Roy Andersson will compete for the Golden Lion in Venice

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

The world premiere of Swedish director Roy Andersson’s new film A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence will take place during this year’s Venice International Film Festival, in the main competition section, Venezia 71. It has been 25 years since a Swedish film competed in the main section of this prestigious film festival.

Swedish short film Cams by Carl-Johan Westregård will also be competing in the Orizzonte Short Film Competition section of the festival, more info below.

– It is an honour to participate with my film in the Venice Film Festival, considering the fact that Italy, throughout the history of cinema, has spawned many innovative and unforgettable masterpieces, by directors such as Vittorio De SicaMichelangelo AntonioniFederico Fellini, and Pier Paolo Pasolini, just to name a few. Vittorio De Sica’sBicycle Thieves is, in my opinion, still unsurpassed, says Roy Andersson.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron) tells the story of two men who travel around and sell party novelties. Through them, a breathtaking existence is presented, jumping between past, present and future, and between reality and fantasy, while a series of fascinating characters cross their path. The film is produced by Pernilla Sandström for Roy Andersson Filmproduktion, and is co-produced by Société Parisienne de Production (France), 4½ (Norway) and Essential Film Production (Germany). The film has received funding from the Swedish Film Institute, film commissioner Suzanne Glansborg. The international sales agent is Coproduction Office.´

Roy Andersson is one of the most important Swedish film directors of all time. His first feature, A Swedish Love Story (En kärlekshistoria, 1970) set a new standard for psychological realism, subtle dark humour and visual narrative – things that have characterized Andersson’s style ever since, not least in the acclaimedSongs from the Second Floor (Sånger från andra våningen, 2000). The Museum of Modern Art in New York City presented a retrospective of Andersson’s work in September 2009.  The long-anticipated A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is the first film in seven years for Andersson, a notorious perfectionist and true auteur.

The Venice International Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in the world. Last year, the Swedish film We Are the Best! (Vi är bäst!) by Lukas Moodysson was screened in competition in the Orizzonti section. But it has been 25 years since a Swedish film last competed for the Golden Lion; Vilgot Sjömans’s The Pitfall (Fallgropen) which was presented in the main section in 1989 (without winning).

For more information and interview requests, please contact Eva Esseen Arndorff/TriArt, Swedish distributor, cell phone +46 734 176552, e-maileva@triart.se.

Cams by Carl-Johan Westregård

Cams is directed and produced by Carl-Johan Westregård. Made with the intent of keeping external contribution to a minimum, Westregård did everything himself, except the sound design. The post-apocalyptic film was shot in and around the director’s home town of Falsterbo in southernmost Sweden, portraying abandoned suburbia giving way to the crackling and bustling of nature, while black things move about as dying echoes of a cataclysm. Westregård’s film is competing in the Orizzonte Short Film Competition section of the Venice International Film Festival.

For more information regarding Sweden’s participation in the Venice International Film Festival, or to reach Carl-Johan Westregård, please contact Pia Lundberg, Head of the International Department at the Swedish Film Institute, cell phone +46 706 927980, e-mail pia.lundberg@sfi.se.

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.