I am Zlatan is the latest high-profile feature project from the producers of Euphoria and A Serious Game, Stockholm and L.A.-based BRF (B-Reel Films), headed by Pelle Nilsson, Global CEO and Fredrik Heinig, Managing Director Film & TV.

Commercials and TV director Jens Sjögren, who recently wrapped the filming of BRF’s crime series Before We Die season 2, is attached to I am Zlatan.  The film is based on author David Lagercrantz’s best-selling book ‘I am Zlatan Ibrahimović’, co-written with the Swedish athlete who will be ‘very much involved’ in the feature adaption, according to a press statement. The Swedish language coming-of-age film will depict Ibrahimović’s formative years, from his upbringing in an underprivileged suburb of Malmö to his rise to the top of international football thanks to his remarkable talent and self-reliance, playing for clubs like Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Fredrik Heinig who produces with Mattias Nohrborg, says ‘casting two young acting talents set to play Zlatan aged 11 and 16, will be crucial. “We’re just starting the financing, but the interest is huge,” says the producer who estimates the budget to be around €5 million. Filming is scheduled to start in 2020. 

Nordisk Film’s VP Acquisition and Co-production Lone Korslund who secured last year in Cannes a multi-picture deal with BRF, says I am Zlatan is the first films as part of the agreement. For her, the film is “exactly what Nordisk Film is looking for in its Scandinavian slate: strong and engaging films made by the best local talents, with the ability to have a powerful international impact.”

BRF has several other scripted projects - both in Swedish and English language - set to make a splash on the international market. 

On the Swedish documentary side, after last year’s Cannes Classics selected Bergman-A Year in a Life by Jane Magnusson and Sundance 2019 world documentary entry The Man Who Played with Fire by Henrik Georgsson, BRF is preparing two other docu biopics for SVT: 

  • Greta vs Climate directed by Nathan Grossman will feature teenage climate change and school striker activist Greta Thunberg. “we’re extremely excited about this project; we’ve followed Greta from the very beginning of her activism,” stresses Pelle Nilsson. Producer Heining says he’s just starting to put the financing together. The project which received support from the Swedish Film Institute, was one of the hottest pitched at CPH:DOX Forum 2019.  
  • Hasse & Tage-med humorn som vapen by Jane Magnusson will feature the Swedish comic legends Hans Alfredson and Tage Danielsson. The film will premiere in the fall and a TV version will follow .  

BRF’s other production focus initiated last year with Alicia Vikander’s co-produced Euphoria, is English language fare. 

The English-language psycho horror film Midsommar directed by Hereditary’s Ari Aster, was produced by BRF's Patrik Andersson with US partner  A24. The New-York based indie studio (Moonlight, Ladybird) will release the film in the US on July 3. Nordisk Film will handle the Swedish release on July 10. 

Nilsson told nordicfilmandtvnews.com that another English language project will soon be announced. “A big part of our business is the international. Our uniqueness, through our L.A. and Stockholm offices, is to have access to a pool of talents, IP from Scandinavia, and to bring the projects to another level of financing and distribution.”

More TV drama
TV Drama is where BRF is now concentrating much of their efforts, to respond to the sustained global demand and opportunities. The sister company to the successful commercials B-Reel creative agency, has wrapped the shooting of the Swedish crime show Before We Die, Season 2 produced for SVT, and preparing a new show for the Swedish pubcaster, the dramedy Swiping (Dejta), remake of the Finnish show Click Me. 

Nilsson says BRF is currently involved in five TV series with Swedish, Nordic and international broadcasters and platforms. “These are exciting times, with so many new players entering the market, looking for high quality content. We want to make TV projects with a local angle for the international market, and Swedish IP’s for an international audience. We’re still in a starting phase and intend to grow in that sector,” states Nilsson.