The biggest film market in the world hosting over 11,000 participants from 100 countries (up 9% from 2011) opened its doors yesterday under sunny skies and good prospects for Nordic films that started grabbing buyers attention from Day One, such as Denmark's Love is All You Need by Susanne Bier pre-sold by TrustNordisk to Sony Pictures Classics for North America.
Sony Pictures Classics which had orchestrated the successful Oscar nomination of Bier's previous film In a Better World, described Bier's screenplay of Love is All You Need as ‘intelligent, brave and so much fun". The film produced by Zentropa with support from Nordisk Film &TV Fond has already been pre-sold to several other territories.
Another film supported by the Fund and offered for the first time to world buyers as pre-sales was picked up yesterday by French distributor Pretty Pictures: the Swedish political thriller Call Girl by Michael Marcimain starring Pernilla August.
Pretty Pictures is the French distributor as well of TrustNordisk's competition entry The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg, screening on Sunday in official competition. Cast and crew members that will walk the red carpet of the Grand Auditorium Lumiere with Vinterberg include co-writer Tobias Lindholm and actors Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Susse Wold and Alexandra Rapaport.
TrustNordisk's CEO Rikke Ennis and her sales team are also introducing a closed market screening of the Finnish Film Purge by Antti Jokinen based on Sofi Oksanen's best-selling novel, and the works in progress of the Swedish thriller Easy Money 2 by Babak Najafi and Norwegian action-adventure Escape by Roar Uthaug. Another chiller, Frost by Icelandic newcomer Reynir Lyngdal is shown as a promo.
Other strong films introduced as pre-sales include Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Jan Troell's Truth & Consequence, Bekas by Karzan Kader, the crime series The Fjällbacka Murders from Camilla Läckberg's universe and The Keeper of the Lost Cause based on the first book in the Department Q series from Jussi Adler-Olsen.
More best-selling novels adapted for the screen are on the menu of Svensk Filmindustri International Sales and Rights Department headed by Ann Kristin Westerberg. The company is introducing at the market a 30 minute promo of Lasse Hallström's The Hypnotist and continuing pre-sales on the following two films part of Lars Kepler's novels, The Paganini Contract and The Fire Witness.
Svensk Filmindustri is having closed-market screenings of Bille August's costume film Marie Krøyer and the documentary A Love Story: Liv & Ingmar by Norway's Dheeraj Akolkar. The company is also continuing sales on the second action thriller featuring Mikael Persbrandt as Agent Hamilton-But Not If it Concerns Your Daughter, set to open domestically in September.
NonStop Sales has no less than four Finnish films screening at the market: JP Siili's western Once Upon a Time in the North (fourth biggest Finnish success of the year), Joona Tena's thriller Body of Water, Kimmo Koskela's musical documentary Soundbreaker (Best Creative Film at Montreal's International Art Film Festival) and the romantic The Italian Key by Rosa Karo. Sales director Michael Werner and his team are also continuing sales on the Norwegian film Company Orheim (Dragon award winning film-Best Nordic Film at Gothenburg).
Also among the Nordic sales outfits headquartered at the Scandinavian Stand, 55 La Croisette is Yellow Affair, for the third year in Cannes. The company's managing director Miira Paasilinna said: "We have two strong feature length titles that have a market premiere in Cannes, Eat Sleep Die from Sweden (Anagram) and Hush from Finland (Helsinki Filmi), and we are proud to continue working together with Atmo and their edgy titles, this time with Family Dinner, a short film selected at La Semaine de la Critique. The director Stefan Contantinescou is developing his next feature Viking Line Story that will go into production in the spring 2013. We are also having a closed screening for Mika Kaurismäki's film Road North that is already full."
Yellow Affair has beefed up her line up with English language films introduced for pre-sales: Dry Lighting starring Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepherd, Levicticus 18 starring Michael Nyqvist, and Killing in the Woods with Christian Slater.
Working as usual from the Media stand at the Riviera, Tine Klint, Head of Level K is introducing four English language films for pre-sales, including 33 Liberty Lane by Peter Hewitt and The Turning to be directed by Australian star Cate Blanchet alongside 15 other directors. Klint is premiering at the market at a closed screening Daniel Dencik's documentary Moon Rider which looks inside the mental and physical struggle of young Danish cyclist Rasmus Quaade who wants to be a professional rider. The film will be released domestically in September.
The German-sales Sola Media specialised in quality family film had the world premiere yesterday of the 3D Danish animation film Marco Macaco by newcomer Jan Rahbek. The screening was supported by a strong advertising campaign in the daily trade press in Cannes. Sola Media's managing director Solveig Langeland was also anxiously waiting for the opening figures of the other Danish 3D animation film Jelly T by Michael Hegner, presented in Cannes with a promo reel. The third big Nordic children's film represented by Sola Media in Cannes is Journey to the Christmas Star by the Norwegian Academy Award-nominee Nils Gaup.
Two other Nordic 3D animation films are offered by Germany's Global Screen, the new world sales unit of Bavaria and Telepool. Iceland's Legends of Valhalla-Thor which is screening at the market for the few remaining territories available, and Niko 2-Little Brother, Big Trouble, sequel to the 2008 Finnish hit. Sonia Mehandjiyska, head of theatrical and TV sales said the film has been pre-sold to several territories that did great business with the first feature, including France's Bac Films.
French sales companies representing Nordic titles include Celluloid Dreams which sold the Icelandic thriller City State by Olaf de Fleur to EOne for the UK and Canada and is negotiating a US remake. The top French sales agent is also representing de Fleur's upcoming Brave Men's Blood set to shoot next year.
Wide Management has high hopes on Naked Harbour by popular Finnish director Aky Louhimies, premiering at the market, and Les Films du Losange is starting in Cannes pre-sales on Bengt Hamer's upcoming 1001 Grams.