Scandinavian Films is the umbrella organization for the Danish Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, Icelandic Film Center, Norwegian Film Institute and Swedish Film Institute. We are excited and proud to present four projects from filmmakers who deliver documentaries on a high professional level with a great diversity of stories. All projects are in the final stages of production and soon ready to hit markets and festivals.
Saturday 20 May 2023 | 10:00 - 11:15 CET
An Army of Women
Original title: An Army of Women
Directed by: Julie Lunde LILLESÆTER
Produced by: Natalya SARCH (Differ Media, Norway)
Country of production: Norway, Germany, USA
Runtime: 80', 52'
Expected release: March, 2024
Production stage: Post-production
Budget: €720.000 (95% in place)
1st feature: Yes
Looking for: Sales agent, distributors, executive producer, festivals, broadcast/streaming, strategic guidance for release, impact campaign partners
Two women in Austin, Texas join forces with 13 other survivors to build a movement legally challenging the system that allowed their rapists to walk free. Their groundbreaking class-action lawsuit is the first to argue that sexual assault isn’t prosecuted due to gender discrimination. This is the landmark story of women fighting to hold law enforcement accountable, with resounding relevance worldwide.
As director and cinematographer, Julie combines a strong visual eye with a commitment to social change. Her films have explored themes such as women’s rights & equality issues, migration, and the climate crisis, and her short documentaries have been broadcast on Al Jazeera English, NRK, and The Atlantic, among others. Her work has screened at festivals such as CPH:DOX, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs and BFI Flare. Julie’s cinematography on the documentary feature Thank You For The Rain (2017) has landed her multiple awards, including a WIFTV award for Best Cinematography. She is the co-founder of Differ Media, a production company focusing on impact-driven creative documentaries. In 2018, she was named Norwegian Video Journalist of the Year, and in 2020, she was listed on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.
Natalya Sarch has worked in the U.S., The Netherlands, and Norway on projects such as Trust Me (2021), Neighbors (2017) and No Time to Lose (2017). Her Interactive project Another Dream (2019) by Tamara Shogaolu premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2020, Natalya joined forces with Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæter at the independent production company Differ Media, based in Oslo, Norway. We tell character-driven, visually strong stories about some of the most important issues of our time. Our films have focused on issues like climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, migration and human rights. Differ’s productions have been broadcast in 60+ countries, and have been co-produced with broadcasters like Arte/ZDF, Al Jazeera, and NRK. In 2018, our feature Thank You for the Rain won Doc Society’s DocImpactHi5 award for its impact campaign.
I Belong to Nowhere
Original title: Jeg tilhører ingen steder
Directed by: Kaspar Astrup SCHRÖDER
Produced by: Katrine A. SAHLSTRØM, Maria Helga STÜRUP (Good Company Pictures, Denmark)
Country of production: Denmark, Sweden
Expected release: January, 2025
Production stage: Production
Budget: €526.064 (75% in place)
1st feature: No
Looking for: Presales and grants to close the financing gap.
Set in Japan, the film centers around a mental health chat service started by the 21-year-old student Koki, who himself has felt lonely all his life. “A Place for You” quickly becomes a lifeline in a society where more and more people feel isolated. I BELONG TO NOWHERE follows Koki and a handful of the vulnerable users struggling to find meaning in their lives, who now finally have a place to turn to.
Director Kaspar Astrup Schröder is a self-taught film director who worked as an international artist, graphic designer, furniture designer and film editor of numerous short films and documentaries, before he directed his first feature length documentary, The Invention of Dr. NakaMats in 2009. Since then, Kaspar has written and directed more than 10 documentary films ranging from children’s stories to social realistic stories from places that are rarely portrayed in documentaries. Some of his selected films include Medina (2022), Making a Mountain (2020), BIG TIME (2017), Waiting for the Sun (2017) and Rent a Family Inc. (2012). Kaspar’s films have been selected for more than 50 international film festivals such as IDFA, Hot Docs, CPH:DOX, DOC NYC and Chicago IFF and has won numerous awards and nominations in most international territories.
