Clockwise, l-r: About Endlessness (TriArt Film), Who Talks (Josua Enblom), Something to Remember (Niki Lindroth von Bahr), My Life as a Comedian (Anagram)

Sweden will be represented widely at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. About Endlessness, Roy Andersson's first film in five years, and My Life as a Comedian directed by Rojda Sekersöz head the Swedish line-up. This is your guide to all the Swedish films at the festival, which starts Thursday, September 5.

Feature films:

About Endlessness
Writer-director Roy Andersson’s first feature film in five years, About Endlessness recently world premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. At TIFF the film will have its North American premiere in the Masters section. With About Endlessness Andersson adds to his cinematic oeuvre with a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendour and banality. Andersson’s last film A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence won the Golden Lion at the 2014 Venice Film Festival. 

About Endlessness is a Swedish-Norwegian-German co-production with Pernilla Sandström and Johan Carlsson for Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB as Swedish producers, with financial support from The Swedish Film Institute. TriArt Film is the Swedish distributor, with international sales handled by Coproduction Office. The film will open in Sweden on November 15. 

My Life as a Comedian 
Directed by Rojda Sekersöz and written by Jonas Gardell based on his best-selling novel, My Life as a Comedian will have its world premiere in the Discovery section at TIFF. The film is a coming-of-age drama about twelve-year-old Juha in the suburb of Sävbyholm, Sweden. Juha is the class clown, desperately trying to find his place in the social pecking order. The adult Juha is a famous comedian, performing his one man show My Life As A Comedian to sold-out theatres, based on the horrid and funny stories from his childhood. One night after a show, Juha gets an unexpected visit from an old friend from school which forces him to confront his past.

This is the second feature from Rojda Sekersöz, following her acclaimed 2017 debut Beyond Dreams. In 2018 Sekersöz was awarded the Swedish Guldbagge for Newcomer of the Year, singled out as "a new and important voice in Swedish film" by the jury. 

My Life As A Comedian  was produced by Martin Persson for Anagram, with financial support from The Swedish Film Institute. SF Studios is the distributor for the Nordic countries, with The Yellow Affair taking care of international sales. The film will open in Sweden on October 11.


Short films:

Something to Remember
The new stop motion short by director and animator Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Something to Remember is described as a "lullaby before the apocalypse". A bittersweet look at life’s many challenges, as experienced by furry, feathered, and slimy creatures who sound and feel all too human. The film will have its world premiere a TIFF, coinciding with a von Bahr retrospective at Färgfabriken in Stockholm featuring short films, set designs, sculptures and models.

This is von Bahr's follow-up to the lauded My Burden (2017) which has screened at numerous international festivals including Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Sundance and AFI Fest, picking up 50 awards (and counting), among them the 2017 Short Cuts Award for Best International Short Film at TIFF. Something to Remember was produced by Kalle Wettre and made with support from The Swedish Film Institute. International sales are handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Who Talks
Set during a dramatic public council meeting where a new refugee home for children is being discussed, Who Talks raises questions about whose opinions actually matter and what creates polarization. The screenings at TIFF will be the film's North American premiere.

Who Talks, directed by Elin Övergaard, won the Swedish Shorts Competition at Göteborg Film Festival earlier this year. It also screened in the Short Film Competition at Cannes. The film, which will have its North American premiere at TIFF, was written and produced by Övergaard and Manne Indahl, with financial support from the Swedish Film Institute. International sales handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Swedish co-productions:

Sea Fever (IE/GB/US/BE/SE) written and directed by Irish Neasa Hardiman will have its world premiere in the Discovery section. A thriller about the crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggling for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply. Swedish co-producer Börje Hansson at Bright Moving Pictures, together with Film i Väst and with financial support from the Swedish Film Institute. International sales handled by Epic Pictures Group.

Hope (NO/SE) by Norwegian writer-director Maria Sødahl will also world premiere in Discovery. A drama where the relationship between artist-partners Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård) and Anja (Andrea Bræin Hovig) is put to the test after Anja receives a life-threatening diagnosis. Lizette Jonjic for Zentropa Sweden  is the Swedish co-producer, together with Film i Väst and with financial support from the Swedish Film Institute. International Sales Agent is TrustNordisk.

A White, White Day (IS/SE/DK) will have its North American premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema section. This slow-burn drama about a grieving ex-cop by Icelandic writer-director Hlynur Pálmason had its world premiere in Cannes earlier this year, where it won the Rising Star Award for actor Ingvar Sigurdsen. The film was shot by Swedish cinematographer Maria von Hausswolff and co-produced by Nima Yousefi for Hobab, together with Film i Väst and with financial support from the Swedish Film Institute. International sales handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Industry Conference with Anna Serner:

Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute and a leading advocate for the 50/50 by 2020 gender-parity movement, will host the industry talk Redefining Quality for Gender Equality. A provocative conversation with filmmakers and advocates to examine the ways in which unconscious bias around "quality" has been used as a tool for discrimination — and what we risk overlooking because of that bias. Other panelists include independent film producer Cassian Elwes, filmmaker and a co-founder of the #AfterMeToo movement Aisling Chin-Yee, documentary filmmaker Pamela B.Green, and Alex Schmider, associate director of transgender representation at GLAAD.


The Swedish Film Institute at TIFF:
Steffen Andersen-Møller, Head of the International Department, steffen.andersen-moller@filminstitutet.se 
Petter Mattsson, Festival Manager, petter.mattsson@filminstitutet.se
Theo Tsappos, Festival Manager, theo.tsappos@filminstitutet.se

The Toronto International Film Festival will be held from 5 to 15 September 2019.

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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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