Four Nordic-based producers are among the 20 contenders in the European Film Promotion’s elaborate networking event in Cannes, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The Guilty (Den skyldige), Sons (Vogter), Lamb (Dýrið), Gunda, Writing with Fire, Charter and Holy Spider are some of the titles shared between the four Nordic-based producers taking part in the 2024 Cannes Film Festival’s Producers on the Move event, organised and overseen by the European Film Promotion organisation. The proficient quartet, proposed by their respective national film institutes, and each with at least one international co-production but not yet majority production on more than three international co-productions, take part in an elaborate five-day programme. On the agenda are project pitches, one-on-one meetings, workshops, social events and an extensive press campaign with online presentation and profiles in the international trades. In all, 20 participants from across Europe are present at the 2024 edition.

Here are the 2024 Nordic participants, sharing missions and visions:

Lina Flint, Denmark, founded the talent division Nordisk Film Spring right after graduating from The National Film School in 2015. Her first feature as a producer, Gustav Möller’s The Guilty, won Sundance’s Audience Award and was shortlisted for the 91st Academy Awards. Her producer résumé includes Thomas Daneskov’s Wild Men(Vildmænd), which premiered at Tribeca in 2021, and Gustav Möller’s Berlinale 2024 competition title Sons. She joined Scanbox Entertainment Productions in 2024, and co-founded Square Peg Nordic to develop international projects with high-profile Scandinavian talent.

What does it mean to you and your company to represent Denmark at the Producers on the Move event in Cannes?

To be able to build close relationships with ambitious, like-minded producers from all over Europe is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to exchanging experiences, ideas, and learnings with people from outside our own "duck pond". Hopefully, we will be able to artistically collaborate and shake things up together.

What projects are you bringing to Cannes, and what are your priorities there?

I’m developing a handful of very ambitious feature films at the moment that I will pitch within the group of producers. But my main focus is just to get to know the other producers as human beings and storytellers.

I have a high concept hostage thriller called The White Privilege, which is based on true events when four siblings were forced to negotiate their father out of FARC’s hands. It’s developed together with the writer of The Guilty, Emil Nygaard Albertsen. There’s a dark character driven mystery about adult jealousy called Biological, developed by actresses Trine Dyrholm and Andrea Bræin Hovig and writer Maren Louise Käehne. There’s also an elevated horror about when the black death came to Denmark in 1349, developed by writer Anders August and actor Pilou Asbæk together with producer Lars Knudsen and the rest of the Square Peg team. There’s a gritty power play that evolves around true events, named The Blood Guild, in which three kings fight for the power in Denmark. The film is about parenthood, ghosts and spirituality, and it is developed by writer/director Rasmus Heisterberg. There’s The Limping Lady, again developed by Maren Louise Käehne, about how one of the first female doctors in a no-man’s-land uses the dark forces of the medical profession to take a life in order to save another.

What drives you as a producer, and what do you feel are the essential skills needed for a producer to make a project stand out on the market?

The feeling I get when discovering and falling in love with a new story and a storyteller, is magical. And then, when I watch the vision come together towards the end of the editing process and during the sound mixing, it happens again — I fall in love. Watching the film for the first time with an audience is an out-of-body experience, and it all keeps me going.

Basically, I think it’s a lot about putting together a project with a good portion of radicality to get the initial attention. And I think it’s important to support the filmmakers in sticking to their artistic uncompromisingness throughout the entire process.

    Sara Nassim, Iceland, is the co-owner of S101 in Reykjavík and comes with a solid experience in the film industry, with numerous short film productions – including serving as production coordinator on the Iceland unit of HBO’s Game of Thrones – a Grammy nomination and involvement in a number of major Icelandic feature films. Her feature producing debut, the subsequently Oscar-shortlisted Lamb, premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes in 2021, winning the Prize of Originality and placing her in the 10 Producers to Watch list in Variety in 2021. In 2022, Lamb won the Nordic Council Film Prize. Nassim is currently in post-production on Cornucopia, a feature-length project with musician-artist Björk, and in development on new projects, including Valdimar Jóhannsson’s and Grímur Hákonarson’s next ventures.

