Première de la série "Jour Polaire" (26 septembre 2016) [sv]
"Dear Hanna Stärne, CEO of SVT,
Dear Leila Behkti, Dear Gustaf Hammarsten,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a real pleasure to welcome you all at the Residence for the première of the French-Swedish coproduction, “Jour Polaire” or “Midnight Sun”
I haven’t seen the series yet but have read a few reviews and I know, for sure, that I will love it. In fact, the Nordic noir and the TV series are two of my main hobbies and the combination of the two with my profession, which is to bring Sweden and France closer, could not be more attractive.
Especially if, at the helm of the project, you have the Bron famous duo of Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. And two actors who are very important in their respective country. Gustaf Hammarsten, best known from the French public for having impersonated the young Harald Vanger in the David Fincher’s adaptation of “the Girl with the Dragon tattoo”. And Leila Bekthi one of the most acclaimed French actresses, especially for her role as Djamila in “Un Prophète” by Jacques Audiard, which was pretty successful in Sweden, and who received a César for “Tout ce qui brille » de Géraldine Nakache. I do not know how their couple will function, if it will be a Saga Noren – Martin Rohde type of partnership, but I cannot wait to find out.
I would also like to thank all the members of the team who are here tonight and whom I cannot mention individually and, of course congratulate Atlantique Production, Nice Drama , Canal+ and SVT for this achievement
The cultural context of the story is also fascinating, with “Jour Polaire” mainly taking place in Kiruna. It seems to be a trend for the Sami culture to inspire more and more writers, scenarist and directors. And it is not Olivier Truc, the most Swedish of French writers, who is with us tonight, who will contradict me, since his very successful crime novels all take place in Sàpmi.
If you allow me a personal anecdote, I was visiting the region this summer and had a stop at the old church of Jukkasjärvi, with its colourful paintings of Laestadius. And, believe it or not, at that time, I was finishing Olivier’s Truc second novel, “Le détroit du Loup”, the final scene of which takes place in the church, and starting Asa Larsson’s second novel, “Det blod som spillts”, which begins by a murder in the same church. All of a sudden, I had the feeling that Jukkasjärvi was the centre of the world. So, I do not know if the church will feature in “Jours polaires”, but anyway, there are, potentially, so many dramatic resorts in Kiruna, with the great iron mine, the relocation of the city and so on.
Let me say just a few words on the relationships between Sweden and France in the TV and film industry. We feel very lucky that the French cinema has such a recognized position here. For example, more than ten French films will open before the end of the year, such as L’Avenir (Dagen efter denna) by Mia Hansen-Love, Cézanne et moi (Cézanne och Zola) by Danièle Thompson or Chocolat by Roschdy Zem. And in a few weeks, the Stockholm Film Festival will open and I understand that a rich selection of French movies is expected.
French television has also found an audience in Sweden, which is consistent with the growing international success of our creations, most of them produced by Canal+, like Midnight Sun. The best example is probably Les Revenants which was broadcast on SVT and has become quite popular. “Un village français’, produced by the public channel France 3, was also broadcast in May 2016. I take the opportunity to thank SVT and to encourage them to discover other productions of our industry.
For example, if I am not mistaken, my two favourites French series, “Le bureau des légendes”, “the Bureau” in english, a spy show ; and “Engrenages”, “Spiral” in english, a police and judicial series, both of them created by Canal +, have not been broadcast in Sweden
I do not feel embarrassed to do the promotion of our productions since there has been an enthusiastic appetite in France, especially in recent years, for the high quality series coming out of Sweden. The likes of Bron, Millenium, Wallander, Commissaire Winter (from the Ake Edwardsson novels), or the Camilla Läckberg’ s inspired series all belong to the French TV landscape.
I should add that, with ‘Real Humans’, which was received with great acclaim, France has also discovered Swedish science-fiction. In fact, 2016 was a record year for Swedish productions, including “Jordskott” in May and “Murders in Sandham”, from Viveca Sten, in August.
Let me add, that, in the movie theatres, last year, the public and the critics greatly appreciated Snow Therapy (Turist) by Ruben Ostlund, which is actually another great example of a successful coproduction between Sweden and France, though we do need to admit that Denmark was also involved.
I could go on like that forever, but it is time to wrap up with, again, congratulations to all members of the team, who have worked so tirelessly to launch this promising new series in our two countries. Cheers to you all and may it be the signal of many more collaborations to come !