Lukas Moodysson's Lilja 4-Ever has been selected as Sweden's entry for the best foreign-language Oscar, despite the film being almost entirely in Russian.
As reported on screendaily.com, Lilja 4-Ever faced the threat of being ineligible as a Swedish submission due to its dialogue being almost entirely in Russian. The Academy stipulates that a film's dialogue must be predominantly in a language of the country of origin. However, the academy makes an exception for "when the story mandates that an additional non-English language be predominant" - and Moodysson's dark story about a Russian girl clearly justifies the use of Russian.
So far, Moodysson's critically-acclaimed follow-up to hit black comedy Together has been seen by almost 250,000 Swedes. The film recently opened in Norway, Finland and Denmark.
International sales are handled by Trust Film, which has sold the film to countries like the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary. Moodysson has been invited to take part in The Guardian Lecture at the London Film Festival next month.
Lilja 4-Ever was produced by Memfis Film in co-production with Zentropa Entertainment, Film i Vast, SVT and Nordisk Film & TV Fund with support from the Swedish and Danish Film Institutes.