Metropia (film)

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This article is about Swedish film. For Canadian television drama, see Metropia (TV series).
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tarik Saleh
Produced by Kristina Åberg
Screenplay by Tarik Saleh
Stig Larsson
Fredrik Edin
Story by Tarik Saleh
Fredrik Edin
Martin Hultman
Starring Vincent Gallo
Juliette Lewis
Music by Krister Linder
Cinematography Sesse Lind
Edited by Johan Söderberg
Atmo Media Network
Boulder Media Limited
Distributed by Sandrew Metronome
Release dates
  • 3 September 2009 (2009-09-03) (Venice Film Festival)
  • 27 November 2009 (2009-11-27) (Sweden)
Running time
86 minutes
Country Sweden
Language English
Budget 34,000,000 SEK
Box office 32,000,000

Metropia is a 2009 English-language Swedish-Danish-Norwegian adult animated mystery thriller drama 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.[1] The visual style is inspired by the works of Terry Gilliam, Roy Andersson and Yuriy Norshteyn.[2] Metropia is Boulder Media Limited's first adult animated movie and production.


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 super-model Nina (Juliette Lewis), the former model and spokeswoman for Dangst.


  • Vincent Gallo as Roger
  • Juliette Lewis as Nina
  • Udo Kier as I Wayne Marshal
  • Joanna Zofia Bard Mikolajczyk as metro voice
  • Goran Marjanovic as asylum seeker
  • Magnus Skogberg Tear as Roger's boss
  • Lotta Bromé as news anchor
  • Annelie Persson as


The story and supporting material were developed by Stockholm-based Atmo during a period of four years before the actual animation work had begun.[3] 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.[4][5] 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.[2] 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.[5] 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.[2] Animation was done in Trollhättan, as the first production to use Film i Väst's newly started animation studio.[3] The production took two years to finish.[5]


The film premiered on 3 September 2009 at the Venice Film Festival, opening up the festival's Critic's Week but shown out of competition.[6]


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 - Catalonian 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. ^ Geistrand, Moa (2008-07-26) "Världen rämnar i 2D – och en halv" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  2. ^ a b c Skawonius, Betty (2008-01-20) "Storebror styr dig i Metropia" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  3. ^ a b (2008-02-02) "Metropia inviger ny animationsstudio" (in Swedish). Film i Väst. Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  4. ^ Metropia fact sheet (PDF). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
  5. ^ a b c Hagberg, Jennifer (2008) "Metropia' har fångat Hollywoodeliten" (in Swedish). Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  6. ^ 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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