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Reine Brynolfsson as Agne in Jens Assur’s Ravens. Photo: TriArt Film

Jens Assur’s Ravens to compete at the San Sebastiàn International Film Festival

Jens Assur’s feature film debut, Ravens, will compete in the New Directors Section at the 65th San Sebastiàn International Film Festival, which takes place 22-30 September 2017, as announced at today’s press conference. Founded in 1953, San Sebastiàn is considered one of the world’s major film festivals. Ravens is a film adaptation of Tomas Bannerhed’s August Prize-winning novel The Ravens.

"I am very happy that Agne, as so precisely and captivatingly played by Reine Brynolfsson, can now leave his Swedish farm and travel all the way to San Sebastiàn”, Jens Assur stated.

The New Directors Section features international directors competing with their first or second feature film. JensAssur previously worked as a stills photographer, and made his short-film debut with award-winningThe Last Dog in Rwanda (2005). He then went on to write and direct short films Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys (2011), A Society (2013) and Hot Nasty Teen (2014). His shorts have won at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, amongst others. In 2012 Assur became the firstScandinavian to receive the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award.

Under Jens Assur’s direction, Ravens is a dramatic thriller set in 1970’s rural Sweden. Agne fights tooth and nail to keep his farm afloat, work which is clearly taking its toll on him both physically and mentally. The pressure increases when the landowner decides to modernise, and threatens to end the family’s lease. Agne’s family has managed the farm for generations, and Agne has taken it for granted that his eldest son Klas will take over the daily operations once he no longer can. Klas, however, does not wish to follow in his father’s footsteps, and yet does not want to put any additional pressure on his father, a man who appears to be teetering on the brink of madness. The question remains: how long can one avoid the inevitable?

Jens Assur allows the imagery to tell a story of shame, debt and life dreams in a manner as grim and barren as it is powerful. The film is based on Tomas Bannerheds critically acclaimed novel, which was awarded the Swedish August Prize for Literature in 2011.

The cast features Reine Brynolfsson, Maria Heiskanen, Peter Dalle and Jacob Nordström.

Ravens will be released in Swedish cinemas on 13 October, and is distributed by TriArt Film. Produced by Jan Marnell, Tom Persson and Jens Assur, Film and Art Affairs, the film received funding from former Swedish Film Institute feature-film commissioner Magdalena Jangard. The international sales agent is Celluloid Dreams.