This year’s Nordic line-up is led by Sarah Gyllenstierna’s suspenseful debut Hunters on White Field and Simon Klose’s timely doc Hacking Hate.

The 2024 edition of the Tribeca Festival, which opened on Wednesday 5 June, will run until Sunday 16 June. In this article, NFTVF takes a closer look at the five titles with Nordic involvement taking part in this prestigious New York-based gathering. In detail, the Nordic region is being repped by five titles – three fiction features and two documentary features.

This year’s line-up is spearheaded by Swedish Sarah Gyllenstierna’s debut Hunters on a White Field (Jakt), playing in the International Narrative Competition.

The film, sold internationally by LevelK and staged by MostAlice with Film i Väst, stars Jens Hultén, Magnus Krepperand Ardalan Esmaili in the leading roles. The suspenseful drama centres on three men – Alex, Greger and Henrik – who get together on a weekend to go hunting in the woods. The novice Alex learns how to hunt from his experienced partners. An initial spell of hunting success sharpens their instincts and stirs a sense of rivalry. One day, all the animals vanish, and the forest turns eerily quiet. Yet for the men, the hunt must go on.

Speaking to NFTFV about the inception of her feature, Gyllenstierna says: “I embarked on this project at the end of 2019, but I first contacted Mats Wägeus, the author of the book it’s based on, a few years before that, after having read the book and being captivated by it. At that time, a French producer had optioned the rights. When I circled back to the author in 2019, the rights had become available.”

“I wrote a synopsis pretty quickly, as I had written a treatment back when I first read the book. We turned it in to the Swedish Film Institute at the beginning of 2020, and then, after receiving their development funding, I wrote the first draft in three months. Then I did a series of rewrites throughout 2020 and 2021, with a break to shoot a short pilot in December 2020. By the end of 2021, we got the green light for production.”

Next, the helmer zoomed in on the main challenges she has faced along the way.

“Artistically, the script was the most challenging part. When working on a story in which characters engage in extreme and absurdist behaviour, you’re constantly thinking and worrying about how to bring the audience along on that journey. The other challenge, which I think is a common one, is how to balance the tone of the film. You do get to set the tone in your directing, but it has to be considered and worked out first during the script phase.”

“Technically, our low budget caused the most challenges. The DoP and I had an ambitious shooting plan that was difficult to achieve, given our short-handed crew and few allotted shooting hours. What got us through was having a very thoroughly worked-out shooting plan and incredible dedication from all the crew and cast.”

Another project seeing Nordic involvement is Family Therapy (Odresitev za zacetnike) by the Slovenian film director Sonja Prosenc, also taking part in the International Narrative Competition. Norwegian outfit Incipit AS co-produced the picture with Slovenian, Italian, Croatian and Serbian partners. “Writer-director Sonja Prosenc’s latest is a fantastic, hilarious play on the premise of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema. Leaning into the satirical, the film features wonderful performances, especially from Marko Mandic as the patriarch and Aliocha Schneider as the young interloper,” reads the fest catalogue’s appealing synopsis.

The third fiction feature is Levan Akin’s Crossing (Sweden/Denmark/France/Turkey/Georgia). Sold by Totem Films and world-premiered in the Panorama section of this year’s Berlinale, the story revolves around a retired teacher called Lia, who has promised to find her long-lost niece, Tekla. Her search takes her to Istanbul where she meets Evrim, a lawyer fighting for trans rights, and Tekla starts to feel closer than ever. Akin’s latest endeavour recently opened Wiesbaden’s goEast Film Festival.

Finally, the two Nordic docs showcased by the festival are Simon Klose’s Hacking Hate and Henrik Burman’s AviciiI’m Tim.

The first doc is a co-production between Sweden, Denmark and Norway, playing in the Documentary Competition. Hacking Hate follows journalist My Vingren’s meticulous investigation leading her to Anika Collier Navaroli, the instrumental whistleblower at X who initially kicked Donald Trump off the platform, and to Imran Ahmed, a researcher who was sued by Elon Musk for exposing the hate speech culture on X. Together, My, Anika and Imran try to find out about how big tech companies can be held accountable, and how white supremacy and its violent tendencies can be disrupted forever.

“We've been working on Hacking Hate for over seven years, and this story has grown in ways we could never have predicted. At first I wanted to investigate the history of hate online, but when My showed me how she used fake accounts as a journalistic method, I knew that this was our story,” Klose tells NFTVF.

“My is a brilliant journalist and an amazing main character for the film. She had also experienced hate online personally, so everything I wanted to say with the film fell in place when I started focusing on her.

“I really wanted to figure out how the success of the far right is connected to social media. In this age of disinformation - is it a coincidence that far right parties are taking over parliaments all over the world? And also, as democracy is under threat, journalists around the world receive more and more threats. One of the main challenges we faced through the process of making the film, was making sure that nothing that we filmed would put our main character My at risk,” the helmer continues.

The second doc, AviciiI’m Tim, is a Swedish-American co-production. Screened in the Spotlight Documentary strand, the picture is a deep dive into the late DJ, remixer and record producer’s meteoric rise to fame. “Through never-before-seen tour footage and behind-the-scenes glimpses of his creative process, viewers are immersed in the high-energy world of EDM and the massive concerts that became synonymous with Avicii’s name,” states the US fest official catalogue.