Ali Abbasi's first Swedish feature film Border has been selected for the prestigious category Un Certain Regard at this year’s edition of the Cannes film festival. The film is based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of the acclaimed novel and later film Let the Right One In.
Ali Abbasi was born in Teheran and educated at the National Film School of Denmark. His first feature, Danish horror film Shelley (2018), was screened at the Berlin Film Festival.
John Ajvide Lindqvist's most famous novel Let The Right One In was successfully adapted into a Swedish film by Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and later the remake in the US as Let Me In, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Chloë Grace Moretz.
Border is about customs officer Tina who is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It’s as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can’t identify. Even worse, she feels a strange attraction to him. As Tina develops a special bond with Vore and discovers his true identity, she also realizes the truth about herself. Tina, like Vore, does not belong to this world. Her entire existence has been one big lie and now she has to choose: keep living the lie or embrace Vore’s terrifying revelations.
– It’s a film about finding your place in the world, not knowing who you are or where you belong. You might also see it as a story about how the Western world treats people who deviate from the norm, so there is a political element to it. In Border ancient natural mysticism is mixed with everyday life and it’s the clash between those two elements that is the film’s universe, just like in Let the Right One In. I would describe my style as a Nordic form of magical realism, says director Ali Abbasi.
The main character of Tina is played by Eva Melander, who received a Swedish Guldbagge for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Flocking (2016) and is known from other films such as Sebbe (2010) and The Hypnotist (2012).
The screenplay is written by Ali Abbasi together with Isabella Eklöf and John Ajvide Lindqvist. The film is produced by Nina Bisgaard, Piodor Gustafsson and Petra Jönsson for Meta Film Stockholm, Spark & Kärnfilm AB in co-production with Meta Film Denmark together with Film i Väst, SVT and Copenhagen Filmfund with financial support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the Swedish Film Institute, film commissioner Yaba Holst. Border is distributed by TriArt Film and is expected to have its Swedish premiere in the fall of 2018. International sales are handled by Films Boutique.
Border will be the ninth Swedish feature in Un Certain Regard since its creation in 1978 by Gilles Jacob. Previous Swedish films in the category are Christopher's House by Lennart Forsberg (1980), The Serpent's Way (1987) by Bo Widerberg, The Ox by Sven Nykvist (1990), Private Confessions by Liv Ullman (1997), In The Presence of a Clown by Ingmar Bergman (1998), You, the Living by Roy Andersson (2007) as well as Involuntary (2008) and Force Majeure (2014) both by Ruben Östlund.
Among other foreign directors who have competed in the same category are: Xavier Dolan, Sofia Coppola, Claire Denis, Gus Van Sant, Abbas Kiarostami, Richard Linklater, Steve McQueen, Jean-Luc Godard, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Jafar Panahi, François Ozon, Joachim Trier, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Samira Makhmalbaf and many more.
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The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897. Read on: filminstitutet.se | guldbaggen.se | svenskfilmdatabas.se
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