Katrine A. Sahlstrøm worked for Danish director Lars von Trier for 7 years before she took the leap from fiction to documentaries in 2011. Her debut as producer (Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case) was shortlisted for the main prize at IDFA and won the national critic’s award for best documentary in 2014. Since then, she has produced several documentaries that have gained recognition around the world including Medina (2022), All That remains to be Seen (2022, CPH:DOX), Beautiful Something Left Behind (SXSW 2020 Grand Jury Prize) and Photographer of War (2019) – a hit in Danish cinemas and nominated for a Danish Academy Award.
Maria Helga Stürup has been with Good Company Pictures since 2017 working as a producer assistant. Her debut as producer, Nobody Knows Casper (2022), premiered at CPH:DOX.
Original title: Meril (WT)
Directed by: Victoria VERSEAU
Produced by: Malin HÜBER (HER Film, Sweden), Mathilde RACZYMOW (Les Films du Bilboquet, France)
Country of production: Sweden, France
Expected release: February, 2024
Production stage: Production
Budget: €559.936 (94% in place)
1st feature: No
Looking for: Festival, Sales Agents, Buyers, Strategy
Having reached her innermost dream, Victoria tries to understand what changed when she went through gender confirmation surgery. After all that struggle, should she not be happy? Instead, her aspirations were placed on hold when Meril, a close trans friend, decided to end her life. Victoria retraces her memories traveling to Chonburi and Paris piecing together the past in order to face the future.
Victoria Verseau is a director, screenwriter and artist. Her films move freely within the genres of documentary, fiction and art film. Her work addresses subjects such as transition, memory, gender constructions, the private and the public experience. She searches to tell untold stories, remaining in the periphery towards oblivion. Verseau is currently working on her two debut feature films Meril and Boundaries that will premiere in 2024.Her solo exhibitions and films have been awarded and presented internationally. ao. Outfest LA, Encounters UK, Gothenburg International Film festival SWE, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and Para Site, Hong Kong. In 2017 she was the first trans person to receive The Anna Prize for her work with film, a stipend awarded by Women in Film & Television and UN Women.
Malin Hüber is a producer that works between the fields of film and art. Selected titles include Blomster by Neil Wigardt (2023) Lucky One by Mia Engberg (2019), Sometimes it was Beautiful by Christian Nyampeta (2019) and the childrens short documentary series Sport Kids (2015) in collaboration with Final Cut for Real, Sant & Usant and ARTE Junior. Malin is an alumna of Eurodoc and Berlinale Talents and co-founder of HER Film.
Once Upon a Time in a Forest (WT)
Original title: Olipa kerran metsä (WT)
Directed by: Virpi SUUTARI
Produced by: Virpi SUUTARI (Euphoria film oy, Finland)
Country of production: Finland
Runtime: 90', 120'
Expected release: April, 2024
Production stage: 4/5 shot, editing has started
Budget: €455.000 (90 % in place)
1st feature: No
Looking for: Festival Premiere, Other Festivals, Distributor, Gap Financing, Strategic Guidance
Once Upon a Time in a Forest is a film about brave young people who are defending one of the last coniferous forest areas in Europe. It is a morality play and a love story of a younger generation whose main object of love is the Finnish forest. This cinematic documentary explores environmental feelings and witnesses how the 22-year old protagonist Ida grows up to be the leader of the new Forest Movement.
Virpi Suutari is an award winning filmmaker known for her personal cinematic style and emotional narratives that often challenge the borderline between documentary and fiction. One of her most beloved films is The Garden Lovers (2014). Her films have been shown in the major festivals such as IDFA, Visions du Réel, CPH: DOX, Locarno and Gothenburg film festival. Her latest feature documentary AALTO (2020) on architect Alvar & Aino Aalto has been distributed all over the world. The Idle Ones (2002) was nominated for the Best European Documentary (EFA) and she has won several awards as the best nordic documentary. Suutari has received the national film academy award, the Jussi Award, three times. Suutari has also worked as a journalist in the major newspapers in Finland. She is the member of the European Film Academy and the honorary Doctor of Arts in the University of Lapland.
Virpi Suutari is an experienced and an award winning documentary film maker. She has worked in this field for almost 30 years and she is now one of the main owners of Euphoria film, a film production company based in Helsinki.
In the recent years Suutari has produced some of her own films such as short films Elegance (2016) and A People’s radio – Ballads from a Wooded Country (2021) and a feature documentary AALTO (2020) which has been distributed by Autlook filmsales and sold widely across the world.