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FUNDING Nordic countries

The Nordisk Film & TV Fond announces its June funding slate

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- The upcoming projects by Zaida Bergroth, Saara Saarela and first-time director Hanna Bergholm are among the recipients of financial support

The Nordisk Film & TV Fond announces its June funding slate
Director Hanna Bergholm, who has received backing for her feature debut, Birds of a Feather

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Nordisk Film & TV Fond would be supporting four feature films (three fictions and one documentary) and one TV series as part of its latest slate of funding. The production grants total NOK 8,650,000 (€883,500).

All three of the fiction features are Finnish. After wrapping her latest film, Maria’s Paradise (see the news), award-winning director Zaida Bergroth (Miami [+see also:
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) is gearing up for another one, the Tove Jansson biopic Tove. She has received NOK 2,100,000 (€214,500) for producers Andrea Reuter and Aleksi Bardy, of Helsinki filmi. The movie follows the life story of the acclaimed author, novelist, painter, illustrator and comic-strip creator, who was fighting for her art to be recognised in post-war Finland. It also tells the lesser-known story of the bisexual love triangle that served as the inspiration for the Moomins series of books, which have been a hit ever since.

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Hanna Bergholm’s debut, Birds of a Feather, will receive a grant of NOK 2 million (€204,000) for producer Mika Ritalahti, of Silva Mysterium. The horror film, which follows the story of a girl who hatches an evil twin out of a bird’s egg, was written by Ilja Rautsi, and Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä and Jani Volanen play the lead roles. According to the schedule, shooting will commence in mid-August, and acclaimed animatronic designer Gustav Hoegen (Ex Machina [+see also:
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, Star Wars, Jurassic World) is handling the special effects. Birds of a Feather is a co-production with Sweden’s Hob Ab and Norway’s Evil Doghouse Productions, and has received support from the Finnish Film Foundation (see the news), the Swedish Film Institute and Yle. The release in Finland and Sweden is handled by Nordisk Film, and Europa Film will deal with the distribution in Norway.

Finally, the latest film by Saara Saarela (Twisted Roots [+see also:
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) is a dystopian drama entitled Memory of Water and has received a grant of NOK 2,050,000 (€209,500) for producer Mark Lwoff, of Bufo. Based on the novel of the same name by Emmi Itäranta and Ilja Rautsi, and adapted for the screen by Rautsi, the film follows a young woman who is fighting to get access to fresh water in a futuristic Scandinavian Union, where the land is parched and everything is under the control of a military government. The shoot will start this autumn in Lapland and will continue in spring 2020, with a release tentatively set for 2021. Along with Bufo, the film is being co-produced by Pandora Film (Germany) and Mer Film (Norway), and is being supported by the Finnish Film Foundation, Yle and NRW. Creative Europe funded its development. The release in Finland will be handled by B-Plan, while for Norway the distribution will be entrusted to Mer Film.

The only documentary film supported in this slate is Denmark’s Journey to Utopia by Erlend Eirik Mo, which will receive NOK 600,000 (€61,300) for Lise Lense-Møller, of Magic Hour Films. With the director serving as the protagonist, the documentary shows how he, his wife and children adapt to a new life cut off from civilisation. The documentary previously won the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award in CPH:FORUM (see the news), and the director spoke about it in our interview. Journey to Utopia is being co-produced with Norway’s Mosaikk Film and Indie Film, and Sweden’s Vilda Bomben Film and Film i Väst, with support from the Danish Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, Sørnorsk Filmsenter, SVT, TV2, NRK and Eurimages. The premiere is slated for next year.

The Norwegian TV series Love Story will receive a total of NOK 1,900,000 (€194,000) from the fund. Directed by Eigill Langmark and Charlotte Sachs Bostrup, and produced by Anne Kolbjørnsen for Anagram Norway, the eight-part series focuses on two couples and their four perspectives on the different aspects of their relationships. The main cast includes Nicolaj Cleve Broch, Agnes Kittelsen, Lærke Winter and Johannes Nymark. Shooting has already started in Denmark, and it is being co-produced with Finland’s Helsinki filmi and supported by the Norwegian Film Institute. Love Story will air this autumn, and the commissioning broadcasters are TV2 Norway and TV2 Denmark, with Finland’s The Yellow Affair handling the international distribution.

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