Norwegian fest welcomes ‘Almost Man’

Pic won top prize at Karlovy Vary

LONDON — Martin Lund’s “The Almost Man,” which won the Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival last month, is to close the main program of the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival.

The character-driven black comedy, about a man who has difficulty adapting to adult life, toplines Henrik Rafaelsen, who won Karlovy Vary’s actor prize.

Lund, who graduated from the Norwegian Film School in 2008, made his feature debut in 2010 with kidpic “Twigson Ties the Knot.” “Almost Man,” which Lund penned, is his second feature. The pic is produced by Ruben Thorkildsen for Ape&Bjorn.

Kathrine Haugen’s teen drama “Squeeze” will world preem as the closing film of 15+, the fest’s youth film sidebar.

The Norwegian pic is Haugen’s followup to “Coming Home,” which opened last year’s Cinemagi, the fest’s children’s film section. It catches up with the four girls from the first film as they get a taste for romance. Haugen wrote the script and produces with Stein Asbjorn Nordhuus for Filimo Film.

Other world preems include tragicomedy “I Belong,” which is Norwegian helmer-scripter Dag Johan Haugerud’s feature debut.

“Liv & Ingmar,” a docu about the relationship between Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman, will open the Nordic Focus section. The pic was helmed by India’s Dheeraj Akolkar, and was produced by Rune H. Trondsen for Norway’s Nordic Stories. Ullmann, who is honorary prexy of the fest, will attend the screening.

The fest will screen Kari Anne Moe’s “Bravehearts,” a docu about politically active youth, as part of a memorial event on Aug. 19 to mark the murder of 77 people in Norway last year by Anders Behring Breivik. Pic is produced by Anita Rehoff Larsen and Tone Grottjord for Sant&Usant.

The fest will host Norway’s national film awards, the Amandas, on Aug. 17, with Noomi Rapace starrer “Babycall” leading the noms race, followed by “Turn Me On, Goddammit” and “Oslo, August 31st.”

Fest, which runs Aug. 17-23 in Haugesund, will open with the world preem of Norwegian pic “Kon-Tiki,” as previously announced.

The film, which is a dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 expedition across the Pacific on a primitive balsa raft, is helmed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. The pair previously directed local box-office hit “Max Manus.”

“Kon-Tiki,” which is produced by Aage Aaberge for Nordisk Film Production and Jeremy Thomas for Recorded Picture Company, will make its North American preem at the Toronto Film Festival.

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