American Film Market: Scandi Book Adaptations And Auteurs Films Attract Buyers

From the Nordisk Film and TV Fund


US buyers continue to show big appetite for Scandi titles. At the American Film Market in Los Angeles that closed on Wednesday, Magnolia Pictures acquired the Swedish Gentlemen, Sundance Select Denmark’s Department Q film trilogy and Brainstorm Media the Danish drama I Am Here starring Kim Basinger. Other hot properties were The Shamer’s Daughter, The Wave and Men and Chicken.

Mikael Marcimain’s Gentlemen (pictured) which opened the 25th Stockholm Fest was brought to Los Angeles by Paris-Based Wild Bunch that closed the deal with Magnolia Pictures (US), Artificial Eye (UK) and Lumiere (Benelux). The B-Reel production opens in Sweden on December 5.

The US sale of the Danish hit trilogy The Keeper of Lost Causes The Absent One and upcoming A Conspiracy of Faith produced by Zentropa was negotiated by Susan Wendt, TrustNordisk Head of Sales and Sean Berney, Manager of Acquisitions at Sundance Selects/IFC Films. “We are very excited that our friends from Sundance Selects have picked up these three thrillers. With their great skills on theatrical release and successful VOD strategies we feel confident that the films will reach a substantial audience in North America,” said TrustNordisk CEO Rikke Ennis.

The Keeper of Lost Causes was last year’s biggest Danish success on domestic screens and the second instalment is now dominated the local BO, having just passed the 705,000 admission mark. Another Zentropa film, Anders Morgenthaler’s I Am Herewas picked up by the US independent aggregator of feature films for VoD and TV, Brainstorm Media.

Other TrustNordisk titles pre-sold at the AFM are the Norwegian genre film The Wave, picked up by France (AB Group), Spain (Key2Media Audiovisual), China (New View TV and Media Group), Turkey (Medyavizyon), Middle East (Gulf Film), Hong Kong (Sundream Motion Pictures Ld), Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam (Rain Film), as well as the Danish fantasy/adventure film The Shamer’s Daughter, sold to Middle East (Gulf Film), Russia/CIS, (Daro Film Distribution), Estonia (EstinFilm), Former Yugoslavia (Cinemania Group), Thailand (Sahamongkolfilm International Co. Ltd.), Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam (Rain Film). TrustNordisk also announced during the AFM the first major foreign deal on Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune, pre-bought by veteran French distributor Jean Labadie (Le Pacte).

Meanwhile LevelK inked several deals on Anders Thomas Jensen’s Men and Chickenstarring Mads Mikkelsen, David Dencik and Nikolaj Lie Kaas. The Danish black comedy produced by M&M Productions was sold to Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg (Imagine) the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Film Europe) and Hungary (Vertigo). The film will premiere in Denmark on February 5 and in the co-producing country Germany on March 12, 2015.

Gentlemen, The Keeper of Lost Causes, The Wave, The Commune and The Shamer’s Daughter were supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.