Oscars: Finland Is First Scandinavian Country to Announce Best Foreign Submission for 'The Disciple'

The Disciple Film Still H 2013

Ulrika Bengts' Swedish-language period drama is set in summer of 1939.

LONDON -- Finland became the first Scandinavian country to announce its Oscar nomination Monday when it tapped Ulrika Bengts' period drama The Disciple for contention.

Set on an island in the Baltic Sea in the summer of 1939, the story focuses on the relationship between 13-year-old Karl and Hasselbond, a lighthouse master the boy is sent to work for as an assistant.

A wily and adaptable orphan, Karl overcomes initial prejudice to win the lighthouse master's favor. That sets him on a collision course with the man's son as dark family secrets emerge.

The second feature for Bengts -- whose debut in 2011, Iris, was also a coming-of-age drama, but set in the 1890s -- the film is due for domestic release Sept. 27 and screened in official selection at the Montreal Film Festival, which wrapped Monday. It will also screen during Helsinki's Love & Anarchy Film Festival later this month.

The movie stars Erik Lonngren, Patrik Kumpulainen, Ping Mon Wallen, Nirklas Groundstroem and Amanda Ooms.

Producers Langfilm Productions are also handling world sales.