COLOGNE, Germany - SF Norge, a subsidiary of Scandinavian film giant Svensk, has taken a 51 percent stake in Motion Blur, the Norwegian production group co-owned by directors Harald Zwart (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) and Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki).
Producer Espen Horn (Dead Snow) runs Motion Blur. Other co-owners include Zwart's wife and production partner Veslemoy Ruud Zwart. All will stay on following the SF Norge takeover. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Motion Blur is already one of Norway's leading producers of commercials. The company recently launched a film division, Motion Blur Film, which aims to produce features for the local and international market. The first projects are set to begin shooting next year.
“Motion Blur is mainly a commercial film production entity, but many of the directors and producers involved in the operation also have a great desire to make feature films," said Horn. "SF Norge is a leading player in this field and the new partnership with them is a perfect match. We aim to be the most attractive commercial and feature film producer in Norway within 3-5 years."
The company's primaries are responsible for some of the biggest success stories to come out of Norway. Zwart, best known for his work in Hollywood -- which includes the Karate Kid reboot and Steve Martin-starrer The Pink Panther 2 (2009) -- directed hit Norwegian soccer comedy Long Flat Balls and its sequel. Ronning and Sandberg's Max Manus (2008) was the most successful local release of all time in Norway, earning more than $15 million. Their latest feature, the adventure drama Kon-Tiki, Norway's entry for the 2013 Foreign Language Film Oscar, is close behind with a Norwegian box office take of around $14.1 million. The Nazi zombie film Dead Snow (2009), which Horn produced, was a surprise international hit and launched the career of Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola (Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters).
Under the deal with SF Norge, parent company Svensk Filmindustri will distribute all Motion Blur feature films across the Nordic region as well as handling sales worldwide.