Zozo ready to compete
by Annika Pham
Josef Fares’ Zozo [+see also:
film profile] which has sold over 150,000 tickets so far in Sweden since its September 2 release through Sonet Film , has been selected by the Guldbagge’s 11-members jury as the Swedish entry in the race for the 2006 Oscars nominations in the Best foreign language film category.
Lebanese-born director Fares is one of the most popular new talented Swedish directors bringing new spices and humour to Swedish cinema. His two first feature films, the comedies Jalla Jalla! (2000) and Kopps (2003) scored over 770,000 admissions each in Sweden. With Zozo, his third feature, Fares makes his most personal and emotionally charged film, without omitting his very typical sense of humour, warmth and narrative style.
Inspired by the director’s childhood memories, the film tells the story of a young boy, Zozo who grows up in Beirut and tries to live a normal life in spite of the raging civil war. But one day he is forced to leave Lebanon and ends up in a totally foreign country to him: Sweden.
The film is produced by Memfis Film’s Anna Anthony who discovered Fares and has since been his collaborator on all his film projects. The film is co-produced by Zentropa Entertainment from Denmark, Zozo Ltd/Sigma 3IIILtd in the UK, Film i Väst in Sweden, the Swedish national broadcaster SVT, the Nordic Film & TV Fund, with support from the Swedish and Danish Film Institutes, and in collaboration with Canal + and UK tax specialist Invicta Capital Ltd.
International sales are handled by Trust Film Sales who is still negotiating the rights with many European territories and has closed deals in China and Brazil.
The film just had its international premiere at the last Toronto Film Festival and will now travel to Pusan, Ghent, London and Thessaloniki among others.
Sweden has for the last two years been selected among the five countries running for an Oscar in the Best foreign language category. Last year it was with Kay Pollak’s As It Is In Heaven [+see also:
film profile] and the previous year it was with Mikael Håfström’s Evil.
The official Oscars nominations for Best foreign language film will be announced on January 31, 2006.
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