EFA Nominee ‘Cop Secret’ Picked Up For Scandinavia By Njuta Films

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Stockholm-based Njuta Films has boarded Hannes Þór Halldórsson’s “Cop Secret,” snagging theatrical rights to Scandinavia after a bidding war at the American Film Market.  

The film, produced by Iceland’s Pegasus Pictures, was recently nominated for the European Film Award as best comedy alongside Fernando León De Aranoa’s “The Good Boss” and Catherine Corsini’s “The Divide.” 

This marks yet another score for the film’s sales agent Alief as it bows another title 0n its sales slate, “Petrol,” at the Marrakech Film Festival.  

A comedic actioner about a troubled “supercop” Bússi (Auðunn Blöndal) – who starts to question his sexuality after being assigned a new partner, Hörður (Egill Einarsson) – “Cop Secret” has received plenty of attention following its Locarno premiere in 2021, also due to Reykjavík-born helmer’s unusual background: Hannes Þór Halldórsson used to be a professional football goalkeeper and member of Iceland’s national team. 

“When I was making ‘Cop Secret,’ I was still playing for the national team. To give you an example, we played an extremely important game against Romania only four days after finishing the exterior shots of the movie in September 2020,” he admits. 

Hannes Þór Halldórsson co-wrote the script with Nína Petersen and Sverrir Þór Sverrisson, who also appears in the film. 

“I retired last year in October, the same month we premiered the film in Iceland. It has been a smooth transition and now I am completely devoted to the film business,” the director said. 

The film’s festival success came as a surprise, he notes, originally considering “Cop Secret” to be “way too local” to be seen, let alone understood, by anyone outside of the country.

“Our intention was always to make a fun movie for Icelandic moviegoers. This international success, with the EFA nomination being the absolute climax, has been a huge and extremely pleasant surprise for us,” he adds.  

Apart from delivering spectacular action sequences and dry one-liners, he also wanted to approach the main relationship with “respect and love.” 

“These two main actors have been a comedy duo in Iceland for over a decade, so their chemistry was always going to bring a smile to people’s faces. My job was to add depth and some drama into the mix, trying to turn their relationship into the heart and soul of this otherwise crazy movie.” All the while paying homage to the movies he watched as a teen, slowly discovering cinema back in the 1990s. 

“At that time, mainstream Hollywood cinema was pretty much the only thing that would reach our shores. I have extremely warm and nostalgic feelings towards this period,” he says. 

“Action movies took up a large portion of the movie selection and I saw all of them. These films, despite being big action spectacles, were usually made with charm, heart and soul. That’s something I was striving for while making ‘Cop Secret.’”

According to Alief, the film has also now received offers from Ukraine and CIS. Latest sales in a strong worldwide roll-out include theatrical release in Italy with Blue Swan and Portugal with Alambique under the Portuguese distributor’s new Bold Cinema label. 

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