2024-02-14 11:43Press release

Swedish films at the Berlin Film Festival

Levan Akin's Crossing. Bottom row: Asta Kamma August, The Sacrifice, Sons, My Favourite Cake. (Photos by Haydar Taştan / SFI / Nikolaj Møller / Hamid Janipour)
Levan Akin's Crossing. Bottom row: Asta Kamma August, The Sacrifice, Sons, My Favourite Cake. (Photos by Haydar Taştan / SFI / Nikolaj Møller / Hamid Janipour)

Crossing, the new film by Levan Akin, will open the Panorama section at the Berlin Film Festival which starts tomorrow. Andrei Tarkovsky's final film The Sacrifice (restored in 4K by the Swedish Film Institute) will screen in Berlinale Classics, and actress Asta Kamma August is Sweden's Shooting Star. Also showing are four Swedish co-productions, including Gustav Möller's new thriller Sons.

Crossing (Panorama)

Writer-director Levan Akin's follow-up to internationally acclaimed And Then We Danced is a moving drama set in Turkey. Lia, a retired teacher, made a promise to find her long lost niece Tekla. The search takes her to Istanbul, a beautiful city that seems full of connections and possibilities. There she meets Evrim, a lawyer fighting for trans rights, and Tekla starts to feel closer than ever.

Levan Akin is a Swedish filmmaker of Georgian descent. His work explores class, gender and sexuality. His body of work includes the critically acclaimed film And Then We Danced, which premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes 2019 and was selected as Sweden’s official entry for the Oscars. Akin has also made notable contributions to television, including the series Real Humans (adapted as Humans for AMC in the US and UK). Additionally, he served as a co-executive producer and director for AMC’s highly regarded adaptation of Interview with the Vampire (2022). Crossing is his fourth feature film.

Written and directed by Levan Akin, Crossing is produced by Mathilde Dedye / French Quarter Film, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Feature Film Commissioner Hanna Lejonqvist. Swedish distributor is TriArt Film, with a domestic premiere set for March 22. World sales by Totem Films.

Press contact: Gordon Spragg at Wolf Consultants: gordon@wolf-con.com

Shooting Star: Asta Kamma August

Swedish actress Asta Kamma August has been chosen by the European Film Promotion (EFP) as one of the ten European Shooting Stars for 2024. Her recent projects include leading roles in two upcoming films: The Hypnosis, directed by Ernst de Geer which was lauded at Karlovy Vary, and Isabella Eklöf's Kalak which premiered and won two awards at San Sebastian. From 16 to 19 February the selected ten will be presented to the international press, the industry and the public in an exclusive programme. 

The Sacrifice (Berlinale Classics)

The Sacrifice, Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky's final film from 1986, has been selected for Berlinale Classic. The film, shot on the island of Gotland and featuring a primarily Swedish team, has been digitally restored in 4K by the Swedish Film Institute.

– We chose The Sacrifice by Andrei Tarkovsky for the 2024 Berlinale Classics section because we were so gripped by the story – visually captured so brilliantly by cinematographer Sven Nykvist. In poetic images and philosophical-religious dialogue, The Sacrifice marries the merciless précis of its protagonist’s life with a powerful plea for modern humans to engage in self-reflection and self-restraint. In addition, the selection committee was impressed by the outstanding quality of the restoration work. In particular, the new restoration faithfully preserves the masterful lighting design and colour composition, including the sepia and black-and-white passages. We are thrilled to honour Andrei Tarkovsky’s oeuvre by presenting his final film at the Berlinale, says Rainer Rother, head of the Berlinale Classics section and Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

The world premiere of the digitally restored version on February 17 will be presented by Kajsa Hedström, curator at the Swedish Film Institute.

Swedish co-productions

Sons by Gustav Möller (Competition)
Eva, an idealistic prison officer, is faced with the dilemma of her life when a young man from her past gets transferred to the prison where she works. Here begins an unsettling psychological thriller, where Eva’s sense of justice puts both her morality and future at stake. Swedish director Gustav Möller's new film stars Sidse Babett Knudsen. Swedish co-producer: Eva Åkergren / Nordisk Film Production, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Feature Film Commissioner Hanna Lejonqvist. Sales by Les Films du Losange.

My Favourite Cake by Maryam Moghaddam and Beetash Sanaeeha (Competition)
70-year-old Mahin has been living alone in Tehran since her husband died and her daughter left for Europe. One afternoon, tea with friends leads her to break her solitary routine and revitalise her love life. But as Mahin opens herself up to a new romance, what begins as an unexpected encounter quickly evolves into an unpredictable, unforgettable evening. Swedish co-producer: Peter Krupenin / Hobab, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Feature Film Commissioner Hanna Lejonqvist. Sales by Totem Films.

Afterwar by Birgitte Stærmose (Panorama Dokumente)
Set in Kosovo, Afterwar begins in 2008, where children sell peanuts and cigarettes in the streets of Pristina to help support their families after the war. In 2023, 15 years later, the children have become adults. They still fight for a future, for dignity, and a better life for their own children in the never-ending afterwar. The film is a group portrait made in co-creation with the cast, and moves between raw realism, staging and an existential reflection on the long aftermath of any war.
Swedish co-producer: Fredrik Lange / Vilda Bomben, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Documentary Film Commissioners Juan Pablo Libossart and Anna Weitz.

A Bit of a Stranger av Svitlana Lishchynska (Panorama)
Filmmaker Svitlana Lishchynska was born in Mariupol during Soviet times. In A Bit of a Stranger, she looks at the experiences of four generations of women, including her own, and tries to find answers to the question of what impact Soviet totalitarianism and Russification have had on the relationships within her family.
Swedish co-producers: Fredrik Lange / Vilda Bomben and Film i Väst, with support from the Swedish Film Institute, Documentary Film Commissioner Jannik Splidsboel. Sales by Film Harbour.

The 74th Berlin International Film Festival will take place 15-25 February. 

About The Swedish Film Institute

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.


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