SF Studios is producing and distributing the film in the Nordics and the rest of the world. It is expected to hit Swedish cinemas on 15 September 2023. The Abyss is being produced in collaboration with Film Tampere, Mjölk Movies, Business Finland, Seven Islands Film, the Gran Canaria Film Commission, the Spanish Tax Rebate and Umedia, with the support of the Belgian Tax Shelter.

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