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Nordic Film Talks: Lina Flint

Nordic Film Talk, Lina Flint / PHOTO: NFTVF

Nordic Film Talks: Lina Flint

Nordic Film Talk, Lina Flint / PHOTO: NFTVF

The successful Danish producer talks about the international potential of Sons, what she learned as a Producer on the Move at Cannes 2024, and her new collaborations with Lars Knudsen and Ari Aster.

It's only halfway through 2024 and Danish producer Lina Flint has already had a very exciting year: Her most recent production, Gustav Möller’s Sons (Vogter), premiered at the Berlinale competition in February, and will start its international rollout in French cinemas starting in July; she has started a new job at Scanbox Production; and she also joined forces with Lars Knudsen and Ari Aster to co-found Square Peg Nordic, which develops international projects with high-profile Scandinavian talent.

To cap it off, Flint participated in European Film Promotion’s prestigious Producers on the Move programme in Cannes.

In her deep-dive interview as part of the Nordic Film Talks podcast series, Flint says she sees her career stretching from Denmark to the world, evidenced by all her activity in 2024.

Sons reunites her with Gustav Möller, who made their career-making feature debut together with The Guilty (Den skyldige).

In this dramatic thriller, Sidse Babett Knudsen plays Eva, an idealistic prison officer who faces a moral dilemma when a young man from her past becomes an inmate.

Flint produced Sons for Nordisk Film, co-produced by Nordisk’s Swedish division with support from the Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond and in collaboration with DR, SVT and Les Films du Losange.

Sons will launch in French cinemas in July from distributor Les Films du Losange (which also handled international sales), followed by an autumn launch in Denmark. “We’re super happy that it has sold to almost every single territory,” Flint adds. “It is invited to a lot of festivals at the moment. It won a young audience prize in France and it won the main prize at Hong Kong International Film Festival. So now it's living its life out there. That’s moving because if we could say something that we took away from The Guilty, it would be that meeting the international audience is what we want to fight for. Seeing that happening now with Sons is really amazing.”

Flint made her mark straight after graduating from the National Film School of Denmark in 2015, quickly starting the new-talent focused Nordisk Film Spring. Spring’s first feature, Möller’s one-room thriller The Guilty kicked things off with a bang, winning Sundance’s Audience Award in 2018, being shortlisted for the 91st Academy Awards, and going on to inspire an English-language remake starring Jake Gyllenhaal. That kind of success was unheard of for a Danish-language thriller made for only €500,000. This was a transformative experience for Flint and Möller.

“It took us a while to figure out what our second feature film should be,” Flint says in the podcast. “Given the success of The Guilty, we were, to be honest, a bit overwhelmed and also a bit confused. We did The Guilty right out of film school. It was mostly an experiment. It was high concept, we shot it in 13 days … and then it like internationally exploded, so we handled that film full-time for two and a half years. It was a very long journey, with all the festival touring, the national premiere, then the Oscar campaign, then the remake of the film. It was the most insane film course we've gone through. So it took a while for us to accept the fact that we were on a very, very privileged journey with this film.”

She’s now on many more journeys - as a Producer on the Move at Cannes 2024, she was busy learning from her peers and taking meetings on her busy slate of new projects (To read more: CLICK HERE), which include hostage thriller The Privilege, developed with the writer of The Guilty and co-writer of Sons, Emil Nygaard Albertsen; a character-driven mystery developed by actresses Trine Dyrholm and Andrea Bræin Hovig and writer Maren Louise Käehne; and an elevated horror about when the black death came to Denmark in 1349 (the latter being developed through Square Peg Nordic).

She’s excited about the potential of Square Peg Nordic, the offshoot of Midsommar creators Lars Knudsen and Ari Aster’s American production company Square Peg, which will help Nordic talents work on an international scale. “We have a common ambition to try to do international projects with high-end Scandinavian talent – we want to see if it’s possible to make a structure combining the best we have from the Scandinavian system with the more international way of putting projects together and financing them. We want to see if we can combine this…oriented to an international audience, maybe also in the English language.”

International ambition is a common thread in Flint’s work. “The feeling I had when being a part of the Producers on the Move programme was that the world just got so much bigger. I'm so happy about producing from Copenhagen, from Denmark. I really love our culture. We have the most powerful and supporting funding system, but we are a very, very small country. So we had such a great feeling when we were in France for a pre-premiere screening of Sons.”

In the podcast, Flint also talks about how Sidse Babett Knudsen became an essential collaborator on Sons; when it’s smart to take the difficult decision to abandon a long-gestating project; and the importance of fostering strategic pan-Nordic and pan-European partnerships.

The Nordic Film Talks is available for free on Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s website’s Industry Insight section (CLICK HERE) and distributed through major podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Amazon, Castbox, Deezer, Podcast Addict, Podchaser and JioSaavn.