Co-founder and ceo Peter Possne, who earlier this year (Aug 10) scheduled Jan 1, 2008, as the date of his resignation, will be head of the new Sonet Film, a production entity within SF with an annual outlet of 'two to three high-quality feature films with a big box-office potential.'
The transaction, of undisclosed financial terms, will 'give rise to a non-recurring preliminary net loss of about $5.4m (Eu3.7m), as well as the writing down of rights' to MTG, according to president-ceo Hans-Holgerr Albrecht.
Originally set up in 1984 to import and distribute European films, Sonet Film has increasingly focused on Swedish cinema, both as a producer and distributor. Possne backed Kay Pollak's As It Is in Heaven, the most popular local feature in 15 years, selling 1.4 million tickets domestically.
At the same time the company has participated in international productions, such as US director David S Goyer's The Invisible (Spyglass Entertainment-Hollywood Pictures/2007), where Possne was executive producer.
'Sonet Film and Possne have shown an extraordinary capability to tie up exciting projects and talents, generating a number of successes in Swedish cinema. The deal will further strengthen our involvement in Swedish production,' said SF president Rasmus Ramstad.
Possne will operate independently from SF's production department, currently occupied with the Arn-The Knight Templar project, as well as an animated feature and two co-productions with Sweetwater and GF Studios.
'It is a dream coming true, and very encouraging indeed that SF gives me the go-ahead to launch a 'new' Sonet Film which I believe will become a dynamic force within the Swedish film community,' added Possne, also looking forward to be part of SF's 'strong distribution line'.
Projects in development for Sonet Film include a sequel to the 1996 local blockbuster, The Hunters; a screen adaption of Kerstin Thorwall's 1993 novel, To Shoot Workers; and a new film by As It Is in Heaven director Pollak.
Besides Swedish titles SF is participating in 25 Scandinavian feature films through its subsidiaries in Norway, Denmark and Finland. Annual revenues from production and distribution in the Nordic region exceed $300m (Eu205m). MTG's Albrecht concluded that 'the sale of Sonet Film is in line with the ongoing focus on our core broadcasting operations. It also reflects the the current consolidation in the Nordic production and distribution industry.'