Nordic helmers in focus

Fest's New Nordic Films section attracts industryites

Scandi biz drawn to intimate Haugesund | Norwegian Film Commission lures productions | Nordic helmers in focus

The Norwegian Intl. Film Festival’s New Nordic Films section attracts some 300 industryites with a string of works in progress. Reps from Cannes, Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Tribeca, Sundance, St. Petersburg and Raindance will also be scouting the offerings.

Among the hot titles to be screened this year are Danish Cannes hit “Armadillo,” also bound for Toronto; Danish drama “Hold Me Tight”; Norwegian drama “Limbo,” the fest’s opening-night pic; Sweden’s “A Thousand Times Stronger”; and Icelandic drama “Mamma Gogo.”

A couple of this year’s hottest titles are to be found in the Work in Progress section, including Denmark’s “Pop!,” directed by Simon Staho (“Warriors of Love”) and penned by Swede Marcus Birro.

Another hot ticket is Norwegian drama “The King of Devil’s Island,” helmed by Marius Holst and starring Stellan Skarsgard. Pic is based on the true story of a revolt at youth penitentiary outside Oslo in 1915.

The $8 million production is slated for a Christmas release in Norway.

“It is one of the two times in history where the Norwegian army has turned its weapons against Norwegians,” says Holst. “It is a story of misuse of power at many levels, but at the same time it is a chapter in Norwegian history where the authorities have tried to keep the lid on.”