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Goteborg Draws Spotlight on Booming Norwegian Film Biz

GOTEBORG, Sweden– Norway will be well repped at the upcoming Academy Awards with local helmer Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game” competing for eight Oscar nods. Meanwhile, back in Scandinavia, the Norwegian film biz is also on the upswing.

Export of Norwegian films has been growing steadily for the last six years, reaching approximately 7.9 million Euros in 2014 from 4.4 million Euros in 2011.

Meanwhile, Norwegian movies, leading with Børning, a comedy actioner about car racing, grabbed a healthy market share averaging 24.4% at the local B.O. in 2014, according to figures compiled by the Norwegian Film Institute and unveiled during a presentation at Goteborg.

“Norway is probably the Nordic country that has made the strongest progress in filmmaking in recent years, both artistically and audience-wise,” said Jonas Holmberg, the artistic director of Goteborg which is paying tribute to Norwegian cinema this year.

Indeed, for the last three years, the Golden Dragon award for best Nordic film has been won by Norwegian movies: Hisham Zaman’s “Letter To The King” in 2014, Hisham Zaman’s Before Snowfall in 2013, Arild Andresen’s “The Company Orheim” in 2012.

The Goteborg presentation was attended by some of the top directors and producers of contempo Norwegian cinema:  Up-and-coming directors like Anne Sewitsky, whose sophomore pic “Homesick” world premiered in Sundance a few days ago, well-established helmer Hans Petter Moland  whose “In order of Disappearance” competed at Berlin last year, and Synnøve Hørsdal producer at Maipo Film. 

Both Sewitsky, who won Sundance’s Grand Prize jury for “Happy Happy,” and Moland, have been signed by U.S. agents. Sewitsky is with UTA, while Moland is with CAA.

Moland said he was currently developing “The Long Ships,” a viking movie penned by Tobias Lindholm and based on Swedish author Frans Gunnar Bengtsson’s novel “Rode Orm” about 10th century adventurer Red Serpent whose journey alters history. The project is set up at Zentropa. 

Sewitsky, who has just returned from Sundance, said her movie “Homesick” has received upbeat reaction from audiences in spite of its daring subject. Sold by TrustNordisk “Homesick” follows a young woman longing for family bonds who falls in love with her half-brother after meeting him for the first time at age 27. Clips of “Homesick” were shown last year at Goteborg’s Nordic Film Market.

The Nordic Film Market wraps Feb. 1.


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