2021-10-21 10:59Press release

Tigers by Ronnie Sandahl is Sweden’s Academy Award submission

Erik Enge in Tigers. Photo by Marek WieserErik Enge in Tigers. Photo by Marek Wieser

Ronnie Sandahl’s film Tigers has been selected as Sweden’s submission for an Academy Award in the Best International Feature Film category.

Tigers is a life and death rollercoaster ride through the modern-day football industry. With a unique perspective on the world of professional sports, Ronnie Sandahl tells the true story of 16-year-old football prodigy Martin Bengtsson (played by Erik Enge). A coming-of-age drama about a young man’s burning obsession in a world where everything, and everyone, has a price tag.

The film was voted Best film in the Flash Forward section at Busan International Film Festival last year. It also picked up awards for Best Emerging International Actor (Erik Enge) and Best Emerging Italian Actor (Antonio Bannò) at Alice nella città, the independent and parallell section dedicated to films for children and youth, at the Rome International Film Festival. It also won the Youth Jury Award at the 2020 Nordic Film Days in Lübeck, and at this year’s Göteborg Film Festival Tigers won the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film and Enge picked up the Best Acting award.

"I could not be more happy, proud or grateful. This is a great honour. Making films is a team sport and we are many who have shared the dream of this film, many who have worked hard. We hope that the nomination itself will help the film reach even more people, both on our home turf and abroad. But as an incurably competitive person, I must admit that of course I also hope that this is just the beginning. We want to win the whole goddamn thing”, says writer-director Ronnie Sandahl.

”Many thanks to the jury. It is an honour to represent Swedish film and compete for a place among the most prominent films of 2021. Tigers is an important film that makes a difference in a world where more and more people are living with a mental illness, says the film's producer Piodor Gustafsson.

”In Tigers, we get to see the flip side of a much-admired world. A world that oozes fame and success and carries the hopes and dreams of millions of people around the world. Ronnie Sandahl's film shows us the reality of a talented young boy who is thrown into a life of jealousy and almost inhuman demands, and it really gives you perspective”, says Petter Mattsson, Head of the International Department at the Swedish Film Institute and chairman of the Swedish Oscar Committee.

Ronnie Sandahl is a screenwriter, novelist and director with a background in journalism. His first feature Underdog (2014) won awards at the Zurich and Chicago film festivals. Tigers marks the second installment in Sandahl’s sports trilogy, focusing on the psychological, financial and political aspects of the world of sports. The first film was Borg/McEnroe (2017). Written by Sandahl, directed by Janus Metz and starring Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBoeuf and Stellan Skarsgård, the film opened the Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for two European Film Awards. Rounding out the trilogy is Perfect, set in the world of female gymnastics. The film, penned by Sandahl based on Kerri Strug’s autobiography Landing on my Feet and directed by Olivia Wilde, is set to start shooting in 2022.

Tigers was written and directed by Ronnie Sandahl, based on Martin Bengtsson’s autobiographical novel In the Shadow of San Siro, and stars Erik Enge, Antonio Bannò, Alfred Enoch, Frida Gustavsson, Maurizio Lombardi, Gianluca di Gennaro, Lino Musella, Antonio Zavatteri, Liv Mjönes and Johannes Kuhnke.

The film was produced by Piodor Gustafsson in co-production with Lucia Nicolai, Marcello Paolillo and Birgitte Skov. A Black Spark Film, Art of Panic och SF Studios production with Sveriges Television, RAI Cinema and Bahra Film, in co-operation with Tepelessfilm and 9.99 Films and with support from the Swedish Film Institute, the Danish Film Institute Minor Co-Production Funding, MIBACT and POR FESR Piemonte 2014-2020 - Piemonte Film TV Fund. TriArt Film distributes the film domestically, with Wild Bunch handling international sales.

About the selection

Each year the Swedish Oscar Committee nominates a Swedish candidate for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film. Swedish films that have had their domestic premiere between January 1 and December 31, 2021, and meet the requirements for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), have been eligible for the 2022 Oscars.

For this year’s shortlist, Clara Sola (directed by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén) and The Emigrants (directed by Erik Poppe) were also chosen by the jury.

The 94th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for March 27, 2022.

See a list of previous Swedish Oscar wins, nominations, and submissions here.

For more information, please contact:
Theo Tsappos, Festival Manager: theo.tsappos@sfi.se, phone: +4686651133

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