Hannes Holm, director of A Man Called Ove (En Man Som Heter Ove) which is the third most successful film in Swedish film history and credited with saving Swedish cinema in 2015, has spoken out against production company SF Studios and claims that too much of the budget was misappropriated.
SVT reports that, upon completion of Ove, Hannes Holm wrote a letter to the SF Board in which he said: “I have never seen the likes of such a poorly managed company… I would rather work with a production company that has Donald Duck as CEO.”
Holm says: “In terms of budget, it was a normal Swedish budget. But they wanted to remove, for example, the cat which was a pretty important part of the book.”
“I didn’t understand it until I found out that they took a large part of the budget for themselves. They took about 30% before filming even began. I was astounded when I heard about it.”
Holm notes that it is normal for a production company to take between 10 and 20% but that even 20% is high: “And we must not forget that a large part of the budget is government money… It’s our money, it is we who pay the taxes.”
In response to these claims, Swedish Film Institute CEO Anna Serner said to Kulturnyheterna: “As things stand today, there are no rules for how much profit you can take… We must do our homework and revise the rules if necessary… Obviously it is upsetting when a company is careless with money.”
Hannes Holm’s frustrations were such that he felt compelled to drop out of A Man Named Ove in protest, after which his demands were eventually met and the cat was happily returned to Ove.
Holm will return to the small screen later this year with a three part adaptation of Dehli’s Most Beautiful Hands (Dehlis vackraste händer) for SVT.