Sweden has selected Levan Akin’s dance drama And Then We Danced as its entry for the best international feature film award for the Oscars.
The film premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in May this year.
Set in the homophobic, gender-conservative dance world in Georgia, it stars Levan Gelbakhiani as Merab, a dancer who falls for his biggest rival in the dance company, charismatic newcomer Irakli, played by Bachi Valishvili.
The film played in competition at the Sarajevo Film Festival last week, with Gelbakhiani winning the event’s best actor prize.
It is Akin’s third feature, after 2012’s Certain People and 2015’s Berlinale title The Circle.
And Then We Danced is a Swedish-French-Georgian co-production, produced by Mathilde Dedye for French Quarter Film and Ketie Danelia for Takes Film.
Totem Films is handling international sales on the title, with Music Box taking the rights for North America.
The film will be released in Swedish cinemas by TriArt Film on September 13.
It was selected by the eight-person Swedish Oscar committee from a shortlist of three that also included ella Kågerman and Hugo Liljas’s Aniara and Mikael Håfström’s The Perfect Patient (Quick).
Sweden is one of the most prolific countries in the history of the recently renamed best international feature award, with only France, Italy, Spain and Japan having submitted more times.
From 58 submissions, it has 16 nominations and three wins, although the most recent of these was for Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny And Alexander in 1983. Bergman also won the country’s other two prizes, for The Virgin Spring in 1961 and Through A Glass Darkly in 1962, making him one of only two directors to have won the award in consecutive years, after Italy’s Federico Fellini in 1957 and 1958.
The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on February 9, 2020.