Nordic Genre conquers Cannes

Nordic Genre Invasion

The Nordic Genre Invasion – a group of 17 production companies from the Nordic countries – have attended Cannes for the second time in the road, and are proving themselves to be the dominant companies when it comes to genre. The production companies, which focus on horror, fantasy, science fiction and action, succeeded in introducing 300 international film professionals to Nordic genre on the Scandinavian terrace.

The Helsinki-based promotion outfit, Helsinki’s Night Visions International Film Festival and the Finnish Film Foundation joined forces to celebrate the current wave of Nordic genre cinema. Nordic Genre Invasion is now an established organisation, with Finnish producerMikko Aromaa as chairman of the board, supported by the Nordic Council’s KreaNord and the Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s Nordic Genre Boost.

From this year’s Cannes line-up, Finnish director Marko Mäkilaakso’s It Came from the Desert was licensed to China (HGC), Germany (Tiberius) and Thailand (Sahamongkol Film) by Toronto’s Raven Banner Entertainment, which will also handle Canadian distribution. The film was produced by Teemu Virta for Roger! Pictures.

LA’s Epic Pictures started international sales for Norwegian director Pål Øie’s Villmark Asylum, which will be released in Scandinavia on 15 October by Another World Entertainment. The sequel to Dark Woods is produced by Einar Loftesnes and Bendik Heggen Stronstad for MadMonkey and YesBox.

Swedish director-producer Christian Hallman’s psychological thriller Sensoria (Grindhouse Pictures) was acquired for world sales by Toronto’s 108 Media, which will also distribute the film in North America; meanwhile, Finland’s Future Film will cover Scandinavian releases for Finnish director Taneli Mustonen’s Bodom, produced by Aleksi Hyvärinen for Don Films.

At Cannes, Nordic Genre Invasion was also negotiating to increase the Nordic presence at other markets, including the Network of Asian Fantastic Films-Bifan in Bucheon, South Korea (19-22 July); the Frontières International Co-Production Market in Brussels and Montreal (23-26 July); and Blood Window-Ventana Sur in Buenos Aires (30 November-4 December).

Besides cooperating with the Night Visions International Film Festival – the largest genre festival in the Nordic countries, which will next unspool from 4-8 November – the organisation has also instigated the Nordic Genre Industry Days, which will take place in Helsinki from 13-17 April.

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.