The musical A Piece of My Heart (En del av mitt hjärta) in the same vein as La La Land, is set to make a splash on Swedish screens on December 25 via Nordisk Film.

This week selected world buyers at Santa Monica’s American Film Market (AFM) are invited by Picture Tree International to sneak-previews of a brand-new English version of the songs, co-signed by Emmy-award nominated songwriter Andreas Carlsson and ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvæus.

Based on Tomas Ledin’s music and lyrics, the film reunites stage and musical director Edward af Sillén, writer Lars Johansson (Kopps, A Summer Tale), choreographer Roine Söderlundh (West Side Story, Grease), cinematographer Tunomo Hutri (The Fencer).

The stellar cast includes Malin Åkerman (Watchmen), Christian Hillborg (The Bridge), Jonas Karlsson (The Perfect Patient), Marie Richardson (Before We Die) and Johan Rheborg (Solsidan).

The story revolves around Isabella, a career woman who returns to her hometown to celebrate her father’s birthday. Back home, she learns that her teenage sweetheart is getting married and realises that some feelings never go away.

To boost the film’s international potential, producer Patrik Ryborn and sales agent Andreas Rothbauer agreed to go ‘the extra mile’ and create an English language version of the songs, keeping the Swedish cast. “We think that an English song version will give distributors - especially in dubbing countries - a possibility to have a local language version, without having to dub the songs into the local language, given that pop music is still very much an English language concept," said  Rothbauer.

Björn Ulvaeus created the lyrics for four songs: Piece of the Puzzle, I wish I could Sing, A Piece of my Heart and Summers have an end. “Since Tomas Ledin and Björn are old friends, Tomas approached him, and we were lucky that Björn had the time to help us,” notes Ryborn adding: “Naturally, it was expensive to make new recordings of the songs, translations, and two sound mixes, but hopefully more countries will be interested to see this spectacular film.”

Rothbauer says he is looking for “commercially-minded and market-driven distributors that are able to pull a commercial release”, but he also believes in the film’s strong potential on VOD and television.

According to Deadline who first published the news, territories that have pre-bought the film so far include Israel (Nachshon Film), Poland (TVP) and Taiwan (AV Jet Media). The film was co-produced by Finland’s MRP Matila Röhr Productions and Film i Väst. Nordisk Film Distribution handles Nordic territories.

See the teaser trailer