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Haugesund: Scary Movies Get Showcase From Nordic Genre Boost

Launched last year by the Oslo-based Nordisk Film & TV Fund, which promotes and supports films from the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on an annual $12.2 million budget, the Nordic Genre Boost will this year present seven new projects at New Nordic Films, the market of the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival in Haugesund, Norway, which runs Aug. 20-26.

At the same time, the first feature project presented at the 2015 Nordic Genre Boost in Helsinki will screen in the New Nordic Films program: Finnish director Taneli Mustonen’s ”Lake Bodom,”a horror film produced by Finland’s Don Films, Film Constellation, Post Control Helsinki, with Estonia’s Münchhausen Productions.

Scripted by Mustonen and Aleksi Hyvärinen, it tells the story of four teenagers who were stabbed to death while sleeping in their tent at the lake in 1960. The unsolved mystery turned into an urban legend, and in the present day, a group of teenagers arrives at the same campsite, hoping to solve the murder by reconstructing it minute by minute. But another killing game begins.

CEO Petri Kemppinen of the Nordisk Film & TV Fund, took the initiative for the program: “[Nordic producers] were doing well with art films and children’s films, but there was a clear gap in the films we supported reaching young adult audiences. Genre films are one way of speaking to that segment, and we also wanted to enhance the collaboration of these filmmakers,” he explained. “Genre pictures has always been a niche in Scandinavian cinema, despite the Nordic mythology and the general quirkiness – and by organizing workshops with international mentors we try to provide the filmmakers with the insight of reaching global genre audiences.”

Recent Nordic genre productions include Swedish director Tomas Alfredsson’s “Let the Right One In,” Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola’s “Dead Snow,” Finnish directors Jalmari Helander’s “Rare Exports,” and Timo Vuorensola’s “Iron Sky.”

A total of 114 projects applied for support in the first round, and 83 in the second, which is now presented in Haugesund. Support includes $25,000 development money, access to two residential workshops with international film professionals followed by online tutoring about script development, marketing and sales.

The first workshop was organized at Helsinki’s Night Visions Intl. Film (April 13-17) with head of acquisitions Todd Brown of L.A.-based XYZ Films, market and industry director Lindsay Peters of Montreal’s Frontières Intl. Co-Production Market, and Swedish producer Piodor Gustafsson, of Spark Productions.

This year Nordic Genre Boost manager Valerie Richter and Kemppinen will welcome director of development Ryan Wickers, of EuroCorp USA, Finnish producer Tero Kaukomaa, of Iron Sky Universe, and Swedish pitch coach and producer Helene Granqvist, of Nordic Factory Sweden. Third round in the project will run next year.

The project package presented at the 2016 Nordic Genre Boost at Haugesund comprises seven features:

Denmark: “Bente and the Mutant Scouts” from Tor Fruergaard; produced by Claudia Saginario.

Finland: “Birds of a Feather”from Hanna Bergholm; produced by Mika Ritalahti

“Memory of Water”from  Saara Saarela; produced by Misha Jaari & Mark Lwoff

Iceland: “East by Eleven” from Olaf de Fleur; produced by Kristin Andrea Thordardottir

“The Damned”from Thordur Palsson, Kamilla Hodøl, Emilie Jouffroy


“Substitute”from Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken; produced by Finn Gjerdrum

“Deep Down” from Izer Aliu; produced by Mikael Diseth

Pictured: Petri Kemppinen


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