Projects

Cannes Docs

Children of the Lowest Heaven

Original title: Ønskeliv

Directed by: Birgitte Stærmose Mortensen

Produced by: Lise Lense-Moeller (Magic Hour Films, Denmark)

Country of production: Denmark, Kosovo, Sweden, Norway, Germany (TBD)

Runtime: 80'

Expected release: May, 2023

Production stage: Late production / early editing

Budget: € 1,022,400 (85% in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Festivals, sales agent, gap financing

Synopsis:

On the murky streets of postwar Pristina 2009, a group of children sell cigarettes and whisper tales of loss and hope. A decade later these children, now young adults, still fight to survive at the bottom of society in one of Europe’s youngest and poorest nations, where hope is found in religious fundamentalism, or the dream of emigration. A collective portrait of a condition, a state of being.

Director’s profile:

Birgitte Stærmose Mortensen: An internationally acclaimed writer-director of early award-winning shorts and fiction feature films (Darling & Room 304). For the past five years Stærmose has worked internationally as lead director on drama mini-series for HBO, Starz and Netflix (Industry2, The Spanish Princess, In From the Cold and The English Game). She is currently in production on her third feature film Camino. The short hybrid Out of Love, which is an integral part of Children of the Lowest Heaven, was widely awarded internationally and received Best Documentary Award from the Danish Academy.

Producers’s profile:

Film producer, founder, and CEO of Magic Hour Films, a company set up in 1984 and based in Copenhagen. Magic Hour Films develops, produces and co-produces feature documentaries and fiction films for the national and international markets. A large number of productions are international co-productions, and many have received international acclaim, the top winner being Burma VJ by Anders Østergaard with 52 international awards and an Oscar-nomination. Other titles include Into Eternty by Michael Madsen, and Heartbound by Janus Metz and Sine Plambech. In addition, Lise has been teaching international workshops including since 1992 for EAVE, as first group leader, now Head of Studies. Lise also runs a small publishing house.

Cannes Docs

Clout Chasers – like, follow and love me!

Original title: Clout Chasers

Directed by: Anna-Maija Heinonen & Krista Moisio

Produced by: Oskar Forstén ( Polygraf, Finland)

Country of production: Finland

Runtime: 80',58'

Expected release: January, 2024

Production stage: Production

Budget: € 414,000 (76% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Buyers, Co-producers, distributors and strategic guidance in the international market place

Synopsis:

Twenty-year-old Atte has gotten the attention of forty thousand online followers by branding himself as a funny and laid-back “party guy”, who discusses topics on drug abuse with his followers. One morning he wakes up in a pre-trial detention center and starts to question his need to be admired and the cost of online stardom. At the same time, eighteen-year-old Jonsu starts cutting Atte out of her life.

Director’s profile:

Anna-Maija Heinonen (born in 1993) is a Helsinki-based filmmaker. Since graduating from film school in 2016, she has been exploring topics regarding youth, taboos and underground phenomenons. She’s interested in stories that portray the ambivalence of human experience in modern times. In her first upcoming feature documentary, Clout Chasers, she and co-director Krista Moisio explore the use of social media and self-branding as a tool for self-discovery and approval in Gen Z. Upon discovering the film’s topic and protagonist, she knew instantly that this is the project she wants to devote her time, passion and heart to. In her spare time she is developing her screenwriting and editing skills.

Co-Director’s profile:

Krista Moisio (born in 1992) has a sharp eye and a beating heart for subcultures and phenomenons trending among teens. She has a deep-rooted need for understanding different kinds of people, and loves to develop her understanding by spending a lot of time on online forums and social media. This spare time hobby paid off when she discovered the clout phenomenon on Jodel (Finland’s most popular communication platform) in 2020. In her first feature documentary she wants to help people understand what Gen Z is all about. Finnish teens have felt neglected in the public eye, it seems like nobody truly understands their needs. The film Clout Chasers tells their story. Clout chasing isn’t just about fame or impact on social media, it’s a modern way to be accepted by others.

Producers’s profile:

Oskar Forstén was born in Helsinki in February 1981. He studied all aspects of filmmaking in a wide range of schools between the years 1998 and 2009 in Finland, Sweden and the UK. He founded the production company ”4KRS Films ” together with Arthur Franck back in 2007 for the love of creative documentaries. During the past 10+ years the name of the company has changed regularly (now Polygraf), but the objective is still the same: to produce engaging documentary content. As a producer Oskar focuses on non-fiction projects with a strong visual and narrative approach. He’s looking for stories with a universal appeal and his films have been competing and screened at festivals around the world. Oskar lives in Helsinki with his small family of three. When not working, he spends his time in the Finnish archipelago and Scandinavian mountains.

Cannes Docs

Leaving Jesus

Original title: Leaving Jesus

Directed by: Ellen Fiske

Produced by: Michael Krotkiewski, David Herdies (Momento Film, Sweden)

Country of production: Sweden, Denmark, Norway

Runtime: 88'

Expected release: May, 2023

Production stage: Production

Budget: € 651,240 (80 % in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Prebuys, Sales Agents, Distributors, financiers, festivals

Synopsis:

A group Christian ex-fundamentalists gather at Journey Free retreat in San Fransisco. Lost and with traumatic experiences they attempt to free themselves from their fundamental communities that they were born into. But how do one find meaning, identity and a moral compass in our frantic world, while at the same time having to question your closest friends and the truths you once took for granted?

