EXCLUSIVE: Sales agent and producer Philippe Bober has secured a ‘Grand Accord’ deal with Arte France, ZDF, ARD and a pre-sale to Germany’s Alamode on Ruben Östlund’s upcoming film The Square.

Bober, Head of Coproduction Office told nordicfilmandtvnews.com: “The Grand Accord agreement between Arte France and its German partners ZDF and ARD is very rare and prestigious. Only internationally renowned European directors get access to this substantial funding. Lars von Trier, Aki Kaurismäki, Roy Andersson are among those happy few, and this is the first time ever for Ruben.”

For Bober who has been working with Östlund and producer Erik Hemmendorff since 2005, the Swedish director is ‘in the process of becoming a brand’. Each of his films has sold in more territories than the preceding one and Force Majeure in particular was an international hit. The film sold 1.023.776 tickets worldwide, including 154.533 in France, 145.219 in the US (plus a sale to Netflix via Magnolia Pictures), 187.892 in Sweden, and 96.668 in the UK/Ireland. “Many world distributors recouped their investment on Force Majeure and want to be involved in The Square” stressed Bober. 

Just like Force Majeure, The Square will be a darkly humorous and thought-provoking social satire, with a strong male character in the lead. Casting is underway and Danish editor Jacob Secher Schulsinger will collaborate with Östlund for the third time. The € 4 million project is produced by Plattform’s Erik Hemmendorff in co-production with Bober’s production outfits Parisienne in France, Essential in Germany, Coproduction Office with Katja Adomeit in Denmark. Other investors so far include Film Väst, SVT, YLE, DR, the Swedish Film Institute and Danish Film Institute. 

Bober will continue pre-selling the film at the upcoming Marché du film in Cannes.