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‘Borg/McEnroe,’ ‘The Square,’ ‘Darling’ Set For Goteborg’s Industry Days

Variety logo Variety 1/26/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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Janus Metz Pederson (“Armadillo”)’s “Borg vs McEnroe” with Shia LaBeouf, and Ruben Ostlund’s “The Square” with Elisabeth Moss are among the most anticipated Scandinavian work-in-progress titles set for the Nordic Film Market hosted during Goteborg Film Festival’s industry days.

Both films are part of the 18 work-in-progress features selected by Cia Edström, Goteborg’s head of industry, and her team.

“Borg vs McEnroe” stars up-and-comer Sverrir Gudnason (“Monica Z”) as Swedish player Bjorn Borg and LaBeouf as John McEnroe. The film chronicles the 1980 Wimbledon final and sheds light on the two tennis stars’ complex relationship and rivalry.Tre Vanner and SF Studios are producing, while Svensk handles international sales.

“The Square,” meanwhile, is a satirical film turning on the creative director of a museum who is desperate to build some buzz around an upcoming exhibition and decides to hire a PR agency which has no boundaries. The film is produced by Plattform Produktion. The Coproduction Office is co-financing and handling international sales.

“The Square” marks Ruben Östlund’s follow-up to “Force Majeure,” which won the Jury prize at Cannes’s Un Certain Regard, along with 16 more film awards, and has sold more than one million tickets worldwide.

The sidebar is boasting a flurry of promising feature debuts, notably Milad Alami’s “The Charmer,” Gustav Möller’s “The Guilty” and “Lake Over Fire.”

“Lake Over Fire” is directed by Joern Utkilen whose 1999 short “Who’s My Favourite Girl?” and “Asylum” was nominated for an Amanda award (Norway’s equivalent to the Oscars). Utkilen was recently celebrated at the London International Short Film Festival with a retrospective of his work. A surreal comedic tale, “Lake Over Fire” is set in a remote village which becomes lawless and chaotic after all its inhabitants becomes wealthy thanks to a nearby mine.

“The Charmer,” a psychological thriller about a young Iranian man looking for a woman who can secure his stay in Denmark, is the feature debut of Alami, whose short “Void” competed at Directors’ Fortnight.

Meanwhile, “The Guilty” is a high-concept thriller about a former police officer who sets off to save a woman who has been kidnapped and realizes that he is dealing with a crime which is far bigger than he anticipated.

Work-in-progress titles from more established directors include “The Real Estate.”

Produced by Flybridge AB, “The Real Estate,” which was presented at Les Arcs’s Coproduction Village (in the work-in-progression section) last month, is directed by Swedish helmers Måns Månsson and Axel Petersén. Månsson’s latest film “Yard” played at Berlin and Petersén’s “Avalon” won Toronto’s Fipresci award. The film turns on a famous actress who becomes a gambler and a real estate queen, leading to her downfall.

Other high-profile, bigger-budgeted work-in-progress include “The Ash Lad: In The Hall of The Mountain King” by Mikkel Brænne Sandemose and “Darling” by Birgitte Stærmose.

Sandemose’s latest film, “Ragnarok,” a family action adventure based on Viking mythology, was a box office success in Norway. Produced by Maipo Film, “The Ash Lad” turns on Espen, a poor farmer’s son who sets off to save a princess in order to collect a reward and save his family’s farm from ruin.

Penned by Kim Fupz Aakeson (“Perfect Sense”), “Darling” is set in the world of Danish Royal Ballet and charts the rise and fall of a famed Danish ballerina. Stærmose made her feature debut with “Room 304” which premiered at Karlovy Vary and she penned episodes of the popular Danish TV show “Norskov.”

Goteborg’s industry days run Feb. 2-5.

