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Jesper Ganslandt to direct story of imprisoned Swedish journalists

The Swedish director Jesper Ganslandt has announced his next film, and it is based on the true story of imprisoned Swedish journalists.

The film will be about the journalist Martin Schibbye and the photographer Johan Persson who were assigned to cover Ethiopia when they were captured, accused of terrorism and sentenced to 11 years in prison. They were released from prison after being pardoned, but spent 438 days in prison. After returning home, they wrote an award-winning book about their experience.

It does have similar vibes to the upcoming Norwegian film Murders in the Congo, which is about imprisoned Norwegians in the Congo, though they were accused of murder.

Shooting will take place in South Africa and Sweden from May, with the release date set for autumn 2019.

Gustaf Skarsgård and Matias Varela will star in the film, which is titled 438 Days. Peter Birro is writing the script, and SF Studios will distribute the film in the Nordics.

Jesper Ganslandt has made a few Swedish films so far, though none have gained wide attention. His latest film Jimmie premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam to mixed reviews as it follows a young Swedish boy fleeing war in Sweden, a similar journey that Syrians took into Europe, fleeing conflict in their home country. He’s just released a new film called Beast of Burden, which stars Daniel Radcliffe. The film isn’t doing so great, with a 3.9 on IMDb and 20% on Rotten Tomatoes.

We spoke to Ganslandt about Jimmie, and you can read the interview here.

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.