Filmmakers pitching include Iram Haq [pictured], who just completed I Am Yours and is now working on The Way Back; and Concerning Violence producer Annika Rogell with My Skinny Sister.
Gothenburg’s Nordic Film Market hosted 10 pitches this morning from the participants of the year-long Nordic Film Lab. The culmination of a year in the Lab leads to the presentations today. The Lab has existed since 2008 and intends to support talented filmmakers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden who are “at the starting point of their careers.”
Today’s projects presented are:
Bobbi Jene Smith – Is It An Avalanche Or A Parade?
Julie Leerskov, producer
Elvira Lind, director
Documentary about a 30-year-old dancer In Tel Aviv embarking on a new phase in her career. Lind says the film celebrates “female strength.”
Lake Over Fire (Norway)
Joern Utkilen, director
A film, with actors playing fictionalized versions of themselves, about Norwegian cult musician Arvid Sletta. With funding by the Norwegian Film Institute for the Norwegian-born, Scotland-based director. Utkilen says: “I have conversations with actors about their lives…and then I go away and start writing a script based on these conversations.” He writes in 8 parts.
The Way Back (Norway)
Iram Haq, writer/director
A film about Sima, an ordinary Norwegian teenager who lives a traditional Pakistani family life at home; after a misunderstood kiss, her family kidnaps her and take her to Pakistan. “It’s a personal story, it’s a true story to me,” she says. “I have been waiting 15 years to tell this.” She is writing the treatment now. Her new film I Am Yours premieres in Gothenburg this week.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen, writer/director
Animated documentary Flee is in the early stages of development, and he has had treatment funding from the Danish Film Institute. “A personal story about one of my best friends,” the director says. Amin fled Afghanistan at the age of 11 and lived as an illegal immigrant across Europe before coming to a tiny Danish village. “I want to tell a story about why people flee…that [immigrants] aren’t just in Denmark to annoy us.” Acclaimed production company Final Cut For Real (The Act of Killing) is on board.
The Charmer (Denmark)
Milad Alami, director
The Iran-born director grew up in Sweden and graduated from the National Film School Of Denmark. The Charmer is a story of a thirtysomething Iranian man in Denmark who destroys lives by charming women and taking their money. Then he falls for one woman’s daughter while another victim’s husband sets out for revenge. In early script development.
Elisabeth Kvithyll, producer
“This film is first and foremost about running…which can be a gateway to a trance state of mind,” says Kvithyll. A fictional film about Grete Waitz, one of the greatest female marathon runners. “She’s the ordinary who does the extraordinary,” she adds. “The drama comes from the complex relationship with husband/trainer.” No director or writer is attached yet.
Travellers (working title) (Norway)
Thomas Wangsmo, writer/director
The director of Into The Dark returns with a 1950-set story about how Norway’s government tried to push out the traveller way of life by placing traveller children and putting them in foster homes. Based on a true story, this is about a young couple giving birth to their first child near the Swedish border. “I want to find more stories and fit them together in the script,” he says. No producer is on board yet.
Hunting Flies (Norway)
Izer Aliu, director
A teacher loses his job and locks his students inside the classroom to solve a generation-long conflict between their villages. Of the project, which is now in post, Aliu says: “We did it with no budget at all, I shot it on a 12-page synposis…but it was a great experience.”
My Skinny Sister (working title) (Sweden)
Annika Rogell, producer
The producer of The Black Power Mixtape and Concerning Violence moves into fiction with this story of young girl whose big sister, an ice skater, suffers from anorexia. “10 percent of all women in Sweden have had an eating disorder but there are not enough films about this,” Rogell says. “At the end it’s life affirming.” The German-Swedish co-production has production financing.
Wolf and Sheep (Denmark)
Katja Adomeit, director/producer
Shahrbanoo Sadat, director
A Screen International Future Leader of 2013, Adomeit (Pine Ridge, The Weight of Elephants) presents a project by Kabul-based director Shahrbanoon Sadat, about an 11-year-old Afghani shepardess who has an eyesight problem. The budget is Euros 800,000 and Adomeit is financing now as a Danish-Norwegian-Dutch-Afghani production. It has received backing from Doha Film Institute and Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund. Sadat charmingly joined Gothenburg’s pitching via Skype from Kabul to talk about the documentary-inspired fictional project.