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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Sweden

Lasse Hallström to direct NENT Group’s first English-language feature, Hilma

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- The film will explore the enigmatic life of Hilma af Klint, one of the Western world’s first abstract artists

Lasse Hallström to direct NENT Group’s first English-language feature, Hilma
l-r: Director Lasse Hallström, and actresses Tora Hallström and Lena Olin

Nordic giant NENT Group has committed to producing two major English-language features every year, and to bringing the stories of famous and not-so-famous Nordic figures and events to international audiences. The first project fulfilling these long-term commitments is Hilma, written and helmed by award-winning director Lasse Hallström (Oscar-nominated for The Cider House Rules and My Life as a Dog).

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The film will be a biopic following the revolutionary Swedish artist and feminist pioneer Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), whose unconventional art and spirituality meant that her 1,300 works remained largely unknown for decades. Today, af Klint is recognised as one of the Western world’s first abstract artists, an achievement made even more impressive by the static, male-dominated artistic scene that surrounded her. The title role will be played by the director’s wife, Lena Olin (Night Train to Lisbon [+see also:
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, Oscar-nominated for Enemies, A Love Story), whilst their daughter Tora Hallström will portray the artist in her younger days.

Speaking about the project, Hallström said: “I’ve spent three years trying to understand the mystery of Hilma af Klint. This is a story about an unwavering search for the truth about humanity and the universe, at a time when men made all the rules. Despite so many obstacles, Hilma created art that influences our lives today. My ambition is for the audience to experience these struggles with all their senses.”

NENT Group chief content officer Filippa Wallestam commented: “Hilma af Klint literally changed the way we look at the world. She happens to be Swedish, but her story says something important to audiences everywhere. It’s so special to be working with talents of the calibre of Lasse, Lena and Tora, and it’s even better when the project means so much to everyone involved. Hilma and our upcoming films make NENT Group’s ambitions clear. Nobody in the Nordic region is thinking as big as this.”

Moreover, NENT Group president and CEO Anders Jensen added: “The impact that women and men from the small countries in the Nordics have had on the world is nothing less than extraordinary. Many are, of course, very well known, but others are less well known, or even almost unknown. We want to share these stories with the world and hopefully find new perspectives that will both enlighten and entertain. In today’s very competitive streaming world, it is key to stand out and be relevant. For us, building on who we are, where we come from and what we stand for is a very clear differentiator that will support our vision of becoming the European streaming champion. Today’s news is an amazing stepping stone on that journey.”

Hilma will premiere exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service in 2022. The film is being produced by NENT Studios, with Helena Danielsson serving as the producer and Josephine Zapata Genetay as the executive producer.

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