2021-11-16 17:12Press release

Wild Card - meet tomorrow's three hottest newly graduated directors

Happy directors Loran Batti, Lina Vain Illalla and Angelika Abramovitch at Filmhuset during Stockholm International Film Festival's Industry Days. Photo: Vincent Von Sydow, Swedish Film InstituteHappy directors Loran Batti, Lina Vain Illalla and Angelika Abramovitch at Filmhuset during Stockholm International Film Festival's Industry Days. Photo: Vincent Von Sydow, Swedish Film Institute

The newly graduated directors Lina Vain Illalla, Loran Batti and Angelika Abramovitch have been selected for the Swedish Film Institute's initiative Wild Card. They share SEK 1.2 million to develop their own feature film project.

The purpose of Wild Card is to capture unique voices from the various film educations, and to give new directors a chance to get started quickly after graduation - this year also including documentaries.

The directors have applied with their degree films and a Show & Tell (3 min moving material) where they presented their new feature film idea. The jury for fiction film has consisted of the Film Institute's talent manager and the film commissioners for fiction: children and young people, short films and new formats, feature films and Moving Sweden. The documentary jury has consisted of the film commissioners for documentary film and two controllers.

At a ceremony in Filmhuset, Stockholm tonight, during the seminar You’re My Inspiration at the Stockholm Film Festival, the three winners were presented with SEK 400,000 each. The prize enables the creation of a sketch film for a feature film, as well as idea, project and script development.

Lina Vain Illalla for the film Anatomy of Pain (Smärtans anatomi)

In Anatomy of Pain, we follow the rise and fall of a restaurant. Maria runs a restaurant that employs people who have fallen between the cracks in society. But when the restaurant becomes a sudden success, a meaty battle between ideals and practice arises.

The jury’s motivation
Art is a perspective on life and requires a unique voice to seriously touch and add. With the degree film, the director has portrayed an exclusion with a tender and stubbornly encouraging tone, and not least with a very own language. Both close and with a distance, both inclusive and with a clear discussion revolving class. In the director's new film idea, which takes place in a restaurant, there are many exciting ingredients that raise questions and upset. The jury looks forward to a rich stew of insights, discomfort and strong emotions that only a really interesting film can contribute.

– I seldom use the word grateful, but that's exactly what I am now. I thank and accept the trust with my sleeves rolled up - after several years of hard work, it's damn fantastic to have this opportunity. This film has been by my side for many years and I long to go even deeper into it, says Lina Vain Illalla.

Lina Vain Illalla was educated at Valand's bachelor's program in film, Fridhem Folk High School, Series School in Malmö and participated in directing workshops with Béla Tarr. From 2015, Lina made short films and video works as director, screenwriter, producer, editor and set designer and worked as assistant screenwriter on Charter by Amanda Kernell.

Loran Batti for the film ”G”

Gottsunda is today one of Sweden's most vulnerable areas. But that has not always been the case. Director Loran Batti remembers what it was like to grow up in the town. At the same time, he struggles with the reality and the constant fear of having to bury a brother.

The jury’s motivation
The first ever Wild Card for documentary film goes to a painfully urgent project with an inside perspective that is sent from God. With a rare gift for poetry in both text and cinematic narrative, the director explores a changing society and lets the actors possess a complexity beyond one-dimensional stereotypes that are otherwise so often cemented by alarming headlines and entertainment violence. The feature film project ”G” is an artistic and thematic in-depth study of the director's graduation film that depicts his hometown of Gottsunda. Born out of frustration over how and for whom the suburb is portrayed, the project glows with the film art's opportunities to touch and understand both togetherness in exclusion, and the tragedies that afflict young people in the racialized class society that permeates Sweden today.

– All my projects start from the same place. I want to create material from the suburb for the suburb. It must be authentic. Too many times it is outsiders who portray our world, I am tired of that. I appreciate that I received this support and your trust, it helps me to continue to develop my debut film ”G”. Thank you! says Loran Batti.

Loran Batti has always had an interest in film and writing. He stopped boxing and started writing down everyday events to portray the suburbs, to create images he thought were missing. He is educated in documentary film at Öland Folk High School, 2018-2019. It was there that he found his first super 8 camera and ”G” first came to life. In 2019-2021, he studied drama at Biskops Arnö and in 2021 he has underwent a workshop at the Riksteatern residence.

”G” is produced by Göran Hugo Olsson and Melissa Lindgren for Story AB.

Angelika Abramovitch for the film A Soviet Love Story (Länge leve Gurzuf)

1968 in the hot, Soviet coastal town, Gurzuf, life revolves around youth, sex & rock music. We meet Anja & Anton in their dizzying love story, but when their son falls ill with leukemia after the Chernobyl tragedy, they are torn apart. Can love really overcome everything?

The jury’s motivation
Bam! The director's graduation film is characterized by precise tone in both acting and staging. The jury falls instantly in love with the love story as it is so touchingly described in show & tell. This filmmaker gives life to a, on the surface, rather simple but crisis-ridden love story. We now long to experience love in the Crimean Riviera, Soviet sex, drugs and rock n roll in 1968 and grief. Like a Shakespearean storm, the prodigal son is resurrected - albeit with a brief message of reconciliation. Now we are curiously waiting for love child number two - A Soviet Love Story.

– To be honest, it is not easy to find words that explain how I feel without it sounding incredibly cheesy. So I'm just saying how it is, with a risk of being embarrassed. I can not really understand it. I am so incredibly moved and grateful to be awarded a Wild Card that so clearly proves to me that my filmmaking touches and that it is needed. Everyone who makes films knows how difficult it sometimes can be to feel that drive and motivation. At times, you feel lonely and misunderstood and often you want to give up. Never give up!!! Wild Card not only gives drive and strength to the project but also such an indescribable feeling of support and trust. I thank you with all my heart! My mother is so proud and so had my father also been. Spasiba, says Angelika Abramovitch

Angelika Abramovitch is educated at Stockholm Academy of the Arts' bachelor's program for film directing 2018-2021 and will graduate from Alma script program next year. Since 2013, she has directed, written and produced short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials. Her work has been awarded at the Tempo documentary festival and earlier this autumn she was awarded the Nordic Talents Pitch special mention through the Nordic Film & TV Fund, which also selected her from "Six Nordic Talents to watch".

A Soviet Love Story is written by Angelika Abramovitch and produced by Linus Andersson for Lampray.

Previous years winner of Wild Card
2018 Fanny Ovesen, Ernst De Geer and Jerry Carlsson
2019 Amanda Björk, Jonathan Nikolaj Heinius and Nathalie Álvarez Mesén
2020 Sebastian Johansson Micci, Elsa Rosengren

For questions, contact
Helen Ahlsson, film consultant for Moving Sweden at the Swedish Film Institute
08-665 12 26

Lina Norberg Johansson, talent manager and controller at Production Support at the Swedish Film Institute
08-665 12 27

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.


Martin Frostberg
Communications & PR
Martin Frostberg