Michael Noer, Björn Stein/Måns Mårlind’s ventures into new genres and the second films by Peter Grönlund and Selma Vilhunen were popular WIP pitches.

Viewed as a practical venue for them to get a head start on discussions prior to Berlin’s busy European Film market two French buyers said: “Once again Nordic films have shown a high production value and interesting and daring themes”.

Among the 17 works in progress, the romantic film Swoon by directing duo Björn Stein and Måns Mårlind was just picked up by Russia and South Korea.

One of the hottest films among the 23 titles screening at the market was Gustav Möller’s striking debut The Guilty, acquired by Magnolia Pictures after the film’s successful world premiere in Sundance. The one-setting one-character drama just added the Rotterdam Audience award and Youth Jury award to Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award. Another popular film was Gabriela Pichler’s festival opener Amateurs, winner of the top Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film.

Here under is an overview of the WIP pitched in Göteborg:

  • Swoon by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein (Midnight Sun). The love story set against rival amusement parks will be Sweden’s major Christmas 2018 release. ATMO producer Kristina Åberg said: “You will cry, laugh and believe in the power of love.” Sales: TrustNordisk. 
  • Bergman, a Year in a Life (SE) by Jane Magnusson (Tresspassing Bergman). The B-Reel film focuses on the year 1957, one of the most prolific for the Swedish legendary director. The release this summer through TriArt will coincide with the Bergman centenary celebrations. Sales: The Match Factory. 
  • Happy People (DK) by Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm (I am Yours), produced by Meta Film. It’s about Adam (Dar Salim) and Louise (Lisa Carlehed) struggling to cope with the loss of their child. Spring delivery.
  • The Human Part (FI) by Juha Lehtola, produced by Bufo. The drama comedy features the bankrupt Pekka (Hannu-Pekka Björkman), trying to fool everyone about his financial situation, but his family is no fool. Spring delivery. 
  • One Last Deal by Klaus Härö produced by Making Movies. An elderly art dealer tries to do one last deal, with the help of his grandson. “It’s about a man trying to challenge destiny”, said the director of The Fencer
  • That Time of Year (DK) by actress turned director Paprika Steen, produced by Nordisk Film. A bittersweet look at the modern family during Christmas Eve. “Christmas can be hell…or not”, said Steen who stars alongside Sophie Gråbøl, Jacob Lohmann and Lars Brygmann. National release November 2018. 
  • Goliath (SE) by Peter Grönlund (Drifters), produced by B-Reel. It’s a social and political drama set in a forgotten industrial city, served by a mix of professional and non-professional actors, giving a strong authenticity to the topic. The father just got out of prison and the son has to take up his criminal affairs. Grönlund said: “I’ve always been interested in minorities. What do you do when you feel society is not for you?” Wild Bunch handles world sales. Ready in the spring.
  • Stupid Young Heart (FI) by Selma Vilhunen (Little Wing), produced by Tuffi. “The contemporary drama is set in Helsinki’s outskirts. “15-year old Lenny discovers his girlfriend is pregnant. We follow him through her pregnancy, and witness how he struggles to become a father, something he has never had in his life. Lenny messes things up but he eventually learns that the most powerful thing in a man’s life is to sing a lullaby”, said the director. May delivery.
  • Phoenix (NO) by first-time director Camilla Strøm Henriksen. Coming-of-age drama about a teenager, forced to care for her mentally unstable mother and her younger brother. The arrival of the estranged father (Sverrir Gudnason) brings hope to his children. Hummelfilm produces
  • Sonja-The White Swan (NO) by Anne Sewitsky (Homesick). The biopic about ice-skater and Hollywood actress Sonja Henie is “about a female icon, not a wife or a mother, simply a fascinating character”, said producer Synnøve Hørsdal (Maipo Film). Sales: TrustNordisk. 
  • Happy Ending (DK) by Hella Joof (Happy Ending). When her life-long marriage ends, Helle has to find a new meaning to her life. “It’s about being in your 70s and having all the freedom in the world but you actually don’t want it”, said Joof. The film will premiere this Christmas. 
  • Beware of Children (NO) by Dag Johan Haugerud. A family is shattered when the teenager daughter accidentally kills her classmate. Producer Yngve Sæther said the film deals with how to bring up children today in Scandinavia. 
  • The Deposit (IS) by Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir. A social drama about what happens when refugees and locals get together. The film will be ready for Cannes. 
  • A Better Life (DK) by Michael Noer (R, Northwest). The director’s first period film tells of a farmer and his family who face starvation. The father has to take an unbearable decision to secure a better future for everyone. It’s a story about paternal love, shot as a western”, said Noer. Delivery is set for this summer. Sales: TrustNordisk. 
  • A Stranger (SE) by Mikel Cee Karlsson, produced by Plattform, a documentary about one of the director’s best friends who goes through an unlikely trauma. Non-Stop will release the film in Sweden.
  • Anna Odell untitled (SE) produced by B-Reel. Hybrid film about an artist (Odell), who invites Mikael Persbrandt for a ‘deconstruction’ of themselves. Top actors play their alter egos. Those are Vera Vitali, Sofie Gråbøl, Jens Albinus, Shanti Roney, Thure Lindhardt and Trine Dyrholm. “It’s about making a film and the process of being an artist and working with the actors to write a script”, said the director of The Reunion. Delivery is set for May. Sales: New Europe Film Sales. 
  • A Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson is an ‘arthouse musical thriller’ according to the director of Of Horses and Men. The heroine is a woman in her forties who wants to save the Icelandic highlands and fight the capitalistic system; she is like a one-woman green brigade who succeeds in turning down the factories. But her dream is ultimately to adopt a Ukrainian child. “Is it better to save the world by doing a self-sacrifice or by saving a child?”, asks the director. Sales: Beta Cinema.