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Haugesund: 10 Nordic Talents to Track

Selected at Norway’s Haugesund Fest, Variety’s man about Scandinavia, Jon Asp, takes his pick of 10 - well, 11 - young talents you should know

Vera Vitali, actress

Vera Vitali is one of Sweden’s most visible actresses lately, gaining a breakthrough in TV series ”Hinsehaxan” (2012). Vitali’s first screen appearance came in Ruben Ostlund’s ”Involuntary” (2008) and last year she drew attention in Eskil Vogt’s ”Blind” (2014). Vitali stars in Lisa Aschan’s ”White People” (New Nordic Films at Haugesund), as well as in the Norwegian drama comedy ”Grand Hôtel”, presented as work-in-progress at Haugesund.

Rúnar Rúnarsson, writer-director 

A graduate of the Danish Film School, Icelandic multi awarded writer-director Rúnarsson received an Oscar nomination for his short film “Last Farm” (2004). His student films ”2Birds” (2008) and “Anna” (2009) were selected for Cannes; 2011 feature debut “Volcano” premiered in Directors’ Fortnight. Rúnarsson will world-bow his new film ”Sparrows”, about a broken father-son relationship screened at the market in Haugesund, in Toronto, followed by a San Sebastian competition slot.

Aslaug Holm, director-cinematographer

A week ago, Holm became the first documentary filmmaker to win Norway’s Amanda Award for best directing, for her compelling documentary ”Brothers”, which has now played theatrically in Norway for almost six months. In this personal film, shot over a period of five years and recalling Richard Linklater’s ”Boyhood”, Holm is documenting her two sons growing up in Oslo. An experienced cinematographer and documentary filmmaker, Holm is now writing fiction.

Kristoffer Joner, actor

One of Scandinavia’s most talked about actors, now ready for an international breakthrough. He plays the lead in Roar Uthaug’s disaster piece ”The Wave”, the opening film oat 2015’s Haugesund now set for its international premiere at Toronto. Norwegian born Joner has played in several prestigious Nordic pics. He has just finished shooting Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” and will star in Arild Andresen’s ”Handle With Care.” 

Jenifer Malmqvist, writer-director

Malmqvist completed a hat trick at Sundance in 2013 when ”On Suffocation” became her third short film to be invited. Previous entries were ”Peace Talk” (2006) and ”Birthday” (2009). ”On Suffocation” received a Swedish Guldbagge last year. Malmqvist is now developing her first feature, ”I Bet You Would!” produced by China Ahlander, known for producing the Venice debut winner from 2012, ”Eat Sleep Die.”

Taneli Mustonen, director

Taneli Mustonen is a Finnish director whose latest feature, 2015’s ”The Reunion,” broke records in Finland, becoming the second most successful local movie ever. His debut, ”Ella and Friends” (2012), was also a box office hit in Finland. His next project, the much-anticipated ”Bodom.” a stylish horror project based on campsite murders in the 1960’s Finland, was pitched by Mustonen and his producer, Aleksi Hyvärinen, at Haugesund’s Nordic Genre Boost.

Kari Ann Moe, director

Moe is one of Norway’s most prominent documentary filmmakers, with a special ability to establish an affinity with her participants. That also goes for her new film ”Rebels,” which opened the competition at Haugesund and scooped a special mention. ”Rebels” is a rich and multilayered fly-on-the-wall pic about a group of school-dropouts in Oslo that are given a new chance to adapt. Moe’s previous documentary. ”Braveheart” (2012). was awarded at Nordisk Panorama.

Karin Franz Korlof, actress

Recently graduated from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, Franz Korlof is an up and-coming actress who had her breakthrough last year in SVT series ”Blue Eyes”. Her next big role will be in Pernilla August’s costume piece ”The Serious Game”, presented as a work-in-progress at Haugesund and set for a 2016 release. Franz Korlof is also the scriptwriter and director of several shorts.

Bjørn Olaf Johannessen, screenwriter

Best known for the original screenplay of Wim Wender’s ”Every Thing Will Be Fine” (2015), which played Haugesund’s main program, Johannessen took off as a writer of stage plays in 2000, then moved on to feature film and television. Critically acclaimed comedy drama series ”Trial of Life” (2014), co-written with Per Schreiner and Erlend Loe for NRK, was nominated for the 2014 Prix Europa and awarded with the 2015 Golden Screen. He has also penned Erik Skjoeldberg’s coming drama ”Pyromaniac”.

Gustaf Moller, director

Gustaf Moller’s ”In Darkness” won the Next Nordic Generation at Haugesund, the shorts section aimed at showcasing new talents from Nordic film schools. Produced out of the Danish Film School, ”In Darkness” takes place at a closed psychiatric ward where a woman struggles against a system in the process of her destroying her. In the same section, Annika Berg received a special mention for ”Sia”, also made at the Danish Film School, Scandinavia’s most renowned film training center.

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