Metropia (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byTarik Saleh
Screenplay byTarik Saleh
Stig Larsson
Fredrik Edin
Story byTarik Saleh
Fredrik Edin
Martin Hultman
Produced byKristina Åberg
StarringVincent Gallo
Stellan Skarsgård
Udo Kier
Alexander Skarsgård
Juliette Lewis
CinematographySesse Lind
Edited byJohan Söderberg
Music byKrister Linder
Atmo Media Network
Zentropa Entertainments
Distributed bySandrew Metronome
Release dates
  • 2 September 2009 (2009-09-02) (Venice Film Festival)[1]
  • 27 November 2009 (2009-11-27) (Sweden)
Running time
86 minutes
Budget34 million SEK
Box office32 million SEK[citation needed]

Metropia is a 2009 English-language adult animated science fiction film directed by Tarik Saleh. The screenplay was written by Fredrik Edin, Stig Larsson, and Tarik Saleh after a story by Tarik Saleh, Fredrik Edin and Martin Hultman. The film uses a technique where photographs have been altered and heavily stylized in a computer program, and then animated.[2] The visual style is inspired by the works of Terry Gilliam, Roy Andersson and Yuri Norstein.[3]

Metropia was co-produced by Atmo Media Network and Lars von Trier's Danish production company Zentropa Entertainments, premiered at the 66th Venice International Film Festival,[1][4] and opened in Sweden on 27 November 2009.[5]


In a future Europe the world is running out of oil. A gigantic underground network is created by joining all the undergrounds together beneath Europe. Roger (Vincent Gallo), from a suburb of Stockholm, avoids the underground because he finds it disturbing. Sometimes when he is too near the underground he hears a strange voice in his head. One day Roger stumbles upon the truth that his life is controlled in every detail. Trexx, the company that runs the mammoth European rail network, has found a way to read and control minds using the dandruff shampoo "Dangst", with the goal of creating a highly efficient advertising system. In order to break free, Roger joins forces with supermodel Nina (Juliette Lewis), the former model and spokeswoman for Dangst.



The story and supporting material were developed by Stockholm-based Atmo during a period of four years before the actual animation work had begun.[6] Co-producers include Denmark's Zentropa and Norway's Tordenfilm, and with support from the Council of Europe's film fund Eurimages, the film had a budget of around 34 million SEK.[7][8] Ordinary people spotted on the streets were used as models for the characters. The main character Roger is based on a chef who worked at a restaurant in Stockholm where the Atmo employees were regulars, and Nina was found in a make-up store.[3] Vincent Gallo accepted his part as the lead voice actor after having seen 30 seconds of finished animation as well as hearing that German actor Udo Kier, of whom Gallo was a fan, already was attached to the project.[8] After a story board had been developed, photographer Sesse Lind travelled around Europe and took pictures of needed locations in Stockholm, Berlin, Paris and Copenhagen. The photographs were edited in Photoshop and animated in Adobe After Effects under lead animator Isak Gjertsen.[3] Animation was done in Trollhättan as the first production to use Film i Väst's newly started animation studio.[6] The production took two years to finish.[8]


The film premiered on 2 September 2009 at the Venice Film Festival, opening up the festival's Critic's Week but shown out of competition.[9]


Association Award Category Nominee Result
Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2010 Cristal Best Feature Tarik Saleh Nominated
Gothenburg Film Festival 2010 Lorens Award Kristina Åberg Won
Nordic Council 2010 Nordic Council's Film Prize Tarik Saleh (director, script writer)
Stig Larsson (script writer)
Fredrik Edin (script writer)
Kristina Åberg (producer)
Sitges - Catalan International Film Festival 2009 Best Film Tarik Saleh Nominated
São Paulo International Film Festival 2009 International Jury Award Best Feature Film Tarik Saleh Nominated
66th Venice International Film Festival Future Film Festival Digital Award Tarik Saleh Won
Warsaw International Film Festival 2009 Grand Prix Tarik Saleh Nominated
Stockholm Film Festival 2009 Best Music Krister Linder Won
Bronze Horse Tarik Saleh Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Metropia". 4 September 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  2. ^ Geistrand, Moa (2008-07-26) "Världen rämnar i 2D – och en halv Archived 2009-07-13 at the Wayback Machine" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  3. ^ a b c Skawonius, Betty (2008-01-20) "Storebror styr dig i Metropia" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  4. ^ "Three Swedish films in Venice". Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Metropia (2009) - SFdb". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b (2008-02-02) "Metropia inviger ny animationsstudio Archived 2009-01-03 at the Wayback Machine" (in Swedish). Film i Väst. Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  7. ^ Metropia fact sheet[dead link] (PDF). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
  8. ^ a b c Hagberg, Jennifer (2008) "Metropia' har fångat Hollywoodeliten Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine" (in Swedish). Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  9. ^ Jennings, Shere (2009-07-23) "Eurocentric Venice Critics' Week to present Berlusconi project Videocracy." Screen Daily. Retrieved on 2009-07-25.

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