Strong Swedish presence at Cannes Film Festival

Sweden Cannes


Press release via the SFI

Not only is Ingrid Bergman adorning the official poster for this year’s film festival in Cannes, and not only does Stig Björkman’s Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words (Jag är Ingrid) have its world premiere at the festival. Magnus von Horn’s feature debut The Here After (Efterskalv) and David Sandberg’s 30-minute action comedy Kung Fury are both part of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs/Directors’ Fortnight. Isabella Carbonell’s short film Boys (Pojkarna) has been selected to compete in La Semaine de la Critique/Critics’ Week.

From Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words Photo: Mantaray Film. / Kung Fury. Photo: Laser Unicorn Productions.

Director and screenwriter Magnus von Horn was nominated for a Guldbagge Award for his short Without Snow (Utan snö) from 2011. His first feature-length film, The Here After (Efterskalv), is the story of John, a 17-year-old boy who returns home to his father after serving time in prison. He is looking forward to starting his life afresh. However in the local community, his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven. John’s presence brings out the worst in everyone around him and until a confrontation is inevitable. The lead is played by pop artist Ulrik Munther in his first film role, and in other roles there are Mats Blomgren (Call Girl, Patrik Age 1.5) and Inger Nilsson (Pippi Longstocking and the German crime series Der Kommissar und das Meer) and the cinematographer is Łukasz Żal, recently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Ida.Produced by Madeleine Ekman, Zentropa Sweden. The film is a Swedish-Polish-French co-production and has been awarded production funding by the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioner Magdalena Jangard. It is being sold internationally by TrustNordisk.

Kung Fury is an action comedy about how policeman and kung fu master Kung Fury (played by David Sandberg who also writes and directs) gets the toughest mission of his life – he is sent back in time and meets dinosaurs, robots and Norse gods in his quest to beat his nemesis – none other than Adolf Hitler. This crazy homage to 1980s action movies has been funded by one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever – with receipts of more than 630,000 dollars to date. It has also been awarded production funding by the Swedish Film Institute (Film Commissioner Helen Ahlsson) as part of the Moving Sweden project, which features strong narratives in exciting new forms. The film will be shown on SVT (Swedish public service TV) on 28 May, with simultaneous launch online on SVT Play and YouTube. Produced by Linus Andersson och Eleni Younng Karlsson, Laserunicorns. The film’s official song was recently released,True Survivor sung by Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff, with a music video fully in line with the film’s aesthetic (link here).

Isabella Carbonell’s short film Boys (Pojkarna) is about Markus, a shy boy in an institution for young sex offenders. Markus’s only friend in the institution is the wayward, violent Tobias, and the often wordless but constantly tender relationship between the two is the film’s force field. Markus is played bySebastian Hiort af Ornäs, who was nominated for a Guldbagge Award for his lead in Sebbe (2010) and has also been seen in Broken Hill Blues (Ömheten) from 2013 and The Circle (Cirkeln) from 2015. Despite his youth, Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs (born 1992) is already something of a festival veteran. Three of the films he has been involved in have been selected for the Berlin Film Festival, and his breakthrough film Sebbe was also shown at Cannes in 2011. Produced by Jörgen Andersson och Kjell Åhlund, Doppelganger. Boys has been awarded production funding by the Swedish Film Institute, Film CommissionerAndreas Fock.

But the Swedish presence in Cannes does not end there. For the sixteenth consecutive year, European Film Promotion (EFP) is organising the acclaimed project Producers on the Move. Twenty producers from the European film industry have been appointed to take part in this network platform. It is a forum for highlighting up-and-coming film producers, and they take part in round table discussions and pitching sessions, and generally get to network during this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. One of the selected 20 is SwedeAnnika Rogell, producer of films such as My Skinny Sister (Min lilla syster)which recently won a Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival), Concerning Violence (Om våld) which won a Guldbagge for best documentary, and the multi Guldbagge winning The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. She is the founder of production company Tangy and works with the documentary film company Story.

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.