EXCLUSIVE: Finnish-Danish-Croatian co-pro is currently shooting in Croatia and Denmark.

Arto Halonen

AMBI Distribution has acquired worldwide sales rights (Scandinavia, Iceland and former Yugoslavia) to thriller The Guardian Angel, now shooting.

Writer-director Arto Halonen [pictured] is currently filming the Finnish-Danish-Croatian co-production on location in Croatia and Denmark.

Pilou Asbæk (A War), Josh Lucas (The Lincoln Lawyer), Rade Serbedzija (Downton Abbey) and Cyron Melville (A Royal Affair) lead the cast.

The English-language film is based on the true story of Copenhagen’s Hypnosis Murders of 1951; a police investigation discovers that one man used manipulation and hypnosis to turn another man into a robber and a murderer.

“The story holds great interest for us today, not only as proof of the external power of controlling the human mind but also as it focuses on the visible and invisible manipulations acting upon us and affecting us as human beings,” said Halonen. “Focused on a single, fascinating case of an actual hypnosis crime, The Guardian Angel will use this situation to suggest much deeper issues of how present-day systems use manipulation on all of us – the mass-mind of the modern world.”

Halonen also produces for Finland’s Art Films Production AFP Ltd alongside Timo T Lahtinen of Copenhagen-based Smile Entertainment and Igor A Nola of Croatia’s MP Film Production. AMBI’s Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi will executive produce.

Backers are Finnish private venture capital fund IPR.VC, Finnish Film Foundation, Nordic Film & TV Fond and Croatian Audiovisual Fund.

Iervolino said, “The Guardian Angel, the previously untold story of a fascinating hypnosis crime, is especially relevant today as we shine a spotlight on issues surrounding mass manipulation through technology in the modern world. We are excited to bring Arto Halonen’s compelling vision to audiences which will leave them questioning their environment and outside influences.”

The film will be delivered in 2018.

Halonen’s past films are A Patriotic Man and Princess.