Ali Abbasi's drama Border, a new Ingmar Bergman documentary by Jane Magnusson, and The Seventh Seal in glorious 4K are some of the highlights at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Here is your guide to all the Swedish films and events at the festival, which starts today.
Ali Abbasi’s Swedish feature film debut Border (pictured above) will be shown in Un Certain Regard. Based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, bestselling author of the acclaimed novel and later film Let the Right One In, Border is a drama about customs officer Tina who is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. The film stars Eva Melander, who received a Swedish Guldbagge award for her performance in Flocking (2016). Ali Abbasi describes his directorial style as a Nordic form of magical realism. His first feature, Danish horror film Shelley, was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 2016.
Bergman – A Year in a Life
The centenary of Ingmar Bergman will be celebrated at the festival, with two major Swedish contributions. Jane Magnusson’s documentary Bergman - A Year in a Life will have its world premiere in Cannes Classics. Focusing on the year 1957, considered to be Ingmar Bergman’s most productive and intense year, Bergman - A Year in a Life is a full portrait of the filmmaker. It shows how Bergman’s art was formed by his private life and experiences, told through interviews and never before seen archival material. Jane Magnusson (pictured above) is a director and journalist known for the documentary Ebbe – The Movie: The Man, the Myth, the Affair (2009) which received a Swedish Guldbagge for Best Documentary and Bergman’s Video (2013) where some of the world’s most famous film creators participated, among many others Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, Martin Scorsese and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
The Seventh Seal
Joining the Bergman centenary festivities, the Swedish Film Institute’s digital restoration of The Seventh Seal in 4K will also be screened in Cannes Classics. Bergman received the Cannes Jury prize for The Seventh Seal (together with Andrzej Wajdas Kanal) in 1957, where it was also nominated for the Palme d’Or. It is considered to be a classic of world cinema, as well as one of the greatest movies of all time. It established Bergman as a world-renowned director, containing scenes which have become iconic. The process has been led by Lars Karlsson, head of digital restoration and preservation at the Swedish Film Institute.
Take Two: Next moves for #MeToo
For the third consecutive year the Swedish Film Institute will arrange an event about equality in the film industry. This year’s event Take Two: Next moves for #MeToo will discuss how to move forward against sexual harassment and abuse, focusing on concrete measures for the future. Sweden’s minister of Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke, French minister of Culture Francoise Nyssen along with Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, will head this event which is presented by the Cannes Film Festival. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Stacy L. Smith, professor at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism who will talk about useful tools for equality, among them the ”Inclusion Rider”. The event will also feature Swedish actors Eva Röse and Bahar Pars, French filmmaker Julie Bertuccelli, Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto Film Festival, and director and screenwriter Aida Begić. The event will be moderated by Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women and Hollywood.
Producer on the Move: David Herdies
The Swedish Film Institute and EFP (European Film Promotion) have chosen David Herdies (pictured above) to represent Sweden in this year's Producers on the Move, where 20 of Europe’s most interesting and talked-about producers are invited to participate in a range of workshops and seminars to network and exchange ideas. David Herdies is the managing director at Momento Film, a Stockholm-based independent platform for new talent. He is the producer behind a number of acclaimed shorts and documentaries such as Madre by Simón Mesa Soto which premiered in the official short film competition in Cannes 2016, and feature documentary Ouaga Girls (2017) directed by Theresa Traoré Dahlberg. David Herdies was also the co-producer of Tinatin Kajrishvili's Horizon which was shown at the 2018 Berlinale Panorama.
Swedish co-productions screened in Cannes
Multiple Cannes winner Lars von Trier is back at the festival withThe House that Jack Built (DK/SE/DE/FR) which will be screened Out of Competition. Starring Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman, this serial killer drama is a co-production with Zentropa Sweden and Film i Väst as the Swedish participants and with financial support from the Swedish Film Institute, film commissioner Suzanne Glansborg.
The Wild Pear Tree (TR/FR/SE) by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan (who received the Palme d’Or for Winter Sleep in 2014) will be screened in the Official Competition. Film i Väst and Chimney are the Swedish co-producers.
Fugue (PL/CZ/SE) by polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska will be shown in the International Critics’ Week section. Swedish co-producers are Common Grounds and Film i Väst.
More notable Swedish connections
This year's Cannes Classics will also feature the documentary Searching for Ingmar Bergman, where legendary German director Margarethe von Trotta follows the filmmaker’s footsteps as well as her own past and questions the new generation about the place left by the Swedish master. Many of Bergman's Swedish collaborators as well as current filmmakers are interviewed in the film, among them Ruben Östlund (winner of last year’s Palme d’Or for The Square), Gunnel Lindblom, Liv Ullmann and Stig Björkman.
Actress Evin Ahmad, nominated for the Guldbagge award for her breakthrough performance in Beyond Dreams (2017) is starring in French filmmaker Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun screened in the Official Competition.
And finally, Stellan Skarsgård stars in Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote which will be closing the festival.
The Cannes Film Festival takes place between 8 and 19 May.
Press contacts for the Swedish Film Institute in Cannes:
The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897. Read on: filminstitutet.se | guldbaggen.se | svenskfilmdatabas.se
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