Swedish Film Institute presents first 14 local releases of 2012.

After the worldwide success of the Millennium trilogy, crime is still the prime suspect when international buyers are looking  for new product in the catalogue of new Swedish productions.

”Success breeds success – with the recent focus on Swedish cinema, an increasingly number of Swedish productions are aimed at international audiences,” said head of the foreign department Pia Lundberg, of the Swedish Film Institute. ”More and more Swedish actors, directors and cinematographers are signed by Hollywood, and Swedish movies are in strong demand both at film markets and from festival programmers.”

When the institute presented the first 14 local releases of 2012, Danish director Peter Flinth’s Nobel’s Last Will (Nobels testament) – the first of six drama-thrillers from Swedish author Liza Marklund’s novels, due in Swedish cinemas on March 2 – had already sold more than 30 territories through Zodiak Media, including the US (Malabar Entertainment). Millennium producer Yellow Bird is behind the $15m (SEK 100 million) project of one theatrical-five DVD-TV features with Malin Crépin as criminal reporter Annika Bengtzon.

More civilised crime – espionage – is in demand, too.  Danish director Kathrine Windfeld’s Hamilton-In the Interest of the Nation (Hamilton – i nationens intresse) was domestically launched on Jan 13 to become No 1 on the local charts, from 110,000 admissions. With Mikael Persbrandt in the lead, Pampas Produktion-Swedish TV4’s revival of as Sweden’s most famous secret agent created by Jan Guillou includes another two thrillers, which are all internationally marketed by Sweden’s Svensk Filmindustri International. So far more than ten countries are sold.

Among Swedish non-crime which has caught the foreign eye ahead of local launch is Axel Petersén’s feature debut, Avalon, which will open the Göteborg International Film Festival (Jan 27-Feb 6). Having won the international film critics’ Discovery prize last year in Toronto, Petersén’s ”tender portrait of the first generation of teenagers, born in the 1940s, and now in their 60s” from Idyll has now been selected for the Forum sidebar at the Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 9-19). TrustNordisk handles international sales.

Also on the Berlinale slate is Swedish directors Martin Högdahl and Håkan Bjerking’s kidpic The Ice Dragon (Isdraken) screening in GenerationKplus before the Feb 24 local premiere, while Frederik Gertten’s Big Boys Go Bananas!* - also out on Feb 24 – is currently on show in Sundance. Later on this year’s schedule are Swedish veteran directors Jan Troell’s Truth and Consequence (Dom över en död man) and Lasse Hallström’s The Hypnotist (Hypnotisören), adding Babak Najafi’s Easy Money 2 (Snabba cash 2) and Mikael Marcimain’s Call Girl.