And Then We Danced. Photo: French Quarter Film

Levan Akin’s film And Then We Danced has been selected as Sweden’s submission for an Academy Award in the Best International Feature Film category.

And Then We Danced is set in the homophobic, gender-conservative world of dance in the country of Georgia. Young dancer Merab (played by Levan Gelbakhiani) faces the challenge of his life when he falls for his biggest rival in the dance company, charismatic newcomer Irakli (Bachi Valishvili). Merab’s whole world is rocked, and he risks losing everything he has fought for.

And Then We Danced was made on a small budget and with a lot of love, courage and commitment. We are tremendously delighted to be representing Sweden in the Oscars,” says director Levan Akin, who also wrote the screenplay.

Levan Akin (born 1979) is a Swedish director with roots in Georgia. His first feature was Certain People (Katinkas kalas, 2012) which had its international premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. Levan Akin’s second film, The Circle (Cirkeln, 2015) was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for three Swedish Film (Guldbagge) Awards.

And Then We Danced was filmed in Georgia under tremendous pressure and secrecy. The film world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it screened in the Director's Fortnight section. Since then it has been sold to more than 30 countries. This summer it won three awards at the Odessa International Film Festival, including lead role for Levan Gelbakhiani, who also recently won Best Actor at the Sarajevo Film Festival. And Then We Danced is also on the EFA shortlist to be nominated for Best Film at this year’s European Film Awards.

And Then We Danced is a Swedish-French-Georgian co-production produced by Mathilde Dedye for French Quarter Film and Ketie Danelia for Takes Film in co-production with Rmv Film, Inland Film, Ama Productions, in collaboration with SVT and with production funding from the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioners Madeleine Ekman and Juan Pablo Libossart. Totem Films is handling international sales and Music Box holds the rights for the US and Canada. TriArt Film is the Swedish distributor and the film will be released in Swedish cinemas on 13 September.

About the Swedish Academy Award submission:

This year, for the first time the Swedish Oscar Committee decided to nominate three films in the first stage. The aim was to further pay tribute to the quality and range of films being made in Sweden. The other two nominations in the first stage were Aniara directed by Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja, and The Perfect Patient (Quick) directed by Mikael Håfström.

Every year before the end of September, the Swedish Oscar Committee selects a Swedish candidate for the Academy Awards from titles released between 1 October and 30 September. The film has to meet the release requirements of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Members of the Swedish Oscar Committee:

Jan Lumholdt, Swedish Federation of Film Critics
Stephan Apelgren, Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film – Directors
Sanna Lenken, Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film – Directors
Zoran Slavic, The Swedish Film and Television Cooperation Committee
Tomas Michaelsson, Swedish Film & TV Producers Association
Lizette Jonjic, Swedish Film & TV Producers Association
Mirja Wester, Göteborg Film Festival

The Chairman of the Swedish Oscar Committee is Steffen Andersen-Møller, Head of International Department at the Swedish Film Institute.

For further questions regarding And Then We Danced, please contact the film’s publicist Manlin

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The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897. Read on: | | 


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