Zetterlund comes to life in Cannes and in A Lingonberry in a Cocktail biopic
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
21/05/2012 - Swedish-Icelandic singer, songwriter and pianist Edda Magnason (photo) had every reason to belt out when she flew into Cannes to perform Monica Zetterlund classics on the Scandinavian Terrace to promote Nordic Films and New Nordic Food.
She had taken the day off from Swedish regional film centre, Film i Väst, in Trollhättan, where she is currently shooting her first film, Danish director Per Fly's biopic of the legendary Swedish singer-actress, Monica Z - A Lingonberry in a Cocktail; and the Swedish Film Institute had just granted the Lena Rehnberg - StellaNova Film feature €1.3 million production funding.
Scripted by Peter Birro, the film follows Zetterlund from her small town origins to the inner circles of 1960s American jazz - from she quits her job as a telephone operator in Hagfors till she reigns the clubs in Stockholm and New York. Zetterlund, who retired from performing in 1999, suffering from severe sclerosis, recorded 25 mainly jazz albums and played in ten films.
Originally a singer, her 1964 recording with Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, became a classic, and her collaboration with Swedish comedians Hasseåtage led to an actress career on stage and screen. Zetterlund, who won a Guldbagge - Sweden's national film prize - for Best Supporting Actress in Jan Troell's The Emigrants (1971), died in 2005 after a fire in her Stockholm apartment.
"She was a star who was loved by everybody, except herself," said Fly. "Like meatballs and Pippi Longstocking - a part of the Swedish national soul, a symbol of nostalgic Sweden," added Magnason, who stars with Sverrir Gudnason, Kjell Bergqvist, Vera Vitali, Cecilia Ljung, and plays with jazz greats Evans, Ella Fitzgerald and Tommy Flanagan impersonators.
Co-produced by Thomas Gammeltoft, of Denmark's Eyeworks Denmark A/S, the film will be relelased by Svensk Filmindustri in the autumn 2013. The Swedish Film Institute also supported Swedish directors Andreas Öhmann's Bitch Hug (€200,000); Kjell-Åke Andersson's Nobody Owns Me, Stephan Apelgren's Eskil and Trinidad (€1 million for each) and Paul-Anders Simma's Olga (€45,000).