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Picture Tree International Boards Swedish 1930s Religious Cult Drama ‘Raptures’ – EFM

EXCLUSIVE: Picture Tree International (PTI) has boarded sales on religious cult drama Raptures (Rörelser) about the notorious real-life Korpela Movement which took hold in the remote Torne Valley on the border of Sweden and Finland in the 1930s.

Written and directed by Swedish filmmaker Jon Blåhed, the film is inspired by true events captured in the novel Dagning; röd! by award-winning minority Meänkieli language author Bengt Pohjanen.

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The drama, which is currently in the second half of its shoot in northern Finland and Sweden, will be the first feature shot in Meänkieli, which is spoken by some 70,000 people in the Torne Valley but was suppressed by the Swedish state for decades.

Blåhed took further inspiration from his own family history connected to the strict Læstadian movement in the Torne Valley region where he grew up.

The drama revolves around Rakel, a devout Christian believer whose husband Teodor forms a liberal sectarian movement and forces her to join too.

Rakel is faced with a growing dilemma as things start to fall apart over how she can keep her stepdaughter safe and the family together as her husband’s behaviour becomes more and more eccentric.

The cast features Jessica Grabowsky (Midnight Sun), Jakob Öhrman (Kikka!), Hannu-Pekka Björkman (Woodcutter Story), Elina Knihtilä (Family Time) and Golden Globe nominee Alma Pöysti (Fallen Leaves).

Raptures is Blåhed’s second feature after 2020 debut Inland and TV series Fake Patient, which successfully premiered on C More and TV4 in Sweden in 2023.

Delivery is expected for in Fall/Winter 2024 with Scandinavian Film Distribution attached as Nordic distributor alongside B-Plan for Finland.

Raptures is produced by Andreas Emanuelsson and Tony Österholm under the banner of Swedish company Iris Film in co-production with Tiina Pesonen of Finland’s Rabbit Films, Sweden’s film and TV hub Filmpool Nord and Swedish broadcaster SVT in association with Finland’s Yle.

The film is supported by the Swedish Film Institute, The Finnish Film Foundation and Business Finland.

Raptures marks PTI’s fourth Nordic acquisition ahead of the upcoming EPM.

It joins recent acquisition Unsinkable by Christian Andersen based on the real-life sinking of the rescue boat RF2 during one of its initial missions resulting in the loss of nine lives in Northern Denmark in 1981.

The drama was nominated for five Danish Film Awards and features Sylvester Byde (Boys), Johanne Louise Schmidt (Department Q), Anders Brinck Madsen (Sunday), Sofie Torp (Held for Ransom), Iben Dorner (Borgen), Esben Dalgaard (The Chestnut Man) and Henrik Birch (Norskov) in the cast.

PTI is also selling Rotterdam and Gothenburg titles peasant saga Stormskerry Maja by Tiina Lymi and political satire The Missile by Miia Tervo.

The latter title won the Best Acting Award at Gothenburg for Oona Airola, who is also known internationally for her performance in Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki.

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