The Swedish Film Institute has announced the first four films in the Rookie project, instigated last year with Swedish Television (SVT) and regional film centre, Film i Väst, to invigorate Swedish film.

Set up as one of the institute's counter-measures to meet declining admission figures for domestic cinema, the project should support first, eventually second-time directors with a personal voice and the urge to reach audiences through alternative, cheaper, quicker, simpler productions with a strong drive where something really is at stake.

Two of the low-budget features are in post-production, including Petra Revenue's The Karaoke King, from Martin Persson-Anagram Produktion, and Johan Jonason's Guidance, from Mimmi Spång and Rebecka Lafrenz-Garagefilm. They will both be premiered at the upcoming Gothenburg International Film Festival in Jan-Feb 2009.

Shooting has also been completed for Johan Storm and Johan Lundborg's Isolated, from Anita Oxburgh-Migma Films, while Håkan Lius' Miss Kicki - produced by Lizette Jonjic for Migma Film - has started principal photography in Taiwan. They are both set for later 2009 launches. All four films are feature debuts.

280 young directors have so far applied for support from the $4.3m (Eu3.4m) Rookie budget. The fifth project is yet to be decided, according to project manager Andrea Östlund, based at Film i Väst in Trollhättan. A female film-maker should be favoured, to match the Swedish 60-40 equality principle.