“Cop Secret,” “Margrete – Queen of the North” and “The Emigrants” are among 12 wide-ranging projects set to be presented at a virtual Nordic Film Market, Scandinavia’s biggest industry showcase which runs alongside the Goteborg Film Festival.
“Cop Secret,” directed by Icelandic gaolkeeper turned filmmaker Hannes Þór Halldórsson, is an action comedy following a tough cop who in denial about his sexuality and falls in love with his new partner while investigating a litany of bank robberies. The movie is being produced by Lilja Ósk Snorradóttir at Icelandic banner Pegasus and started shooting in September.
Both “Margrete – Queen of the North” and “The Emigrants” are highly anticipated historical dramas produced by SF Studios and represented in international markets by REinvent.
“Margrete – Queen of the North” is directed by Charlotte Sieling, the acclaimed Danish director of “The Killing” and “The Bridge,” among others. The movie is set in 1402 and stars Trine Dyrholm (“Queen of Hearts”) as Queen Margrete who was ruling Sweden, Norway and Denmark through her adopted son, Erik, and found herself in an impossible dilemma.
“The Emigrants,” meanwhile, is a star-spangled epic drama helmed by Erik Poppe adapting Vilhelm Moberg’s classic saga about the Swedes who emigrated to the U.S. during the mid-19th century. The movie stars Lisa Carlehed, Gustaf Skarsgård, as well as Swedish pop singer Tove and Sofia Helin.
“In spite of the pandemic and the fact that we’ve gone virtual, we received a lot of strong projects from a mix of emerging filmmakers and more confirmed directors, on a par with previous editions” said Cia Edstrom, the head of the Nordic Film Market. Edstrom, who is working closely with Josef Kullengård, the industry event’s producer, pointed out there were also a broad range of projects, from historical dramas to comedies and action movies, submitted.
The eclecticism of the Work in Progress lineup is also illustrated by “Speak No Evil,” a psychological horror film, and “The School Master Games,” an erotic queer drama.
“The School Master Games,” sold by Level K, marks the feature debut of Ylva Forner and was adapted from Kristofer Folkhammar’s novel. It is set at the Saint Sebastian Academy, an all-male school where homosexuality is the norm.
The film is produced by Sofia Ferguson for Northern Fable, and headlines up-and-coming actors, including Christian Arnold (“The House That Jack Built”) and Johan Ehn (“Alena”).
“Speak No Evil,” directed by actor-turned-helmer Christian Tafdrup, follows a Danish family who befriends a Dutch family while on vacation in Toscana. Months later, the Danish couple goes to visit the Dutch for the weekend and find themselves trapped in the Dutch family’s wooden house. The film is sold by TrustNordisk and is produced by Danish outfit Profile Pictures.
Anticipated titles also include Bille August’s “The Pact,” from REinvent, and Peter Næss’s “Nothing to Laugh About,” from TrustNordisk. “The Pact” is a psychological drama about the intense friendship between Karen Blixen, the Danish author best known for her autobiographical novel “Out of Africa,” and Thorkild Bjønvig, a young and promising poet. “Nothing to Laugh About” follows a 40-year-old stand-up comedian who finds out he has cancer and learns to cope with his illness.
Half of the films that will be presented at the Nordic Film Market don’t yet have a sales agent. “Cop Secret” is one of them, along with Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson’s “Wolka,” Inka Achté’s “Golden Land,” Claes Olsson’s “Yellow Sulfur Sky” and Tea Lindenburg’s “The Night of The Dead.”
Meanwhile, the Discovery section will showcase seven projects in development, including six feature debuts.
Anticipated highlights include “Árru,” a musical drama set in the Sami’s herding community, directed by choreographer-turned-helmer Elle Sofe Sara and produced by Mer Film; “Hypnosis,” a reportedly daring drama exploring modern male and female roles, directed by Ernst de Geer and produced by Garage Film; and “Twilight of the Gods,” a film weaving documentary and fiction, directed by Sweden-based French helmer Morgane Dziurla-Petit and produced by Vilda Bomben.
Vilda Bomben is one of the several up-and-coming production companies that launched in Scandinavia in recent years and have projects at the Nordic Film Market, said Edstrom and Kullengård, who also noted that many projects bring together talent from across Scandinavia in front and behind the camera. The pair of executives also said they were pleased to have a roster including 11 titles directed by female helmers, out of a total 21 films.
Other projects included in the Discovery lineup are Tia Kouvo’s “Family Time,” from Aamu Film Company, Mads Hedegaard’s “Stranger” from Motor, Johanna Pyykkö’s “Sverigefinsk” from Verket, Cecilie McNair’s “Baby Pyramid” (a working title), from Nordisk Film, and Andreas Öhman’s “En Dag Kommer Allt Det Här Bli Ditt,” from Grand Slam.
All projects from the Discovery and Work-in-Progress sections will be presented in dynamic webcast sessions and participants will be able to watch them again after the broadcast, said Kullengård. The market will also be facilitating curated one-on-one meetings between the projects and Nordic Film Market delegates, by invitation only.
Market screenings, meanwhile, will kick off on Feb. 4 and will be exclusively available for the accredited participants, ranging from festival programmers, buyers and sales agents.
The Göteborg Film Festival’s industry program, including the Nordic Film Market, will be presented on a digital platform at goteborgfilmfestival.se starting on Jan. 29. The Nordic Film Market is set to run Feb. 4–7.