Works in Progress (Title, director; producer; country)

“A Horrible Woman,” (Christian Tafdrup, Marta Mieczek; Denmark)

“All in,” (Christian Dyekjær, Maja Dyekjær; Denmark)

“The Charmer,” (Milad Alami, Stinna Lassen; Denmark)

“The Guilty,” (Gustav Möller, Lina Flint; Denmark)

“Darling,” (Birgitte Stærmose, Maria Gade;Denmark)

“Miami,” (Zaida Bergroth, Miia Haavisto; Annika Sucksdorff; Finland)

“The Eternal Road,” (AJ Annila, Ilkka Matila; Finland)

“The Unknown Soldier,” (Aku Louhimies, Mikko Tenhunen; Aku Louhimies, Finland)

“Alma,” (Kristín Jóhannesdóttir, Gudrun Edda Thórhannesdóttir; Iceland)

“The Swan,” (Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótter,Birgitta Björnsdóttir, Hlín Jóhannesdóttir; Iceland)

“Lake Over Fire,” (Joern Utkilen, Ruben Thorkildsen; Norway)

“The Ash Lad: in the Hall of the Mountain King,” (Mikkel Sandemose, Åshild Ramborg, Synnøve Hørsdal; Norway)

“The Outlaws,” (Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, Åsmund Kjos Fjell; Norway)

“Becker – The King of Tingsryd,” (Martin Larsson, Erik Magnusson; Sweden)

“Borg vs. Mcenroe,” (Janus Metz, Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, Jon Nohrstedt, Sweden)

“Jimmie,” (Jesper Ganslant, Juan Pablo Libossart; Sweden)

“The Real Estate,” (Måns Månsson, Axel Petersén; Måns Månsson, Sigrid Helleday; Sweden)

“The Square,” (Ruben Östlund; Erik Hemmendorff, Philippe Bober, Sweden)

Finished Feature Films

“Darkland,” (Fenar Ahmad, Jacob Jarek, Denmark)

“Letters for Amina,” (Jacob Bitsch, Birgitte Skov, Denmark)

“The Man,” (Charlotte Sieling, Lars Bredo Rahbek, Denmark)

“While We Live,” (Mehdi Avaz, Milad Avaz, Denmark)

“Law of the Land,” (Jussi Hiltunen; Kai Nordberg, Kaarle Aho, Finland)

“Star Boys,” (Visa Koiso-Kanttila; Niko Ritalahti, Mika Ritalahti, Finland)

“Tom of Finland,” (Dome Karukoski; Aleksi Bardy, Miia Haavisto, Annika Sucksdorff, Finland)

“Cruelty,” (Anton Sigurðsson; Haraldur Bender, Arnar B. Kristjánsson, Jóhann E. Björnsson Iceland)

“Rift,” (Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen, Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen, Baldvin Kári, Búi Baldvinsson, Iceland)

“Børning 2 – On Ice,” (Hallvard Bræin, John M Jacobsen, Marcus Brodersen, Norway)

“Handle With Care,” (Arild Andresen, Hans-Jørgen Osnes, Norway)

“Karenina & I,” (Tommaso Mottola, Gørild Mauseth, Norway)

“Kings Bay,” (Stig Svendsen John M. Jacobsen, Marcus Brodersen, Norway)

“The King’s Choice,” (Erik Poppe, Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae, Norway)

“A Hustler’s Diary,” (Ivica Zubak, Abbe Hassan, Sweden)

“Beyond Dreams,” (Rojda Sekersöz, Annika Hellström, Agneta Fagerström-Olsson Sweden)

“The Ex-Wife,” (Katja Wik, Marie Kjellson, Sweden)

“Citizen Schein,” (Maud Nycander, Jannike Åhlund, Kersti Grunditz Brennan; Rebecka Hamberger, Sweden)

Nordic Film Lab Discovery

“War, What if,” (Puk Grasten, Regner Grasten; Denmark)

“The Comet,” (Den Norske Filmskolen, Magnus Kristiansen; Norway)

“Jessica,” (Ninja Thyberg, Erik Hemmendorff; Sweden)

“Till Drömmarnas Land,” (Victor Lindgren, Therese Högberg; Sweden)

“The Waleed Ahmed Story,” (Emil Trier, Natalya Sarch; Norway)

“The Charmer,” (Milad Alami, Stinna Lassen; Denmark)

“The Distant Barking Of Dogs,” (Simon Lereng Wilmont, Monica Hellström; Denmark)

“The Holy Spider,” (Ali Abbasi, Jonas Wagner; Denmark)

“Psychosis In Stockholm,” (Maria Bäck, prod Anna Maria Kantarius; Sweden)

“The Chauffeur,” (Mistre Tesfaye, Arvin Kananian; Sweden)

“Shield,” (Ellen Fiske, Tomas Smulkis; Swedem, Lithuania, Denmark)

“Boys On A Train,” (Petri Lukkainen, Thomas Daneskov, Kirstine Barfod, Denmark, Finland)

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