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Norwegian Fest Honors Pernilla August as Doc ‘Magnus’ Takes Top Prize

The Norwegian Intl. Film Festival handed out its prizes Aug. 25, with Norwegian director Benjamin Ree’s documentary “Magnus” nabbing the Ray of Sunshine prize from the the Norwegian Exhibitors’ Assn. A hit at several international festivals, “Magnus” tells the story of 26-year-old Norwegian chess champion Magnus Carlsen’s rise to the top.

For the first time the International Film Critics Assn. presented its FIPRESCI prize at Haugesund, with Danish director Jesper W. Nielsen’s “The Day Will Come” taking the honors. The Norwegian Film Critics’ favorite was Maren Ade’s Cannes hit and German B.O. hit,Toni Erdmann,” while “Perfect Strangers,” from Italy’s Paolo Genovese, took the Audience Award.

Swedish actress-writer-director Pernilla August was presented at the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival Aug. 24 with Ullmann Award, named after the legendary actress-director Liv Ullmann and presented to August by the trophy’s namesake, for “her significant contribution to film art, through her ability to move her audience.”

August unspooled her latest film, “A Serious Game,” at the festival in Haugesund, which ended Aug. 26.

After graduating from Stockholm’s Academy of Dramatic Arts, August was hand-picked by Swedish writer-director Ingmar Bergman to play the nanny in his 1982 film “Fanny and Alexander.” Over the years, she acted in 65 films, winning awards in Berlin (the 2004 Silver Bear for Swedish director Björn Runge’s “Daybreak”) and Cannes (for Danish director Bille August’s “Best Intentions” in 1992).

Besides working with Nordic directors (Bo Widerberg, Jan Troell, Per Fly, Ole Bornedal, Ullmann), and working on the stage, she has performed in international blockbusters, including  “Stars Wars: Episode One — The Phantom Menace” (1999) and “Star Wars: Episode Two — Attack of the Clones” (2002). August began directing in 2010, and her feature debut, “Beyond,” earned her 10 prizes, including Sweden’s top national film prize, the Guldbagge, for best director, the Nordic Council Film Prize, and the Critics’ Award in Venice.



The Norwegian Film Critics’ Award

Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade (Germany)


”The Day Will Come,” Jesper W. Nielsen (Denmark)

The Audience Award

“Perfect Strangers,” Paolo Genovese (Italy)


The Ray of Sunshine (The Norwegian Exhibitors Assn.)

“Magnus,” Benjamin Ree (Norway)

The Andreas (Ecumenical) Award

“Agnus Dei”  (“Les Innocentes”),  Anne Fontaine (France)

Best Project/Nordic Co-Production and Financing Market

“Amundsen & Nobile,” Katja Næss (Norway). Producer: Mikrofilm

The Eurimages Lab Project Award/New Nordic Films Prize

“The Wind Blew On,” Katrín Ólafsdóttir (Iceland). Producer: International/Incoherence

Next Nordic Generation Award/New Nordic Films Prize

“I’ll Try Again,” Jo Widerberg (Sweden). Producer: Akademin Valand Film

Pictured above: Norwegian actress-director and festival honorary president Liv Ullmann presents Swedish actress-director Pernilla August the Ullmann honorary prize at the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival Aug. 25.


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