Ali Abbasi’s Border is a strong candidate with US distributor Neon already on board, an indie company with marketing flair for edgy films, which propelled I Tonya to the final Oscar round and win for its supporting Actress Allison Janney.

Since its Cannes triumph where it won the Un Certain Regard Prize, Border is a festival favourite. The film just picked up the Critics award in Haugesund and will next screen at Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section. It is also short-listed for the European Film Awards.

Commenting on his selection as Sweden’s Oscar entry, Abaasi said: “I am overwhelmed. I thought it was impossible to come to Cannes, but as the movie just grows and grows and is selected at one festival after another, the Oscars gala does not feel that far away.”

The film based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s eponymous novella, 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. The film 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, and supported among others from Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

The film opens this Friday in Sweden via TriArt. Sales agent Films Boutique has already sold it to key territories including France/Switzerland (Metropolitan Filmexport), Germany/Austria (Wild Bunch) and Japan (Kino Films).

Last year Sweden was nominated with Ruben Östlund’s The Square for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy awards.

Denmark’s final Oscar candidate will be announced on September 20.

Two of the shortlisted films - The Guilty and Winter Brothers are directorial debuts.

The Guilty had a spectacular launch last year at Sundance where it won the World Dramatic top award. The intense single-location thriller, was immediately picked up by US distributor and Oscar habitué Magnolia Pictures, which has lined up an October 19 theatrical release in the US. The film is another hot title with world festivals and audiences, having sold more than 190,000 tickets in France and nearly 140,000 in Denmark. It was produced by Lina Flint of Nordisk Film Spring. TrustNordisk handles world sales.

Winter Brothers by Icelandic born Hlynur Pálmason was just nominated for the 2018 Nordic Council Film Prize. The brothers’ odyssey set in a harsh worker’s environment during a cold winter, has also collected numerous awards since its launch at Locarno 2017, such as the CPH PIX top prize and Best Film at the Danish national Robert awards and Bodil awards.

The film was produced by Julie Waltersdorph Hansen and Per Damgaard Hansen for Masterplan Pictures, in co-production with Iceland’s Join Motion Pictures. New Europe Film Sales handles world sales and has inked several world distribution deals, including with Brooklyn-based arthouse label KimStim for the US.

A Fortunate Man is directed by a very familiar name to the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Bille August, who won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film in 1989 with Pelle the Conqueror. The adaptation of Henrik Pontoppidan’s classic novel Lykke-Per stars Esben Smed as a clergyman's son who seeks happiness in the modern industrialised world. The film produced by Karin Trolle and Thomas Heinesen for Nordisk Film opens this Thursday in Denmark. TrustNordisk handles world sales.