'Devastation,' written by Film Student Melina Maraki, Slated for Production
September 24, 2023
Devastation, a full-length feature penned by Film student Melina Maraki, will be developed by Mylla Films, the new banner set up by Nonstop Entertainment CEO Jakob Abrahamsson and Midsommar producer Patrik Andersson.
Mylla Filmsaims to explore the blind spot of genre films in Sweden, nurturing folklore, myths, and “strange and interesting ideas” for an international audience.
Acknowledging film-goers' attraction to genre cinema in times of crisis, like during World War II and the Vietnam War, this is exactly what Mylla hopes to explore with Devastation, an epic and horrific tale of survival set in 1867. Unfolding during the hard Swedish winter and famine of 1867, the film revolves around two brothers, one the local industrialist and the other the local preacher, who keep the town in a tyrannical stronghold. “When I took on this project, I knew very little of these events. It's a devastating part of our history that doesn't get written about much”, said Maraki.
“Doing the necessary research and letting that inform characters was what I enjoyed the most about the process," Maraki added. "Stories that strip us of social rules—that focus on our very basic needs for survival—are very interesting to me. It's raw and jarring at times. But in a weird, perhaps dark way, it also brings us together. That eat-or-be-eaten mindset lives in us all.
Mikael Marcimain, the Swedish director of Call Girl and Gentlemen, is on board to direct the film. “I’m looking forward to adding a new scope and ambition to the Nordic realm of elevated genre film," he said. "Devastation is epic in scale and truly a cinematic, dark and realistic story about survival in horrific times, based on Melina Maraki’s bold and grim script."
Melina Maraki is based in London and Stockholm. She started out in post-production in Australia working on projects like The Daughter (Venice Film Festival 2015) and Grace Under Water (AACTA award 2015). She directed her first short, Tricks (2016), which screened at Academy Award qualifying St Kilda in Melbourne. She also co-wrote and directed her thesis film The Liberation of Harold Kvist (2018), the tale of a girl’s life-altering experience on a summer day in Stockholm, which screened at Zagreb Film Festival.