Ali Abbasi’s film wins the prestigious Un Certain Regard Prize and Best Sound Creation.
The Swedish/Danish film was supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond and participated in the 2015 edition of the Fond´s Nordic Genre Boost development initiative.
Abbasi’s supernatural drama Border (Gräns) was among 18 international films competing at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar, presided over this year by Academy-awarded actor Benicio del Toro. Based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s eponymous novella, the film focuses on a customs officer (Eva Molander) with an uncanny gift for smelling guilt. But when she develops an attraction to a mysterious ferry passenger (Eero Milonoff), she is forced to question her entire existence and identity. Abbasi wrote the script together with Lindqvist and Isabella Eklöf. Christoffer Berg and Martin Dirkov composed the music and Christian Holm created the sound design. The awards were announced in Cannes on Friday May 18.
Following the film's world premiere on May 10, the film was an immediate hit with festival audiences and critics, and key buyers came up fast with offers. After Metropolitan Filmexport that acquired it for France/Switzerland, and Neon for the US/Canada, Films Boutique reported other sales to Wild Bunch for Germany/Austria, Filmfreak for Benelux, Karma for Spain, Alambique for Portugal, Kino Films for Japan, Lemontree for China, Filware for Taiwan, CIS Volga for Russia, and Impacto Cine for Latin America. Triart holds Scandinavian rights and plans a national release in Sweden this fall. According to Films Boutique’s Head of Sales Louis Balsan, the mainstream buyers who acquired the film feel it has the potential to cross over beyond its core genre audience.
Border was produced by Nina Bisgaard, Piodor Gustafsson and Petra Jönsson for Meta Film Stockholm, Spark Film & TV and Kärnfilm, in co-production with Meta Film Denmark, Film i Väst, SVT, Copenhagen Film Fund, support as well from the Swedish Film Institute, Danish Film Institute, Eurimages and Creative Europe.
In 2016, another film backed by Nordisk Film & TV Fond won the Un Certain Regard Prize: the Finnish film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki by Juho Kuosmanen, which also starred Eero Milonoff. The sales news were first announced in Variety.
To read an interview with the actors of the film click here: Border’s main actors on their physical transformation. For an interview with Ali Abbasi click here: Ali Abbasi about genre movies, magic realism and identity.