Jerry Carlsson’s short film Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro has been selected for the official short film competition at the Toronto International Film Festival, which starts tomorrow. This is the second time one of Jerry Carlsson’s shorts attends one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals – last year Night Train competed in Venice. Additionally, five Swedish co-productions will screen in Toronto: Flee, The Worst Person in the World, Bergman Island, Farha and Costa Brava, Lebanon.
– It’s a wonderful feeling! I’m unbelievably grateful for the international premiere in Toronto and I’m looking forward to the response from the international audience, says writer-director Jerry Carlsson.
Milo Moro finds out that his ex-partner Adrian, who has been cryopreserved for the past 43 years, can be thawed and brought back to life. When the staff from ScandiCryonics arrive to pick up the cryocontainer with Adrian’s body, Milo realizes he might not be ready for Adrian to return. The film stars Richard Sseruwagi, Doreen Ndagire and Lisette Pagler.
Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro was produced by Frida Mårtensson, Verket Produktion, in co-production with Sveriges Television and with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioner Short Films Ami Ekström, and Film Stockholm. International sales are handled by Premium Films. The film is part of 2121, the biggest short-film initiative in Swedish film history, a joint venture between the Swedish Film Institute and Sveriges Television where six filmmakers describe their vision of the world a hundred years from now.
– The existential aspect of sci-fi fascinates me. What will happen in the future, and how will we emotionally react in future scenarios? In Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro, I wanted to investigate what would happen when you are confronted by the news that your partner, who has been dead and cryo-preserved for 43 years, suddenly will come back to life. I wanted to explore the emotions of the living partner. Now in his sixties, Mr. Moro realizes that the memories of his partner are no longer as clear as they used to be. It’s a reversed process of grief where repressed feelings and memories must be thawed, says Jerry Carlsson.
Jerry Carlsson graduated from Valand Academy in 2014. His award-winning short films have been screened at numerous international film festivals, including Locarno, Tribeca and Clermont-Ferrand, where his short Shadow Animals received both the Special Jury Prize and the Canal+ Award in 2018.
Swedish co-productions at TIFF
Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen – TIFF Docs
Flee is an animated documentary, the true story about a man's need to confront his past in order to truly have a future. Amin arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Denmark from Afghanistan. Today, at 36, he is a successful academic and is getting married to his long-time boyfriend. A secret he has been hiding for over 20 years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. For the first time he is sharing his story with his close friend.
Flee picked up the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Cristal at Annecy earlier this year, and is currently screening at Telluride. The film is a co-production between Denmark, Norway, Sweden and France with Charlotte Most, Mostfilm, as Swedish co-producer, and with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Documentary Film Commissioner Juan Pablo Libossart. TriArt Film is the Swedish distributor, with Cinephil handling international sales.
Costa Brava, Lebanon, directed by Mounia Akl – Contemporary World Cinema
The Badri family lives in isolation in Lebanon’s mountains. When the government inaugurates a landfill outside their fence, everything they escaped catches up with them.
The first feature film by Lebanese director Mounia Akl, Costa Brava, Lebanon also recently screened at the Venice Film Festival. The film is a co-production between Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France and Spain. Swedish co-producer is Olivier Guerpillon, Fox in the Snow, who recently produced short film Earthbound written and directed by Baker Karim, also part of the 2121 short film venture. The music for Costa Brava Lebanon was composed by Swedish-American composer Nathan Larson. The film was supported by the Swedish Film Institute, former Feature Film Commissioner Madeleine Ekman, and by Film in Skåne. Swedish distributor Folkets Bio, with mk2 Films handling international sales.
Farha, directed by Darin J. Sallam – Discovery
Thirteen-year-old Farha is forced to leave her childhood behind her. Her dreams about being able to go to school is torn away from her when the new state of Israel occupies her village and a fight for survival begins. A film about a family’s life and a daughter’s dignity, based on a true story.
Farha is the feature film debut for Jordanian writer-director Darin J. Sallam. The movie is a co-production between Jordan, Sweden and Saudi Arabia with William Johansson Kalén, Laika Film & Television as Swedish co-producer. The film was edited in Gothenburg by Swedish editor Pierre Laurent. The film has been given support from the Swedish Film Institute, former Feature Film commissioner Madeleine Ekman and from Film in Skåne. Folkets Bio is the Swedish distributor. International sales by Picture Tree International.
The Worst Person in the World, directed by Joachim Trier – Gala Presentation
The Worst Person in the World is the third film in Joachim Trier’s Oslo-trilogy, following Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. The film follows 30 year-old Julie in the midst of an existential crisis as she navigates between career and romantic choices, and her own refusal to be defined — even by herself.
The film had its world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival, in competition for the Palme d'or. Renate Reinsve picked up the award for Best Actress. The Worst Person in the World is a Norwegian-Swedish co-production with Mattias Nohrborg, B-Reel Films, and Film i Väst as Swedish co-producers, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, former Feature Film Commissioner Madeleine Ekman. The film is distributed in Sweden by TriArt Film; international sales by mk2 Films.
Bergman Island, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve – Gala Presentation
Over the course of one summer, a filmmaker couple settles down to write on the Swedish island of Fårö, where Ingmar Bergman lived and found inspiration. As their respective scripts progress, they come in contact with the wild landscapes of the place, souvenirs of a first love resurface, and the lines between fiction and reality blur, tearing the couple apart.
Bergman Island, which also competed for the Palme d’or in Cannes in July, is a French-Belgian-German-Swedish co-production. Erik Hemmendorff, Plattform Produktion is the Swedish co-producer, with support from the Swedish Film institute, former Feature Film Commissioner Calle Marthin. The film is distributed by TriArt Film, international sales by mk2 Films.
The Toronto International Film Festival takes place September 9-18.
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