Pinball London Prepares Nordic Co-Pro ‘A Present For My Mom’

US-born British filmmaker Aaron Brookner (“Uncle Howard”) is planning his first Nordic Noir, slated for a market debut at Haugesund’s Nordic Co-Production Market, part of leading Scandinavian confab New Nordic Films (23-26 August ).

Based on the novel A Gift to My Mother by London-based Finnish author and journalist Jouko Heikura, the thriller is written and produced by Brookner and Paula Alvarez Vaccaro, co-founders of Pedigreed Pinball London, who have acquired the rights to the book and did the English translation for the first development phase of the image.

The novel was brought to them by their Finnish co-producer, Pauliina Stahlberg, who is responsible for Netflix crime drama Deadwind seasons 2 and 3.

The story – slightly altered for screen purposes – revolves around a London-based human rights lawyer who tries to solve the mystery of a crime committed years ago against her terminally ill Finnish mother. Her ruthless investigations lead her to a suspicious neighbor and put her own life on the line.

Vaccaro and Broockner, who received multiple awards at Venice 2020 for their British-Portuguese drama ‘Listen’, co-written with Helmer Ana Rocha, are excited to prepare their first Scandi co-production, which will explore a theme close to their hearts at heart : immigration.

“Flipper has always been about producing content with an international perspective. It’s part of our DNA,” explains Argentina-born Vaccaro. “We even brought in a Canadian partner on Sally Potter’s ‘Ginger & Rosa,'” she notes. “Then, when Brexit came along, we started looking at content from an immigrant perspective.”

‘A Gift to My Mother’ therefore combines our beloved immigration theme with an intriguing, complex and multi-layered plot. It also gives us the opportunity to work with Nordic producers, who I deeply respect for their progressive and often pioneering way of thinking,” added Vaccaro.

Brookner, whose international breakthrough came in 2016 with his Jim Jarmusch-produced Sundance doc Uncle Howard, said he sees A Gift to My Mother as “a London version of Nordic noir.” He wants to be inspired by David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” for the thriller with a main location and a budget of less than two million euros.

Vaccaro said she has a second draft of the script “with enough bones for a partner to take notes” and hopes to secure co-financing deals after Brookner’s pitch in Haugesund on August 24.

A total of 23 international projects will be showcased at New Nordic Films’ Nordic Co-production Market in Haugesund, which runs parallel to the 50thth Norwegian International Film Festival (20-26 August). Pinball London Prepares Nordic Co-Pro ‘A Present For My Mom’

Charles Jones

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