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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Sweden / Netherlands / France

Ninja Thyberg's Pleasure ready for release

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- The writer-director's debut feature is set in the world of the American porn industry and will star Sofia Kappel in the lead role

Ninja Thyberg's Pleasure ready for release
Director Ninja Thyberg

Ninja Thyberg's Pleasure, a Swedish-Dutch-French co-production, is one of the titles selected for this year's Cannes label (see the news). The movie, previously known as Jessica, is the writer-director's debut feature. Before working on Pleasure, Thyberg won the Canal+ Award with a short of the same title, which competed in the Cannes Critics' Week back in 2013 and was invited to Sundance in 2014. The same year, her short Hot Chicks won the 1km Film Award at Stockholm, and she was the recipient of the Student Visionary Award at Tribeca for her short Catwalk in 2015.

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The story, penned by the director herself in tandem with Peter Modestij (6A [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), revolves around Bella, a young and ambitious 20-year-old girl who travels from Sweden to Los Angeles to become the next big porn star. In a press release published by the Swedish Film Institute, Pleasure was described as “a film about ambition and feminism, set in one of the world's most patriarchal structures”. The lead role is played by young Sofia Kappel, and she is flanked mostly by an authentic cast from the porn-film industry, such as Kendra Spade, Dana DeArmond, Chris Cock and Mark Spiegler. The cinematography has been entrusted to Sophie Winqvist (Aniara [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Aatma), whilst Paula Loos (The Wisdom Tooth, The Possession of Hannah Grace) served as the production designer.

Speaking about the Cannes label selection, the Swedish Film Institute's international festival managers, Petter Mattsson and Theo Tsappos, said: “Being selected by Cannes is one of the finest things that can happen to a filmmaker! We have known for a long time that Ninja is a director that the film world has been watching. This is a confirmation that she lives up to everyone's expectations with her amazing debut film, Pleasure.”

Pleasure was produced by Erik Hemmendorff, Eliza Jones and Markus Waltå for Plattform Produktion, in co-production with Film i Väst, Grand Slam Film, Lemming Film, Flamboyance Film and Logical Pictures. The project was also backed by the Netherlands Film Fund and the Swedish Film Institute. Its world sales are currently being handled by France's Versatile. SF Studios is in charge of its Nordic distribution, with a planned Swedish theatrical release in early 2021.

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