Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure (aka Turist) and Danish directorKristian Levring’s The Salvation will be representing the Nordic countries in the official programme at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, which runs from 14-25 May – Force Majeure in the Un Certain Regard sidebar and The Salvation enjoying a gala midnight screening out of competition.
Östlund has been in Cannes twice before – his Involuntary[+] (2008) was Sweden’s latest Palme d’Or contender, and his Play[+] (2011) was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight, before it won the Nordic Council Film Prize. “Östlund’s third invitation to the Côte d’Azur is an honour and an important affirmation of the work we have done. It is going to be incredibly fun to finally screen this film,” said his producer and occasional co-writer Erik Hemmendorff, who has realised the project with Marie Kjellson, for Plattform Produktion.
An avid skier himself (he has directed three skiing films), Östlund has written the story about 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. They are then forced to ascribe impulses and instincts to themselves, which they have learnt to despise and ignore. Östlund promises the most spectacular avalanche scene in film history. Force Majeure was produced with Eurimages, Swedish regional film centre Film i Väst, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Société Parisienne de Production, Motlys and the Coproduction Office, which is handling international sales.
An “homage to the classic western, inspired by the Nordic sagas”, The Salvation is Levring’s second entry in Cannes, after The King Is Alive – one of the four original Dogme films – was premiered in Un Certain Regard in 2000. The “epic tale of revenge, lost love and greed” is set in 1870s America, where an otherwise peaceful Danish settler, John, kills the murderer of his family, thus unleashing the fury of his brother, a notorious gang leader. But he knows how to cleanse the town’s black heart.
Scripted by Levring and Danish Oscar-winning writer Anders Thomas Jensen, it starsMads Mikkelsen as the settler, with an international cast including Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mikael Persbrandt and Jonathan Pryce. The Salvation was produced bySisse Graum Jørgensen for Zentropa Entertainments, with Spier Films (South Africa) and Forward Films (UK). Nordisk Film Distribution has scheduled a local release for October, while TrustNordisk is handling international sales.
Norwegian director Hallvar Witzø’s Yes We Love will be the only Nordic short in competition at Cannes, following his Tuba Atlantic (2010) being awarded Best Foreign Film at the Student Oscars. Scripted by Witzø, it follows four generations on Norwegian Independence Day – each is in some form of crisis, in four different parts of Norway.Elisabeth Kvithyll produced the film for Hummelfilm.