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Tuva Novotny Starrer ‘All and Eva’ from ‘New Comedy Queen of Sweden’ Johanna Runevad, Takes Love Seriously, Sells to Australia, Spain and Greece (EXCLUSIVE)

“All and Eva,” starring “Annihilation’s” Tuva Novotny, has been acquired by Australia’s SBS, EITB, the Basque Country public broadcaster in Spain, and Vodafone TV in Greece, ahead of its SeriesMania premiere.

“We are extremely excited about the fast-growing global buzz around this charming dramedy and thrilled for many more markets to come on board, once they see this fresh and captivating take,” noted Vanda Rapti, Viaplay Group EVP, Viaplay Select & Content Distribution.

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The new series – created, written and directed by Johanna Runevad – accompanies Eva (Novotny) on her way to Copenhagen to obtain sperm from a donor. Just before insemination, she decides to find him. Luckily, Mads (Joachim Fjelstrup) seems perfectly normal. But then, clueless that Eva is already pregnant with his child, he knocks on her door in Stockholm.

“I would call it a romantic comedy with a twist,” laughed Runevad.

“I do love the genre and I think we should bring them back. Maybe we make these stories more complicated than they need to be? Personally, I love a good cliché.”

So does Novotny.

“Falling in love that strongly… That’s already a cliché in itself. You feel stupid and lost, so running to the airport to see someone in the middle of the night is one of the things you do, I suppose. By letting these somewhat stereotypical scenes come to life in her series, Johanna also takes love seriously,” she said.

“With romantic comedies, things got lost in the woods for a while. We needed a break from this idea that a man, or love, is the answer to everything, but we also pulled away from all kinds of head-over-heels love stories. Johanna navigated it all in a great way.”

“Comedy can be invigorating, but you need a director who has that comic timing. After all, you can’t be afraid of looking like an idiot. You are pulling down your pants and you have no idea if someone is going to laugh or not.”

It wasn’t their first meet-cute, however.

“Johanna contacted me when she was developing her first show. She asked me to direct it and I said: ‘I think you should do it.’ There are so many women who never get a chance, just because ‘they haven’t done anything before’,” recalled Novotny.

“Years later, my agents called, saying: ‘You need to read this script from the new comedy queen of Sweden.’ It was really bad timing, because I just had a baby, and then I went: ‘Fuck, it’s so good.’ It was funny and universal.”

Not to mention completely different from that ubiquitous Nordic Noir.

“I always tell my students: ‘Find your own story, instead of trying to repeat some previous success.’ We got a bit lost in Scandinavia, because Nordic Noirs were hugely successful, but if you look at the most successful shows globally, there are not that many crime stories. It’s time we break out of the mold,” said Novotny.

“There is a craving for feel-good stories and laughter is my lead word in life. If we can connect this way, we can get very far,” noted Runevad.

Produced by Sofie Palage for Warner Bros. International Television Production Sweden, “All and Eva” is sold by Viaplay Content Distribution and set to debut on Viaplay Nordics on April 21. Sanna Sundqvist, Bengt Braskered, Sissela Kyle and Jason Diakité also star, with each episode dedicated to their respective characters.

“I always want the supporting characters to be so interesting you could build a whole spin-off around them. It’s also a ‘life hack’ – I have so many stories to tell, but I can’t make that many TV shows,” said Runevad, also behind “Falkenberg Forever” and “Vi Forever.”

“Sometimes, in life or in shows, we think we know people right away. I loved the idea that we can change the way we feel about them as the story progresses. I don’t write jokes. I create situations that are – hopefully – funny and people laugh because they can relate to them. This way, they end up laughing at themselves.”

Or at their neighbors. In the show, the Swedes make fun of the Danes and the Danes make fun of the Swedes.

“I am from a small town in Sweden, then I moved to Denmark and returned to Stockholm. I wanted to tell a story set in-between these countries, starting with this weird f–––ing meeting,” shared Runevad.

“In Denmark, they are so open-minded about the whole [donor insemination] process. You can see this man’s photo, but you can’t contact him. I thought: ‘If that was me, I would find him. I am not proud of it, but I would.’ It was a funny way for people to fall in love.”

Novotny, seen in Alex Garland’s “Annihilation” or Lars von Trier’s “The Kingdom Exodus,” added:

“I really don’t care where projects come from or which language they’re in. We have local references, but everyone can relate to these kinds of ‘neighborly’ jokes. I always try to find relatable parts and Eva strongly believes that she’s on top of things. I can relate to someone trying to control her life when it’s most chaotic.”

Despite her characters’ crazy choices, Runevad wanted to stand by them no matter what.

“It’s fun to explore human flaws, but if you do it with love and respect, you still feel for them. Eva is so controlling. If someone else did something similar, she would judge the f-ck out of them. What she does is wrong, but sometimes, our feelings take over. I have this urge to show darker sides of women and Tuva understood exactly what I wanted. She is a genius.”

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