Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's first Swedish feature in seven years, We Are the Best! (photo), was Friday (October 25) awarded the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix at the 26th Tokyo Film Festival. “This is just overwhelming,” he said, when receiving the trophy and the €36,500 cheque from jury chairman, Chinese director Chen Kaige.
Since launched domestically by Svensk Filmindustri earlier this month (October 11), Moodysson's film has registered 49,420 admissions, besides touring the international festival circuit also screening in Toronto, London, Warsaw, Zurich and Rio de Janeiro. Next stops are the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck (October 30-November 3), the American Film Institute Fest in Los Angeles (November 7-14) and the Sevilla European Film Festival (November 8-16).
Moodysson's seventh feature, four years after his first English-language production, Mammoth (2009), follows Bobo, Klara and Hedvig - three 13-year-old outsiders in 1980s' Stockholm - who despite differences decide to start a punk band without having any instruments and everybody says punk is dead. Newcomers Mira Grosin, Mira Barkhammar and Liv LeMoyne play the leads.
Scripted by Moodysson, from Coco Moodysson's comic book Never Goodnight, and produced by Lars Jönsson for Memfis Film, We Are the Best! has been licensed by Denmark's TrustNordisk to more than 50 territories, including key markets US, UK, Australia, France, Benelux and Italy, most recently adding Russia, Greece, Mexico, Hungary and Hong Kong.
Dubbed Iceland's first horse film, Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson's feature debut Of Horses and Men won Tokyo's prize for Best Director – the second within a month, after the Kutxa-New Directors Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Also Iceland's submissions for the Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Feature, Of Horses and Men will this week open the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck (October 30).
Read more exclusive contents on cineuropa.org.