The dark morality fable, which unfolds under the bright Nordic sun, follows a group of young children who become friends during the summer holidays, drawn together by the discovery of mysterious shared abilities. Out of sight of the adults, the children bond quickly, exploring their newfound powers and testing their limits in the forests and playgrounds surrounding their brutalist apartment complex. As the children’s loyalties shift and small cruelties escalate, their innocent play takes a dark turn towards the malevolent, and strange things begin to happen.
IFC plans to release the film from writer-director Eskil Vogt in 2022.
One of Scandinavia’s most acclaimed recent screenwriters, known for his collaborations with Joachim Trier, including Thelma, Louder Than Bombs, and Oslo, August 31, Vogt made his directorial debut with the 2014 Sundance and Berlin winner Blind.
His second feature as writer-director, The Innocents stars Rakel Lenora Fløttum, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim, and Sam Ashraf alongside Morten Svartveit and Ellen Dorrit Petersen.
The film was produced by Maria Ekerhovd for Mer Film, in co-production with Zentropa Sweden, Film i Vast, Snowglobe, Bufo, Logical, Zefyr, and Don’t Look Now.
The U.S. deal for the film was negotiated between IFC Films and Protagonist’s Chief Commercial Officer George Hamilton and Chief Operating Office James Pugh.
Vogt was prominent at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival with two films, premiering The Worst Person in the World in competition with Joachim Trier and making his first directorial Cannes appearance with The Innocents in Un Certain Regard,
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, said: “Eskil Vogt is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in Scandinavia today. He has developed a distinct voice through his many high-profile writing credits over the years, and it’s with much excitement that we are now able to partner with him on his second directorial feature The Innocents. Although the film explores horror on a more supernatural level, there is a deeply rooted story of the complexities of morality layered in between, which makes this the perfect fit for IFC Midnight.”
Director Eskil Vogt added: “I’ve been a long-time admirer of how IFC Films have championed independent and genre bending cinema in an ever changing marketplace. They have such a great and innovative team and I couldn’t be happier to work with them in unleashing The Innocents in the U.S.”