    What does it mean to you and your company to represent Iceland at the Producers on the Move event in Cannes?

    It’s a great honour for both me and my company to receive this international recognition. It's an opportunity to connect with industry professionals, and explore collaborations that can elevate Icelandic cinema and unite cultures on a global scale.

    What projects are you bringing to Cannes, and what are your priorities there?

    In Cannes I will focus on a new project by Grímur Hákonarson, produced under a new joint venture I have with Grímar Jónsson called Sarimar Films. Our priorities are to structure the production and bring on board sales agents.

    What drives you as a producer, and what do you feel are the essential skills needed for a producer to make a project stand out on the market?

    Creating a positive and supportive environment and nurturing talent is key for producing good projects. Finding like-minded collaborators and creators to work with on a project from the first seed to a fully realised film is a big part of the producer’s role, in my opinion. One also needs to lean into creative problem-solving and surround oneself with spirited and skillful professionals in the production team.

      Anita Rehoff Larsen, Norway, has been the co-owner of Sant & Usant since 2012, producing films by new talents and established directors. She has produced the 2020 Berlinale-entered Gunda by Viktor Kossakovsky, Tone Grøttjord-Glenne’s 2020 Hot Docs competition title All That I Am (Alt det jeg er), and Corinne van der Borch and Tone Grøttjord-Glenne’s Sisters on Track, screening at Tribeca in 2021. Her work also includes international co-productions such as Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas’ Oscar-nominated Writing with Fire and Camilla Nielsson’s Sundance award-winner President in 2022.

      What does it mean to you and your company to represent Norway at the Producers on the Move event in Cannes?

      For Sant & Usant and for myself as producer, I think it is a great achievement to represent Norway as Producer on the Move. This year is also the first time they selected someone from the documentary industry, in which our company is rooted. It gives me a great opportunity to connect more into both fiction and animation, which I’m also very interested in. I’m looking so much forward to getting to know new colleagues from the industry that I didn’t know from before, and to meet new possible distributor partners. We know that a film’s success also depends on the whole team, so to have the opportunity to develop new relationships with producers across Europe for long-term partnerships is something I’m looking forward to, as well as to learn from them and to bring home new films for possible co-production partnerships.

      What projects are you bringing to Cannes, and what are your priorities there?

      I’m bringing several films to Cannes, looking for distribution possibilities. Together with Louverture film, US, we’re producing the new film by Victor Kossakovsky, the second film in the ‘empathy trilogy’, where Gunda was the first. I’m also bringing with me a film called The Other Side of Silence, directed by Dheeraj Akolkar, who premiered in Cannes last year with his film Liv Ullmann: A Road less Travelled. The Other Side of Silence looks at the life of children born of war and war-rapes, from five countries, and how to fight for change growing up as a child fathered by the enemy.

      I will of course make the most out of the opportunity of being Producer on the Move, connect as much as I can with the other European producers, and develop my contact network and possibilities for new partnerships.

      What drives you as a producer, and what do you feel are the essential skills needed for a producer to make a project stand out on the market?

      I love filmmakers and films that dare to go their own way, films that find new ways of challenging the cinematic language, and to open up to see something new that you didn’t think about needing to see or feel. What drives me as a producer is maybe to see that you can make the impossible possible. As a producer, I think you need first of all to be a good team player, to believe and support the creative vision and give the filmmaker time to develop it, and then you need a lot of patience. And also to find good partners that can contribute something to the film that you can’t do yourself. To be aware of everyone’s strength and weakness, and bring on the right people.

        Eva Åkergren, Sweden, started out in the film and TV industry in 2001, and has a vast experience through the years as production manager, post producer and line producer, including on Amanda Kernell’s acclaimed 2016 directorial debut Sámi Blood (Sameblod) and Ali Abassi’s 2018 Oscar-shortlisted Border (Gräns). In 2018 she joined Nordisk Film, where she produced Charter by Amanda Kernell, which had its world premiere at Sundance and was picked as Sweden’s 2020 Oscar submission, followed by actress-director Tuva Novotny’s third feature Diorama in 2022. Eva Åkergren’s recent co-productions include Ali Abbasi’s 2021 Cannes hit and Denmark’s shortlisted entry for the 95th Academy Awards Holy Spider, Malou Reymann’s Unruly (Ustyrlig) in 2022, and Gustav Möller’s Sons in 2024. She is currently in preproduction on her third collaboration with Amanda Kernell, The Curse - A Love Story (FörbannelsenEn kärlekshistoria).

