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Ruben Östlund and the chimpanse Tiby from The Square. Photo: Tobias Henriksson

Ruben Östlund’s The Square competes for the Palme d’Or

Ruben Östlund's new film The Square is competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, as announced today. The Square is Östlund's fourth feature film to compete at Cannes, following Force Majeure (2014), Play (2011) and Involuntary (2008).

– I'm afraid I was so nervous, that there was no feeling of excitement. A bit like when the referee blows the final whistle after an incredibly even game, that finally ended in victory. Relief! I have had a feeling it could happen, we have made a very good film. We have cut a material of 400 000 gigabyte down to 30. The actual reason why we had to wait so long for an answer was because we handed in the film so late. But, wow, how exciting with a gala premiere at the Lumière Cinema. There are scenes in The Square which are created specifically for that screening, with a smoking-clad audience. I won't say anymore, you will understand, says Ruben Östlund.

– I'm so happy for Ruben. His artistic skills in combination with his competitiveness led him all the way this time. I think Ruben Östlund's film paves the way for an interesting future for Swedish film in general, says Anna Serner, CEO at the Swedish Film Institute.

The Square is a poignant satirical drama reflecting our times – about the sense of community, moral courage and the affluent person's need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world.

Christian is the successful curator of a modern art museum – he lives in the epicenter of the art community and takes his work very seriously. A few days before the opening of the prestigious exhibition The Square he is mugged, which he can neither shake off or let pass unnoticed. Christian embarks on a hunt for the perpetrator and ends up in situations that turn steadily more amusing, and make him question his own moral compass. Simultaneously he has to deal with the PR agency the museum hired to help market the upcoming exhibition. Something which takes an unexpected turn and plunges both the curator and the museum into crisis.

The cast includes Claes Bang (The Bridge), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Dominic West (The Affair) and Christopher Læssø (Darkland). Cinematographer Fredrik Wenzel and scenographer Josefin Åsberg who worked on Ruben Östlund's last film Force Majeure, have once again joined forces with him.

The Square is produced by Erik Hemmendorff for Plattform Produktion, and has received funding from the Swedish Film Institute's former feature-film commissioner Magdalena Jangard. The international sales agent is Coproduction Office.

Ruben Östlund's previous film Force Majeure was awarded the Prix de Jury in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes in 2014, besides receiving a nomination for a Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

It was earlier announced that:

Julia Thelin's short film Push It will compete for a Short Film Palme d'Or at the up-coming festival. The short is produced by Grand Slam Filmproduktion AB. Read more>>

The Tunisian-French-Swedish co-production Beauty and the Dogs by Kaother Ben Hania will compete in the prestigious section Un Certain Regard. The Swedish co-producers are Film i Väst, Chimney and Laika Film & Television with support from the Swedish Film Institute's former feature-film commissioner Suzanne Glansborg. Read more>>

Niki Lindroth von Bahr's short film The Burden has been selected for the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight). The Burden is produced by Malade AB, with support from the Swedish Film Institute's former short-film commissioner Andreas Fock. Read more>>

Jonas Carpignano's Italian-Swedish-American co-production A Ciambra was also selected for the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight). The Swedish co-producers are Film i Väst and Filmgate. Read more>>