Amandas go ‘Crazy’ at Nordic film fest

'Billy Elliot,' 'No Man's Land,' 'Amelie' all nab kudos

HAUGESUND, NORWAY — Norwegian director Knut Erik Jensen’s “Cool and Crazy” – the first documentary to exceed 500,000 theatrical admissions in Norway – won both best film and best documentary at the Amanda Ceremony at the 29th Norwegian International Fiklm Festival Aug. 31.

The docu-musical, which follows the everyday life of the Berlevaag Male Choir and whose 30 singers are 75 years-old on average, has also become something of an international phenomenon. Michael Werner, managing director of Stockholm-based NonStop Sales, has so far licensed the film to 17 territories.

“A book is coming out, both German and French television stations are sending crews to Berlevaag to further dig into the background, and American-Norwegian associations are currently preparing a U.S. tour for the choir,” Werner told Daily Variety.

The Amandas were televised by Norwegian pubcaster NRK.

Hildegunn Riise received best actress for her performance in Pal Jackman’s first feature, “Detector,” which also gave Jackman the award for best newcomer.

Svein Scharffenberg took best actor for Mona Hoel’s “Cabin Fever” – the first Norwegian Dogme film, and the first feature from the manifesto directed by a woman – which also gave actress Kari Simonsen an honorary Amanda. The U.K.’s “Billy Elliot” won best foreign pic.

Haugesund closed Sept. 1 with the world premiere of Swedish director Daniel Alfredson’s “Love between Wars.” The critics’ prize went to Bosnian director Danis Tanovic’s “No Man’s Land.” France’s “Amelie from Montmartre” got the audience nod.

The fest this year featured 124 films and a record number of 300 international execs attended the New Nordic Films market.

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