2020-06-03 17:43Press release

Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature Pleasure selected for Cannes

Clockwise, l-r: Pleasure by Ninja Thyberg, Sweat by Magnus von Horn and Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg. Photo: Grand Slam Film, Zentropa SwedenClockwise, l-r: Pleasure by Ninja Thyberg, Sweat by Magnus von Horn and Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg. Photo: Grand Slam Film, Zentropa Sweden

Today the Cannes Film Festival announced its Official Selection for 2020. Swedish filmmaker Ninja Thyberg's debut feature Pleasure, set in the American porn industry, has been selected. Two Swedish co-productions were also included: Sweat by Magnus von Horn and Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg.

Ninja Thyberg's Pleasure is set in the American porn industry. Bella, a young and ambitious 20-year-old, travels from Sweden to Los Angeles to become the next big porn star. Sofia Kappel makes her film debut in the lead role, surrounded by a mostly authentic cast from the porn world. Pleasure is a film about ambition and feminism, set in one of the world's most patriarchal structures.

– Being selected by Cannes is one of the finest things that can happen to a filmmaker! We have known for a long time that Ninja is a director that the film world has been watching. This is a confirmation that she lives up to everyone's expectations with her amazing  film debut Pleasure, say Petter Mattsson and Theo Tsappos, Festival Managers at the International Department at the Swedish Film Institute.

Director and screenwriter Ninja Thyberg won the Canal + Award with the short film Pleasure, which also competed in the Critic’s Week in Cannes 2013. The following year the film was invited to the Sundance film festival. Her short film Hot Chicks won the 1 km film prize at the Stockholm Film Festival 2014 and she was awarded the Student Visionary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival for Catwalk 2015, also a short.

Pleasure was written by Ninja Thyberg (screenplay) and Peter Modestij (co-writer). The film was produced by Plattform Produktion (Erik Hemmendorff, Eliza Jones, Markus Waltå) in co-production with Film i Väst and Grand Slam Film amongst others, and with support  from the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioners Yaba Holst  and Madeleine Ekman. World sales are handled by Versatile. SF Studios handles Nordic distribution with a planned Swedish premiere in cinemas early 2021.

Two Swedish co-productions were also selected for Cannes:

Sweat, written and directed by Magnus von Horn, recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zając, whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity. Although she has hundreds of thousands of followers, is surrounded by loyal employees and admired by acquaintances, she is looking for true intimacy.

Swedish director and screenwriter Magnus von Horn was educated at the Polish Film School in Lodz. His feature film debut The Here After (2015) screened in the Director’s Fortnight section in Cannes and played at several other festivals, among them Toronto, Chicago and Locarno. It also picked up three Swedish Guldbagge Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. The lead in Sweat is played by Polish actress Magdalena Koleśnik in her first major role.

The film is a Polish-Swedish co-production by Lava Films, with Film i Väst and Zentropa Sweden (producer Lizette Jonjic) as Swedish co-producers, and with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioner Jenny Gilbertsson. World sales are handled by New Europe Film Sales, while TriArt Film is the Swedish distributor.

Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round is a humorous drama about high school teacher Martin (played by Mads Mikkelsen) who embarks on an experiment. Together with three of his colleagues, and a handful of students, he decides to uphold a constant level of intoxication. Initial results are positive, but as the units are knocked back the experiment both progresses and derails.

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg made his international breakthrough with the Dogme 95 drama The Celebration (1998), which won the Jury Prize in Cannes. Since then he has made films such as The Collective (2016) and Kursk (2018). In Another Round, he reunites with screenwriter Tobias Lindholm and actors Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Bonnevie amongst others from Danish-Swedish The Hunt (2013), which won several awards in Cannes and was nominated for an Oscar.

Another Round is a Danish-Swedish co-production produced by Zentropa Entertainments3 with Film i Väst and Zentropa Sweden (Lizette Jonjic) as the Swedish co-producers. The film has been supported by the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioner Jenny Gilbertsson. International sales are handled by Trust Nordisk. Nordisk Film is the Swedish distributor.

The Swedish Film Institute is a leading voice in the global work for gender equality in the film industry, not least through the panel debates and seminars organized by SFI at international film festivals. This year, the Marché du Film in Cannes will be held online, and the Swedish Film Institute is invited to co-host the official webinar on gender equality. CEO Anna Serner will be participating in the event, which will be broadcast live on Tuesday, June 23 at 6 pm.

About The Swedish Film Institute

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.


Jan Göransson
Head of Press
Jan Göransson
Per Perstrand
Communications Officer – Press
Per Perstrand