Former Oslo Pictures CEO-producer Dyveke Bjørkly Graver and producer Andrea Berentsen Ottmar have set up their own shop, Eye Eye Pictures, Variety has learned.
The Norwegian producers were both behind the Cannes-winning and double Oscar-nominated “The Worst Person in the World” by star Norwegian director Joachim Trier. The Nordic romcom, released by Neon in the U.S., earned Renate Reinsve a Cannes Festival best actress award in 2021.
Besides Trier, Bjørkly Graver and Berentsen Ottmar have brought another visionary Norwegian auteur to Cannes: Kristoffer Borgli, whose satire “Sick of Myself” world premiered at the festival’s Un Certain Regard strand this year. The director’s sophomore pic went on to secure multiple sales for Memento International, from France (Tandem), Benelux (Cherry Pickers) and Japan (The Klockworx Co ltd) to Latin America (Cine Canibal), with a U.S. deal pending.
A string of other talents to watch have directed shorts for the Eye Eye Pictures’ co-heads, including Beeston Film Fest winner André Chocron (“Chronos”), SXSW nominee Thea Hvistendahl (“Virgins4lyfe”) and Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel (“Fanny”), grandson of Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann.
“With our new company, we will continue to work on director-driven projects, both from established names and newcomers, across film and TV series, and expand our international network by focusing on co-productions,” said Berentsen Ottmar, named a Producer on the Move at Cannes 2022.
“These are both exciting and challenging times, in our rapidly changing industry,” she continued. “But we’re confident in our shared vision and taste, we’re flexible and have attracted a lot of interest internationally with ‘The Worst Person in the World’ and ‘Sick of Myself,’” she said.
The first Eye Eye Pictures pic to go into production next year will most probably be Ullmann Tøndel’s debut feature “Armand.” The drama, in a financing phase, centres on a young boy accused of assaulting his best friend at elementary school. Their mothers clash violently, but who is telling the truth?
Before “Armand”, the Norwegian producers will finalize two female directorial debuts developed under the Oslo Pictures’ banner: “A Prayer for the Dying,” by Cinéfondation-selected Dara Van Dusen (“Malzonkowie”), and the drama thriller “Ebba” by Johanna Pyykkö, whose short film, “The Manila Lover,” was selected for the 2019 Cannes Festival.