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”It’s been amazing to sit in dark theatres and hear folk laugh and cry, that this story from the north of Sweden has an appeal as a universal love story”

As the biggest Pride festival in the Nordics is now in full swing in Stockholm, we reach out to the Swedish trio who just won the Audience Award at one of the world’s premiere LGBTQ film festivals for their animated romantic comedy.

Words: Johan Magnusson

Based in Stockholm and Gothenburg, 2D animation studio Soja focuses on commercial work for clients who make the world a better place and produces fiction films and TV who add new perspectives and stories to society.

Their most recent work, Topp 3, is an animated romantic comedy — reportedly Sweden’s first with an LGBTQ theme — about Anton, who falls in love with David and has to face the fact that they both want to live very different lives.

— Four years ago we set out to make a film that would make the audience both laugh and cry, but also be as entertaining as possible, so it’s a quick, intense 45-minute ride! says Sofie Edvardsson (Soja’s Creative Director and also the Director and Illustrator of the film), Lead Motion Designer Jakob Nyström, and Producer and Writer Simon Österhof.

How’s the reception been?

— So far it's been absolutely, mindblowingly positive, the trio says. So, so many different people have reached out to us in screening rooms, at afterparties, and through social media to say that the film has meant something to them, and it’s been so very rewarding. It truly is an honor to get to put something out there and have it touch someone’s life. It’s been amazing to sit in dark theatres and hear folk laugh and cry, that this story from the north of Sweden has an appeal as a universal love story.

The film just screened at Outfest, one of the world’s premiere LGBTQ film festivals, in L.A. and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.

— It’s difficult to even grasp that out of all the fantastic films at the festival, the audience picked our little film.

As of right now the film is available in Sweden on SVT Play and will be screened at film festivals in the US and Europe throughout the year

— We’re crossing our fingers that some of our neighbouring countries would like to show it on TV as well, says Edvardsson, Nyström, and Österhof. In the fall the film will also be shown in Folkets bio cinemas and in school cinema screenings across Sweden. If anyone is interested in hearing when the film will be available where you are, send us an e-mail and we’ll let you know!

What other special projects do you have coming?

— We’re deep in production on a children’s TV show that will premiere on SVT in late 2019 or early 2020. We’re also sitting down and figuring out what idea we want to start working on next, but it’s sure to be bigger, better and just as full of love! SVT Play: Topp 3