Sweat, Pleasure, Flee, Another Round selected for Cannes

4 JUNE 2020

Pleasure, Sofia Kappel / PHOTO: Plattform Produktion

The Swedish film Pleasure by rising talent Ninja Thyberg and Danish animated doc Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen were both supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

The two films as well as Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round (Denmark) and Magnus von Horn’s Sweat (Poland/Sweden) are among 56 international films picked by artistic director Thierry Frémaux and his selection committee for the Cannes Film Festival’s 2020 official selection.

During yesterday’s announcement in Paris, Frémaux and the festival’s president Pierre Lescure, explained that the Cannes stamp of approval attached to the selected films is meant to boost their global festival and cinema careers.

The festival was not able to unfold in its usual shape and scheduled dates (May 12-23, 2020) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but “never did we tell each other that the festival would be cancelled,” underlined Lescure. 

In an extraordinary year without competition or sidebar, the artistic director said that the films were “lined up democratically”, to let each person select his or her Palme d’or. 

By delaying the Cannes submission deadline to late spring, the selection committee was able to add more films, and a record 2,067 films (1,945 in 2019) were submitted.

The artistic director also underlined in a detailed written statement about the selection, the festival’s geographical expansion, with films originating from 147 countries (138 in 2019), while female directors - although on the rise in recent years - still account for only 28.5% of the entire official selection (23.7% in 2019). 

An important sign for the future of filmmaking, is the high number of first features (15 against 10 in 2019).

Formerly titled Jessica, Pleasure is among 15 directorial debuts and the breakthrough film of a strong Swedish female voice to watch out for: Ninja Thyberg.

“The film is ultra-contemporary, disturbing and powerful,” said Frémaux.  Set in the American porn industry, the drama, centres on Bella, a young and ambitious 20-year-old who travels from Sweden to Los Angeles to become the next porn star.

In a previous interview with nordicfilmandtvnews.com (CLICK HERE),Thyberg who studied gender studies before graduating from Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2015, said she “used the porn industry as a backdrop to show women in a patriarchal society". 


Sweat, Pleasure, Flee, Another Round selected for Cannes

Pleasure / PHOTO: Plattform

The feature length film is an extension of her short film of the same name which won the Canal+ Award at the Cannes’ Critics' Week in 2013.

Pleasure is produced by Erik Hemmendorff of Plattform Produktion, a Cannes habitué who last attended the festival in 2017 with Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’or winning film The Square. "Attending Cannes with Ninja Thyberg was always our goal,” told Hemmendorff to nordicfilmandtvnews.com. "It’s very sad that the festival won’t be staged normally, but the selection is an amazing opportunity to put Ninja in the spotlight and for our sales agent Versatile and global distributors to use the Cannes brand as valuable promotional tool," he said.

Pleasure was pre-sold to several territories including Germany/Austria (Weltkino), Switzerland (Xenic), Canada (MK2/Mile End) and South Korea (KTH).

The film was co-produced with Lemming Film in the Netherlands, Logical Pictures in France, Film i Väst, SVT, support from the Swedish Film Institute among others. SF Studios will release it in Swedish cinemas early 2021.

The film by Danish/French director Jonas Poher Rasmussen is among four animated films in the Cannes selection.

The director’s feature film debut Searching for Bill (2012) won the Nordic Dox Award at CPH:DOX.

The innovative animated doc is based on a true story. Amin arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Denmark from Afghanistan. Today aged 36, he is a successful academic, soon to be married to his long-time boyfriend. But a secret he has been hiding for over 20 years threatens to ruin his life. For the first time he is sharing his story with his close friend.


Sweat, Pleasure, Flee, Another Round selected for Cannes

Flee / PHOTO: Final Cut For Real

The film was produced by Denmark’s long established Final Cut for Real with Sun Creature, in co-production with Vivement Lundi! in France, Mostfilms in Sweden, Mer Film in Norway, ARTE France and VPRO in The Netherlands, with co-financing among others from DR, SVT, Yle.

Speaking to us on Wednesday evening while celebrating Flee’s Cannes selection in a restaurant, Final Cut for Real’s producer Monica Hellström said: “It is a huge privilege for us all, all the more significant due to the fact that Jonas is half French and so many co-financiers are French. It is an acknowledgement of the film’s artistic quality and the Cannes label is a great start for the film’s international career. We’re so happy!” she said.

The film is handled worldwide by Cinephil. No release date in Denmark has yet been set.

Another Round (Druk)
The drama by Thomas Vinterberg is among 14 titles from Cannes ‘faithful’ directors. It marks the director’s third entry in official selection after his breakthrough Dogme 95 film The Celebration, awarded in 1998 the festival’s Jury Prize and The Hunt, which collected three prizes in 2012 including Best Actor for Mads Mikkelsen.

In his new film, the director has teamed up again with a large part of The Hunt’s creative team including co-writer Tobias Lindholm and actors Mikkelsen, Lars Ranthe, Thomas Bo Larsen, playing the title roles next to Magnus Millang.

Another Round follows a group of high school teachers who embark on an experiment to uphold a constant level of intoxication throughout the working day.


Sweat, Pleasure, Flee, Another Round selected for Cannes

Another Round, Druk, Mads Mikkelsen / PHOTO: Henrik Ohsten

Zentropa producers Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Kasper Dissing said: “Thomas, Zentropa and Cannes have a long-shared history and we are delighted to be part of Cannes once again. It feels right for the film which will have its local premiere in the fall [September 24, Nordisk Film]. Cannes is Cannes regardless,” they commented.

The film was produced by Zentropa Entertainments3 in co-production with Film i Väst, Zentropa Sweden, Topkapi Films and Zentropa Netherlands, with support among others from the Danish Film Institute, TV 2 Denmark, the Swedish Film Institute.

TrustNordisk has pre-sold the title to more than 20 territories including France (Haut et Court), UK/Ireland (StudioCanal), Canada (Mongrel Media), Germany/Austria/Liechtenstein (Weltkino), Benelux (September Films), Russia (Capella Film), Switzerland (Pathé Film), Hungary (Vertigo Media) and Greece (Rosebud).

The film by Swedish writer/director Magnus von Horn is among 14 selected works from newcomers.

“The Cannes selection for Sweat is big honour and natural step for Magnus, whose debut feature The Here After was presented at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2015” said Jan Naszewski, CEO of New Europe Film Sales who handles global sales.

Horn’s sophomore feature recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zając (Magdalena Koleśnik), whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity, but she still longs for true intimacy.


Sweat, Pleasure, Flee, Another Round selected for Cannes

Sweat / PHOTO: Lava Films

The film was produced by Poland’s Lava Films in co-production with Zentropa Sweden, Film i Väst and support among others from the Swedish Film Institute. The domestic release will be handled by TriArt.