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Norwegians score on fest circuit

Pics net 42 international awards

STOCKHOLM — Norwegian pics enjoyed a boffo year on the kudos circuit in 2007, with 12 features netting a record 42 international awards.

Joachim Trier’s “Reprise,” about two friends’ bittersweet vacation in Paris, collected the most laurels. Pic won 21 kudos, among them best pic at the Istanbul and Haugesund fests, and the Discovery Award in Toronto.

Jens Lien’s scifi pic “The Bothersome Man” took 16 awards, among them best pic at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival and the Maverick Spirit Award at the Cinequest Film Fest. Pic also screened in Cannes.

Roar Uthaug’s horror pic “Cold Prey” came in third with six awards.

Other feted films were “Elias and the Royal Yacht,” “Free Jimmy,” “Gone with the Woman” (Norway’s entry for the foreign language pic Oscar), “Mirush,” “Sons,” “The Art of Negative Thinking,” “The Junior Olsen Band Goes Submarine,” “Trigger” and “Uro.”

Jan-Erik Holst, head of the foreign department at the Norwegian Film Institute, said the winning pics had tended to be unusual either in their storyline or structure.

“Festivals are looking for the unexpected,” he said. “ ‘Reprise’ is a very un-Scandinavian film: influenced by the French New Wave’s non-linear way of telling stories.”

Festivals had been drawn to Bard Breien’s “The Art of Negative Thinking” because it was so rare to find a comedy about handicapped people, he said.

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