Two Swedish films will be competing at the 2022 Berlinale. Documentary Nelly & Nadine by Magnus Gertten has been selected for the Panorama section, and Crystal Bear winner Sanna Lenken competes again in Generation Kplus with Comedy Queen. Swedish actress Evin Ahmad is selected as Shooting Star, and Ella Lemhagen’s new tv series Lust will have its world premiere. Here is your guide to all the Swedish films at the Berlinale, which starts tomorrow, February 10.
Comedy Queen – directed by Sanna Lenken (Generation Kplus)
Comedy Queen is about 13-year-old Sasha. She suffers from immeasurable grief but she is determined to save both herself and her father from the sorrow. Her plan is to make everyone laugh again, she wants to become a stand-up comedian – a Comedy Queen!
Sanna Lenken’s latest work is the critically acclaimed and hugely popular tv-series Thin Blue Line for SVT. Lenken also directed episodes of the current series Thunder In My Heart. She was Guldbagge Award-nominated for her short films Eating Lunch (2014) and Night Child (2018) and made her feature film debut with My Skinny Sister (2015), which won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at Göteborg Film Festival.
Comedy Queen was written by Linn Gottfridsson, based on the novel by Jenny Jägerfeld, and stars Sigrid Johnson, Oscar Töringe, Ellen Taure, Anna Bjelkerud and Iggy Malmborg. Produced by Anna Anthony and Rebecka Lafrenz, FLX, in co-production with Film i Väst, SVT and SF Studios and with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Jenny Gilbertsson. Sales by REinvent International Sales. SF Studios handles distribution in Sweden, with domestic premiere set for February 11.
Nelly & Nadine – directed by Magnus Gertten (Panorama Dokumente)
Nelly & Nadine is the unlikely love story between two women falling in love on Christmas Eve, 1944, in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. For many years Nelly and Nadine’s lifelong relationship was kept a secret, even to some of their closest family. Now Nelly’s grandchild, Sylvie, has decided to open Nelly and Nadine’s unseen personal archives and finally read Nelly’s personal diary from the Nazi camps. Gradually Sylvie uncovers their remarkable love story.
Magnus Gertten has directed more than 15 feature documentaries, and his films have been awarded and screened in more than 60 countries. Among his work are Only the Devil Lives Without Hope (2020), Every Face Has a Name (2015) and Harbour of Hope (2011). He also co-directed the two box office hits Becoming Zlatan (2016) and Tusen bitar (2014). Magnus Gertten is a former radio and tv journalist, including several years as a music journalist.
Nelly & Nadine was written and directed by Magnus Gertten and produced by Ove Rishøj Jensen, Auto Images, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Klara Grunning. Sales: Rise and Shine World Sales. Doc Lounge handles distribution in Sweden, with domestic premiere set for March 18.
Shooting Star: Evin Ahmad
Swedish actress Evin Ahmad has been chosen by European Film Promotion (EFP) as one of the 10 European Shooting Stars for 2022. From 11-14 February the selected ten will be presented to the international press, the industry and the public in an exclusive programme.
Evin Ahmad has quickly become one of Sweden’s most sought-after young talents. She has been nominated twice for the Guldbagge Award, Sweden’s equivalent to the Academy Awards: in 2018 for Beyond Dreams directed by Rojda Sekersöz and in 2020 for Call Mom! directed by Lisa Aschan. Additional credits include Palme d’Or contestant Girls of the Sun (directed by Eva Husson, 2018) and tv series Tsunami and The Restaurant.
Evin Ahmad is also known for starring in Netflix series The Rain and Quicksand. Currently, she is set to star in the second season of the Swedish Netflix original series Snabba Cash, adapted from best-selling author Jens Lapidus' Stockholm Noir crime trilogy.
Swedish co-productions with support from the Swedish Film Institute
Beautiful Beings – directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (Panorama)
Balli, 14, is an outsider. But then he meets three boys of his own age. A coming-of-age drama which finds poetic images for a tentative, emergent friendship that threatens to falter due to gender-normed codes of conduct, and violence.
Produced by Join Motion Pictures. Swedish co-producer Nima Yousefi, Hobab, and Film i Väst.
Dreaming Walls – directed by Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier (Panorama Dokumente)
The end of an eight-year upmarket renovation of the legendary Chelsea Hotel is partly longed for and partly dreaded by the artists who still live there. The film grants us access to their apartments and interweaves the past with the present.
Produced by Clin d’oeil films. Swedish co-producers David Herdies and Michael Krotkiewski, Momento Film.
Belinale Series, Co-Production Market and Forum Expanded
Lust – directed by Ella Lemhagen (Berlinale Series)
Lust is a daring comedy drama starring Sofia Helin, Anja Lundqvist, Julia Dufvenius and Elin Klinga as four women over 40, struggling to keep their libidos alive.
Swedish director Ella Lemhagen is a Berlinale regular. She won the Crystal Bear in 2000 for Tsatsiki, Mum and the Policeman and competed again at the Generation 14plus section in 2012 with The Crown Jewels, starring Alicia Vikander, which received a Special Mention.
Lust was written by Frans Milisic Wiklund who also created the series with Åsa Kalmér, Julia Dufvenius, Sofia Helin and Anja Lundqvist. Produced by Sandra Harms and Karl Fredrik Ulfung, Miso Film Sverige, for HBO Max where the series will premiere later this year. World sales by WarnerMedia International Television Distribution.
Kevlar Soul – produced by Ronny Fritsche (Talent Project Market)
When love enters the lives of two teenage brothers, their deep bond is shattered. For one of them it’s the beginning of a healing process, for the other one it’s the first step towards destruction.
Directed by Maria Eriksson-Hecht, written by Pelle Rådström in co-operation with Maria Eriksson-Hecht. Produced by Ronny Fritsche, Zentropa Sweden, with support from Film Stockholm and the Swedish Film Institute. Read more.
Those Who Do Not Drown – directed by Naeem Mohaiemen (IN/US/JP/SE). This dreamlike and meditative story about loss and care will be presented as part of the group exhibition in the silent green Betonhalle.
The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place February 10-20, in person.
The Swedish Film Institute is a collective voice for film in Sweden, and a meeting-place for experiences and insights that elevate film on all levels. We preserve and make available Sweden’s film heritage, work to educate children and young people in film and moving images, support the production, distribution and screening of valuable film, and represent Swedish film internationally. A broad diversity of narratives establishes discussions and insights that strengthen the individual and our democracy. Together, we enable more people to create, experience and be enriched by film.