Although producers throughout the Nordic region are stillstruggling with their various unresolved issues of government funding, thereseems to be no shortage of new talent -or producers willing to back their feature debuts.

In Sweden, there are signs that the continued emergence offirst-time feature directors (as well as more box-office success), might helploosen the knot tied in the negotiations over the next film agreement.

Among the most anticipated are two films currently inpost-production, Daniel Espinosa's TheBabylon Disease, which looks at the world through the eyes of a thirteenyear-old girl in Stockholm; and Tova Magnusson-Norling's Miss Sweden about a 19 year old girl, who tries to get everythingright in life, but falls in love with the wrong boys.

Both films promise, as with this year's surprise hit, The Ketchup Effect, from newcomer TeresaFabik, to follow in the realistic vain of Lukas Moodysson's debut Fucking Amal.

Finally resolving the issue of why so few women have beenmaking films in Sweden in recent years, in addition to Tova Magnusson-Norling,three female directors: Maria Essen (TheWorld's Best Daddy), Maria Blom (Masjavlar)and Kristina Humle (Untitled) arecurrently shooting their first features.

In Iceland, the drawn-out restructuring of the government'sfilm funding body, the Icelandic Film Centre, left a gap in local production.But now, both newcomers and veterans are gearing up to start production again.

Among the veterans are Ari Kristinsson, Agust Gudmundssonand Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, while the newcomers include writer-director ArniOli Asgeirsson, who is readying his feature debut Ordinary Life for Snorri Thorisson's Pegasus Pictures, and SiljaHauksdottir, who's Bridget Jones-likeDis is in the final stages of post-productionand should be released locally this summer.

Despite the fact that the Danish Film Institute's talentdevelopment fund has yet to back any new projects, (to the dismay of the localindustry), a number of filmmakers are nevertheless getting their first shot atdirecting features.

Among these are Martin Strange-Hansen, who won the Baby(student film) Oscar for his graduation film and a real Oscar for his firstshort. He is in pre-production with TrueSpirit, a comedy drama about a man who makes a living from other people'sbelief in ghosts, but doesn't believe in them himself until he is proven wrong.

Another graduate from the National Film School of Denmark,Laurits Munch-Petersen, who has also just won a Baby Oscar, is inpre-production with The Ambulance forNordisk Film. It is a drama about two brothers who rob a bank and on the runfrom the police, end up in an ambulance with a patient with a criticalcondition.

One project in post-production, which has already generateda buzz, is Nikolaj Arcel's feature directing debut Kings' Game, a political thriller produced by Nimbus Film. Arcelpreviously co-wrote Catch That Girl,which was remade in the US as Catch ThatKid.

Last year, Norway saw an unprecedented number offirst-timers turn out popular and successful films including Buddy, United and Dark Woods.

This year, however, sees experienced filmmakers like ErikSkjoldbjaerg and Paal Sletaune make their first local films in years.

But there is also room for interesting new talents. Theseinclude Sara Johnsen's drama-thriller Victoria'sSecret, Tore Rygh's musical This IsThe Song You Need and Annette Sjursen's MyJealous Barber as well as actor turned director Aksel Hennie's highlyanticipated tough drama Uno.

For full Nordic production listings, click HERE