The Swedish Oscar Committee has presented the shortlist for Sweden’s submission to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film. Selected for the shortlist are Milad Alami’s Opponent, Mika Gustafson’s Paradise is Burning, and Together 99 by Lukas Moodysson.
The shortlist, as selected by the Swedish Oscar Committee:
In the aftermath of a devastating rumor, Iman and his family have been forced to flee Iran. As refugees, they end up in a run-down hotel in northern Sweden. Despite feeling powerless, Iman tries to maintain his role as the family patriarch. To increase their chances of asylum, he breaks a promise to his wife and joins the local wrestling club. As the rumours start to resurface, Iman’s fear and desperation begin to take a hold. Writer-director Milad Alami’s acclaimed drama had its world premiere at this year’s Berlinale and picked up the Special Jury Prize at the Seattle Film Fest. The film stars Iranian actor Payman Maadi supported by Marell Nasiri, Björn Elgerd, Arvin Kananian and Ardalan Esmaili. Opponent was produced by Tangy / Annika Rogell, in co-production with Filmpool Nord, Film i Väst, SVT and Ape & Bjørn, with support from the Swedish Film Institute. Opponent had its Swedish theatrical premiere in March, distributed by TriArt Film. Sales by IndieSales.
PARADISE IS BURNING
Sisters Laura, Mira and Steffi live alone in a working class housing estate, as their mother often disappears for lengthy periods. When Social Services demands a meeting, Laura is obliged to find someone to play their mom, to avoid the sisters being placed in foster care and separated. Mika Gustafson’s coming-of-age drama, starring newcomers Safira Mossberg, Bianca Delbravo and Dilvin Asaad, will have its world premiere next week at the Venice Film Festival. Paradise is Burning was written by Mika Gustafson and Alexander Öhrstrand, and produced by Nima Yousefi / Hobab in co-production with Film i Väst, Tuffi Films, Toolbox Film, Intramovies, Film Stockholm and SVT, with support from the Swedish Film Institute. The film is distributed domestically by TriArt Film with a cinema release set for October 27. Sales by Intra Movies.
Together 99 tells the story of a group of very different individuals who in 1975 lived in a commune called “Together”. Now it is 1999, 24 years later, and the collective has turned into the world’s smallest. The commune consists of only two people – Göran and Klasse. Feeling a bit lonely, the idea occurs of a reunion with their old friends. Writer-director Lukas Moodyson’s follow-up to his critically acclamied festival hit Together (2000) is set for a world premiere at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. The film features an ensemble cast with, amongst others, Gustaf Hammarsten, Shanti Roney, Jessica Liedberg and David Dencik. Together 99 was produced by Lars Jönsson and Anna Carlsten / Memfis Film, in co-production with Film i Väst, SF Studios and Zentropa Entertainment, with support from the Swedish Film Institute. Domestic distribution is handled by SF Studios, with a Swedish cinema release set for October 13. Sales by Reinvent.
The final Swedish Oscar submission for Best International Feature Film will be presented on September 21.
The 96th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 10, 2024.
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 December 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023, and meet the requirements for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), have been eligible for the 2023 Oscars.
Members of the Swedish Oscar Committee:
Agneta Fagerström Olsson, The Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film – Directors
Anna Anthony, The Swedish Film & TV Producers Association
Carl Javér, The Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film – Directors
Cicci Renström Suurna, The Swedish Film Critics Association
Jonas Holmberg, Göteborg International Film Festival
Nanna Blondell, actress and director
Sara de Costa, The Swedish Film and Television Cooperation Committee
Stefan Baron, The Swedish Film & TV Producers Association
Chairman: Petter Mattsson, Head of the International Department at the Swedish Film Institute.