Exactly one year after the Swedish Film Institute's (SFI) unprecedented decision to withdraw its financial support of $619,000 (SEK5m) for the screen adaptation of 2001 local best seller Popular Music From Vittula (Popularmusik fran Vittula), the production has received a new grant of $866,000 (SEK7m) from the SFI.
The state funding makes up a third of the film's budget. The rest of the financing comes from Solar Films in Hesinki, Nordisk Film and TV Fund in Oslo and Filmpool Nord in the north Sweden, where the story of two young boys in the 1960's takes place.
The new decision from the SFI comes as a great relief for the film's producer Joachim Stridsberg of Happy End Productions. The project has involved a number of internal conflicts in the past two years.
Before the SFI withdrew its funding, following the discovery that some of the application documents for financial support had been falsified, the film's director Geir Hansten Jorgensen had quit the project after a disagreement with the producer.
The new director of the film is Iranian-born Reza Bagher, who made the successful coming-of-age drama Wings of Glass (Vingar Av Glas) in Sweden in 2000.
The producer says that one of the reasons for choosing Bagher was that the combination of Teheran and north Swedish Pajala seemed exciting. Bagher has co-written the script together with Erik Norberg.
Principal photography takes place in Pajala from August 18 to October 20 with some scenes being shot in March 2004. The Swedish premiere is set for August 2004.