Love is in the Air as REinvent International Sales Secures Deals for Romantic Dramedies ‘Out of Touch,’ ‘Sleep Around’ (EXCLUSIVE)
REinvent International Sales can feel the love tonight, having sold Berlinale Series Market Selects offering “Out of Touch” to Holland (NPB) and “Sleep Around” to Germany (RTL Passion).
“We are thrilled to see our two series find such great homes and look very much forward to introducing buyers to ‘Out of Touch’ here at EFM,” said sales & marketing director Helene Aurø.
Produced by Stockholm-based Breakable Films and Art & Bob, with Discovery+ attached, LGBTQ+ series “Sleep Around” was created by Mikael Ljung and Lina Åström.
In the show, when Line gets dumped by her girlfriend, she turns to her best friend for advice. But Elin offers a somewhat unconventional remedy: Maintaining a Tinder account in Line’s name and encouraging her to sleep around. “SKAM’s” Ulrikke Falch and Clara Henry star.
Another Breakable Films production, “Out of Touch,” was created by Ljung, with Åström and Marja Nyberg listed as showrunners.
Broadcasted by C More, it focuses on a successful couples’ therapist Ava, who has a special gift – just by putting her hand on someone’s chest, she can see their future love life. But then she meets a man she is interested in and accidentally sneaks a peek, too.
“I think any obituaries about the death of the romantic comedy are ill-informed and prematurely written,” Ljung told Variety.
“Lina and I are fans of the genre and that classic trope of a person reluctantly falling in love. Like in, if not any but many, Sandra Bullock movies.”
“However, we have to adapt the genre to our surroundings, culture and Nordic sensibilities. [Bullock starrer] ‘The Proposal’ is a great romantic comedy, but we have to go a little easier here when it comes to grand gestures and overall ‘American’ feel.”
Ava’s supernatural talent allowed the team to find a “fresh angle” on a subject explored many times before, he added.
“How we introduce Ava’s supernatural power was based on several discussions with Lina, on trusting her with finding a way of interweaving it into the story in a naturalistic and believable way. We have a history of making shows with a high-premise context and very few writers in the Nordics master that balance the way she does.”
According to Åström, making the characters, and their relationships feel real and relatable is even more important when working with an over-the-top premise.
“Once that’s established, putting well-developed and lovable characters in a heightened context, and throwing in some good jokes every now and then, hopefully keeps our audiences entertained.”
Breakable co-founder Viktor Linnell added: “We have a film coming out on Netflix later in the spring, called ‘One More Time.’ It also adds a supernatural context to relatable and everyday philosophical dilemmas.”
“There are endless examples of these kinds of stories in American cinema, but we think that Nordic audiences are more than ready for a high-concept era. In addition to that, we hope and think that our stories will resonate with international audiences too.”
Also because, as pointed out by Ljung, viewers still need some romance in their lives. Even if it’s just limited to the screen.
“However cynical you are, the idea of finding true romantic love is hard to resist if the story is well told,” he noted.
“The biggest challenge is creating – and casting – characters that people instinctively root for, no matter their flaws.”
Such as Sara Shirpey, playing Ava. Shirpey was also spotted in “UFO Sweden,” well received by the participants of Haugesund’s New Nordic Films back in August.
“Sara hadn’t done much acting in comedy before, but her presence and comedic timing were amazing – already in the first casting session,” said Åström.
“We actually prefer putting dramatic actors in our ‘dramedies’. It makes them feel grounded.”
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