Bier, Ullmann and Östlund among Toronto’s Special Presentations
Three Nordic films, by Danish director Susanne Bier, Norwegian actress-director Liv Ullmann and Swedish director Ruben Östlund, will screen in the Special Presentations sidebar for “high-profile premieres and the world’s leading filmmakers” at the Toronto International Film Festival between 4-14 September.
The festival programme announced yesterday (22 July), featuring 300 films from more than 60 countries, includes Bier’s A Second Chance, Ullmann’s Miss Julie and Östlund’sForce Majeure[+] – both Bier and Ullmann’s entries will have their world premieres at the event, unspooling for the 39th time.
Scripted by Anders Thomas Jensen and Bier – who also collaborated on the Golden Globe- and Oscar-winning In a Better World[+] (2011) – A Second Chance follows two police detectives and best friends, Andreas and Simon, who are called to a domestic dispute between a junkie couple. When Andreas finds their neglected infant son, he is shaken to his core and reacts.
Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who had his international break in HBO’s Game of Thrones series, plays Andreas, with Ulrich Thomsen as Simon, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie and Lykke May Andersen. Sisse Graum Jørgensen, of Zentropa Entertainments,produced Bier’s sixth selection for Toronto; TrustNordisk is handling international sales.
Twice Oscar-nominated as an actress, Ullmann has herself written the screenplay for her screen adaptation of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s 1888 classic about the battle of the sexes, with US and UK stars Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton in the leads – it is her first feature as a director since Faithless in 2000.
The updated, English-language costume drama was shot in Northern Ireland as aSynnøve Hørsdal production for Norway’s Maipo Film, with UK’s Apocalypse, France’s Senorita Films and Ireland’s Subotica Film. “We could not find a better place to present the film to the world,” said Hørsdal. Nordisk Film Distribusjon has scheduled the local premiere for 12 September.
Östlund’s Force Majeure (Turist) was launched in the Un Certain Regard programme and went on to win the Jury Prize at the recent Cannes – it is his third entry in the festival, afterInvoluntary[+] (2008) in competition and Play[+] (2011) in the Directors’ Fortnight. He promised “the most spectacular avalanche scene in film history” in the Erik Hemmendorff–Marie KjellsonPlattform production.
Starring Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren and Vincent Wettergren, Östlund’s fourth feature – which is also running for this year’s LUX Prize – follows a Swedish family on a skiing holiday. Owing to a trivial ‘state of emergency’, the family comes into contact with human mechanisms that they have never had to confront before.