Sweden namedMikael Haafstroem's highly anticipated Evil (Ondskan) its submission for this year's foreignlanguage Oscar yesterday, the weekend after it opened in Sweden with a dazzling108,000 admissions (SKR1.1m) on 95 prints.
The gross wasdouble the take of the second film on the chart Pirates Of The Caribbean, reflecting the fact that the novel onwhich it is based is the most widely read Swedish novel in the last 20 years.
MeanwhileFinland has entered Klaus Haro's directorial debut Elina its entry into the Oscar race andIceland has predictably gone for Dagur Kari's Noi Albinoi which will be distributed in the US byPalm Pictures.
Evil, which isdistributed by Columbia TriStar Films, had its world premiere at the TorontoInternational Film Festival and picked up its first international awards overthe weekend in Viareggio, Italy, in the shape of the FIPRESCI award and a bestactor prize for newcomer Andreas Wilson.
More than two million Swedes have read Jan Guillou'sautobiographical novel since 1981, so expectations were high - too highaccording to some critics. Reviews were mixed, although lead actor Wilson wasunanimously praised for his portrayal of a teenager growing up in the 1950swith an abusive stepfather and serious attitude problems, who faces morerepression and cruelty at a private boarding school.
Veteran producerHans Loennerheden produced for his Moviola Film & TV and the directorco-wrote the script with Hans Gunnarson.
The Finnishchoice of Elina wassomething of a surprise not only because it's a children's film but alsobecause it is a Finland/Sweden co-production into which the Swedish side investedmore than Finland. It won a Crystal Bear at Berlin, a Golden Moon at Valenciaand jury awards in Toronto and Montreal.