Scandi Shuffle in Wake of Sandrew Shutdown

Swedish, Norwegian and Danish distributors taking advantage of pan-Scandinavian distributor closure.


BERLIN -- The staid Scandinavian film business is getting a major shakeup as pan-Scandi distributor Sandrew Metronome winds up its operations.

In Sweden, Mattias Nohrborg, former boss of the now-defunct Triangelfilm has launched new distribution company Tri Art Film together with ex-Sandrew exec Staffan Wallhem and Bengt Vernberg.

In Norway, home entertainment group Star Media Entertainment has hired Pal Krem former head of theatrical for CCV/Oro Film to launch a theatrical distribution arm.

And in Denmark, local giant Nordisk Film, has taken advantage of Sandrew’s pull out to bulk up its back catalogue, buying 130 Danish titles from Sandrew, including ones from Soren Kragh-Jacobsen (The Boys from St Petri) and Susanne Bier (The One and Only).

Tri Art is backed by Swedish amusement park group Folkets Hus och Parker and animation studio Forestlight. Its initial slate is heavy on international art house, with releases such as Norwegian Wood from director Tran Anh Hung, Tom Tykwer’s menage dramedy Three and Danis Tanovic’s pre-Yugoslav war feature Cirkus Columbia.

Star Media is taking a more mainstream track, with a lineup that includes Marcus Nispel’s 3D Conan the Barbarian reboot, John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and Welcome to the Rileys from director James Scott with James Gandolfini and Kristen Stewart.

Sandrew, one of Scandinavia’s largest indie distributors, announced last year that it would wind up its theatrical operations and cancelled its largest studio output deal -- with Warner Bros. -- for Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.