Director’s profile:

Ellen Fiske studied documentary filmmaking at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Fiske’s feature doc, Scheme Birds won Best Documentary Feature and Best New Documentary Director award at Tribeca in 2019. Her latest feature doc Josefin & Florin received a Guldbagge for Best Editing at the ”Swedish BAFTA’s” and won the prestigious Prix Europa Iris award in 2020.

Producers’s profile:

Michael Krotkiewski born in 1980 in Sweden, is a director, tutor, producer and co-owner of Momento Film. As a producer Michael has produced and coproduced several fiction and documentary films and some of his latest releases include; Amparo by Simon Mesa Soto (won the Rising Star Award at Semaine de la Critique in Cannes 2021, Yung Lean: In My Head by Henrik Burman (competed at Tribeca FF 2020, theatrical release in over 113 cinemas worldwide, sold to VICE), Transnistra by Anna Eborn (won the Big Screen Competition at Rotterdam IFF, the Dragon Award for best Nordic Documentary at Gothenburg IFF and The Swedish Guldbagge Award for Best Documentary in 2019). Michael has a diploma from Stockholm Academy Of Dramatic Arts, EURODOC and EAVE.

Cannes Docs

Mannvirki

Original title: Mannvirki

Directed by: Gústav Geir Bollason

Produced by: Hrönn Kristinsdóttir 5Go to Sheep ehf., Iceland), Annick Lemonnier (Epileptic, France)

Country of production: Iceland, France

Runtime: 70'

Expected release: June, 2022

Production stage: Postproduction

Budget: € 140,184 (in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Festivals, sales agents, distributor, buyers

Synopsis:

Landscape in the century of the man. Midst in there a post-industrial structure that has been shaped by the forces of nature. The ruins in process, where workers add to the decay of the building. Creatures, animals, vegetation come in touch with the building and afgfect it, each in its own manner.

Director’s profile:

Gústav Geir Bollason (b.1966) studied at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts (forerunner of the Icelandic University of the Arts) 1986-1989, studied drawing for a year at Budapest, Hungary, and graduated with the degree of DNSEP from Ecole d´Art de Cergy, in France 199. Gústav´s work takes on the form of drawings, constructed objects, remaking of found objects and film works. He works equally with abstract presentation, recreation and parallels and he invents processes where he contrasts different methods and subjects. He explores places with a history, traces of human habitation, or collects objects rendered outlandish by natures treatment. Gústav´s work has been shown at solo exhibitions as well as in group shows in Iceland and abroad (Paris, New York, San Fransisco to name a few) Gústav´s last feature film Carcass (2017) premiered in Rotterdam.

Producers’s profile:

Hrönn Kristinsdóttir has been active in the Icelandic Film Industry since 1997, she has produced and co-produced numerous features, documentaries and shorts. She was a board member of the Association of Icelandic Filmproducers 2007-2012, a jury member for the Nordic Film Awards 2005-2007, founder and board member of Wift Iceland (Women in Film and Television). She did receive the Edda Awards for the production of Ikingut 2001 and in 2000 she was Iceland´s representative in EFP “Producers on the Move” in Cannes. Hrönn´s last produced feature film Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannsson won the prize of originality in Un certain Regard in Cannes 2021.

Cannes Docs

Punishment

Original title: Straff

Directed by: Øystein Mamen

Produced by: Ingvil Giske (Medieoperatørene, Norway)

Country of production: Norway

Runtime: 100'

Expected release: January, 2023

Production stage: Production

Budget: €631,920 (84% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Festivals, sales agents / distributors, buyers.

Synopsis:

In Halden prison in Norway 250 men are incarcerated, many with long sentences at the upper end of the penalty scale: Murder, major drug cases, violence. Once a year, a few of them participate in something unique: Living as monks for 3 weeks, in a ward of the prison made into a monastery. What happens when the men voluntarily submit themselves to stricter rules than the prison imposes on them?

Director’s profile:

Director and screenwriter Øystein Mamen is best known as an award-winning cinematographer. He was the DOP of Dag Johan Haugerud’s Beware of Children that premiered at Venice Film Festival 2019, and was the winner of both the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film and the Audience Dragon Award Best Nordic Film at Gothenburg film Festival 2020. He has also filmed Kim Hiorthøi’s The Rules of Everything and several of Margreth Olin’s documentaries, such as The Self Portrait. Mamen has also worked as a cinematographer on four of Ole Gievær’s films, including the award-winning Out of Nature. Punishment will be Mamen’s directorial debut, and he has also shot the film.

Producers’s profile:

Ingvil Giske has worked in documentaries for more than 20 years. Among her latest releases are Natasa Urban’s The Eclipse (DOX:AWARD 2022) two kids docs released in 2021 Line Hatland’s Kids Cup (IDFA, Giffoni, Zlin, New York Children’s film festival etc) and Solveig Melkeraaen’s The School by the Sea (Hot Docs, Nordic Panorama, Cleveland Int Film Festival etc). She also produced Benjamin Ree’s The Painter and the Thief from 2020 that received a special jury award for creative storytelling at Sundance, was on the shortlist for an Oscar and won more than 30 film awards. Ingvil has also produced Paul S. Refsdal’s Dugma – the Button (2016), that was awarded Best Mid-length Documentary at HotDocs 2016, and Silje Evensmo Jacobsen’s Faith Can Move Mountains (2021) that won the Prix Europa Iris Award 2021.