        What does it mean to you and your company to represent Sweden at the Producers on the Move event in Cannes?

        Personally, this recognition is like a badge of honour following years of commitment and hard work in filmmaking. It’s a great selection of producers to be part of, and I hope it will lead to new exciting collaborations and even better films. Nordisk Film shares the excitement, and proudly supports me as one of Europe´s most promising emerging producers this year.

        What projects will you bring to Cannes, and what will be your priorities there?

        Participating in the programme and networking with my fellow producers and finding new collaborative opportunities are my top priorities. My portfolio for Cannes includes a number of development projects with distinctive filmmakers like Farima Karimi, Iram Haq, Lisa Aschan and Jon Blåhed. Additionally, I’m very excited about bringing Amanda Kernell’s new feature film, which is currently in the preproduction phase.

        What drives you as a producer, and what do you feel are the essential skills needed for a producer to make a project stand out on the market?

        My motivation as a producer comes from telling stories. To me, it has always been crucial to tell stories that have depth and authenticity which resonate with the audiences. You need to be versatile as a producer and think several steps ahead, and identify what’s best for your project and the people you are working with. And you need to have a great script in order to make a great film or series, and sell it.

          The Producers on the Move initiative, launched in 2000 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, counts around 520 participants from 37 countries in this quarter of a century. “I know them all,” muses EFP deputy managing director Jo Mühlberger, who has been along for the whole journey as project director of the operation. The choice of Cannes as venue immediately felt naturally appropriate. “All of them are here already, so no extra cost will burden you if you’re selected,” Mühlberger correctly concludes. “But we also realised when we started that there was no dedicated programme for producers in Cannes, and we felt that it does make sense to highlight those creative minds and spirits behind a film project – to promote them and to give them a chance to talk to each other and exchange experiences. At first, this was a very basic half-day affair; we organised a breakfast. But the feedback was considerable and positive – people would actually meet with other people they’d only read about before, and would now be able to network with them. Soon, we also had media partners who would help out with the promotion. To have your picture in, say, Variety, can work miracles when it comes to requesting a meeting with a major player, it’s a real door opener. And it’s all only possible in Cannes, where you have all the media attention, because everyone’s there.”

          The track record reads nothing short of a who-is-who of today’s main players, and among previous Nordic “movers” one finds names like Birgitte Hald, Júlíus Kemp, Anna Anthony, Peter Hiltunen, Bent Hamer, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Agnes Johansen, Gudny Hummelvoll, Charlotta Denward, Jarkko Hentula, Leila Lyytikäinen, Lena Rehnberg, Tine Grew Pfeiffer, Aleksi Bardy, Helen Ahlson, Louise Vesth, Fredrik Heinig, Yngve Sæther, Annika Sucksdorff, Erik Hemmendorff, Lizette Jonjic, Mimmi Spång, Marie Ekerhovd, Erika Wasserman, Jussi Rantamäki, Katja Adomeit, Frida Bargo, David Herdies, and Nina Bisgaard – to name a few. As noted, Jo Mühlberger has met them all, and through the years he has experienced their growth from upcoming contenders to regular players. “It can be quite amazing, meeting a producer for the first time, and then again five years later, and seeing how they have sharpened their game, acting on the international stage.”

          With such predecessors, this year’s gang of four should be ready and able to conquer Cannes and other world arenas in a not-too-far future. Jo Mühlberger does not lack cases in point: “Take The Apprentice by Ali Abbasi, playing in Cannes competition this year, where two of the 2021 producers, Nima Yousefi and Ruth Treacy, are co-producing, and then a third one, Ditte Milsted, who was a 2017 participant, joining in. If we have contributed to encouraging such collaborations, that’s a job well done, I think.”

          To the full 2024 line-up: CLICK HERE.