Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s “Thelma” and Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s “Tom of Finland” will bookend the 45th Norwegian International Film Festival, which runs Aug. 20-25, which has a string emphasis on the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
“Norwegian and Nordic films is a strong part of the festival’s identity,” explained assistant program director Martin Øsmundset.
“In the Next Nordic Generation sidebar which shows the best graduation movies from the Nordic film schools, we have the opportunity to spot the talents who will determine Nordic cinema in the future,” Østmundset added saying that the New Nordic Films market follows films from idea and pitch to financing and development and plays an important role in the international festival and cinema distribution of Nordic Films.
This year three new initiatives will further focus on Norway and the Nordic countries. For the first time, as a pilot project, Haugesund will screen Nordic TV drama on the cinema screen, including the premieres of Norway’s “Norseman 2” (aka “The Vikings 2”/”Vikingane 2”) and “Occupied 2” (“Okkupert 2”) as well as Iceland’s “Prisoners” (“Fangar”) and Sweden’s “Our Time Is Now” (“Vår tid är nu”).
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“In many cases the people behind the feature films and TV series are the same, so there is really no reason to divide them, but this is a program we will further strengthen,” Øsmundset said.
Also new: Books at Haugesund, a meeting place for the publishing and film industries, where five books suitable for big-screen adaptation will be pitched by the Nordic agents who hold the rights, followed by one-to-one meetings with producers. Also for the first time, nominations for the prestigious Nordic Council Film Prize will be announced at Haugesund, and the five competitors shown in the festival.
Since Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl played police detective Sarah Lund, solving crimes in her Faroese sweater in “The Killing” (“Forbrydelsen”) Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millenium movie and TV thrillers escalated international interest in Nordic Noir, Nordic content has been in great demand. Also adding international profile is the presence of Nordic actors in U-S. TV series such as “Game of Thrones.” Artistically ambitious Nordic films have also grabbed the limelight, as with Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s “Louder than Bombs’” berth in Cannes competition in 2016 and Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Cannes win this year with “The Square.”
Haugesund’s 2017 program takes in Trier’s “Thelma” and Norwegian director Norwegian director Thomas Berg’s “Vidar the Vampire” (“VampyrVidar”), a local independent horror comedy that will have its world premiere at the festival. Berg also plays a central role in Dutch director Daan Bakker’s festival entry “Quality Time.”
Also screening is Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola’s new U.K.-international sci-fi thriller, “What Happened to Monday,” which has Swedish actress Noomi Rapace in the lead with U.S. actors Willem Dafoe, Glenn Close and Robert Wagner, but also Norway’s Pål Sverre Hagen, Christian Rubeck and Cecilie Mosli in minor parts.
”Otherwise, I must make use of the ‘something to please everyone” cliche – I think we have struck a nice balance between arthouse titles and films with a broad appeal,” said Øsmundset, citing “gems” from Cannes such as Sofia Coppola’s ”The Beguiled” and Michael Hanneke’s ”Happy End,”
“something extraordinarily original such as ”Quality Time,” the Thierry Frémaux’s presented ”Lumière!” “Or Danish drunkards hiring a Russian hitman to kill their wives?: Ole Bornedal’s ‘Smalltime Killers’ (‘Dræberne fra Nibe’). We have it all,” Øsmundset concluded.
NORWEGIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, AUG. 20-25
“3 Things” (“3 ting”/Denmark). Dir: Jens Dahl. Prod: Profile Pictures
“Beyond Dreams” (“Dröm vidare”/Sweden). Dir: Rojda Sekersöz. Prod: 2afilm
“Dan Dream” (Denmark). Dir: Jesper Rofelt. Prod: Nutmeg Movies
“Loving Pia” (“At elske Pia”/Denmark). Dir: Daniel Joseph Borgman. Prod: Adomeit Films
“Small Town Killers” (“Dræberne fra Nibe”/Denmark). Dir: Ole Bornedal. Prod: Miso Film
“Star Boys” (“Kaiken se kestää”/Finland). Dir: Visa Koiso-Kanttila. Prods: Silva Mysterum, Dragon Films
“The Ex-Wife” (“Exfrun”/Sweden). Dir: Katja Wik. Prod: Kjellson & Wik
“The Oath” (“Eiðurinn”/Iceland). Dir: Baltasar Kormákur. Prod: RVK Studios
”Trädgårdsgatan” (Sweden). Dir: Olof Spaak. Prod: Primodrom Produktion
“Winter Brothers” (“Vinterbrødre”/Denmark, Island). Dir. Hlynur Pálmason. Prod: Masterplan Pictures
“Wendy and the Refugee Neverland” (Finland). Dir: Olli Ilpo Salonen. Prod: Aalto University, ELO Film School Finland
NEW NORDIC FILMS, AUG. 22-25, MARKET SCREENINGS
“3 Things,” (“3 ting”/Denmark). Intl sales: TrustNordisk (Copenhagen)
“All In,” (“Fantasten”/Denmark). Dir: Christian Dyekjær. Prod: Maja Dyekjær, for Fago Film.
“Backstabbing for Beginners,” (Denmark). Dir: Per Fly. Prods: Malene Blenkov, Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen, Lars Knudsen Daniel Bekerman, for Creative Alliance. Intl. sales: Fortitude International (Los Angeles)
“Darling,” (Denmark). Dir: Birgitte Stærmose. Prods: Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Marie Gade Denessen, forZentropa Entertainments. Intl sales: TrustNordisk
“Demon Box” (Denmark). Dir: Patrik Syversen. Prods: Fredrik Pryser, Catherine Pryser, Patrik Syversen.
“Drib” (Norway). Dir: Kristoffer Borgli. Prods: Magne Lyngner, Riina Zachariassen, for Bacon Pictures. Intl sales: TrustNordisk
“The Eternal Road” (“Ikitie”/Finland). Dir: Antti-Jussi Annila. Prod: Ilkka Matila, for MRP Matila Röhr Productions. Intl. sales: TrustNordisk
“I Remember You” (“Ég man þig”/Iceland). Dir: Oskar Thor Axelsson. Prod: Thor Sigurjonsson, Skuli FR Malmquist, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Chris Biggs, for Zik Zak Filmworks ao. Intl sales: TrustNordisk
“Man Divided” (“QEDA/Denmark). Dir: Max Kestner. Prods: Birgitte Skov, co-producers: Jon Nohrstedt, Jarkko Hentula and Olli Haikka, for SF Studios. Intl sales: Global Screen (Munich)
“Miami” (Finland). Dir: Zaida Bergroth. Prods: Miia Haavisto, Aleksi Bardy, Annike Sucksdorff, Dome Karukoski, for Helsinki-filmi. Intl sales: LevelK (Copenhagen)
“Never Again Tomorrow” (“Aldrig mere i morgen”/Denmark). Dir: Erik Clausen. Prod: Maja Dyekjør, for Clausen Film/Nordisk Film Production.
“Pound for Pound” (“Den bedste mand”/Denmark). Dir: Mikkel Serup. Prods Lea Løbger, Bo Ehrhardt, for Nimbus Film.
”Ravens” (”Korparna”/Sweden). Dir: Jens Assur. Prods: Jan Marnell, Tom Persson, Assur, for Film and Art Affairs. Intl sales: Celluloid Dreams (Paris)
“The Regulars” (“Gjengangere”/Norway). Dir: Leon Israr Bashir. Prod: Bashir, for Wanted Film Mola Production.
”The Rules for Everything” (Norway). Dir: Kim Hiorthøy. Prod: Yngve Sæther, for Motlys. Intl sales: Motlys (Oslo)
”The Square” (Sweden). Dir: Ruben Östlund. Prods: Erik Hemmendorff, Philippe Bober, for Platform Produktion, Essential Films oa. Intl sales: Coproduction Office (Paris)
“The Swan” (“Svanurinn”/Iceland). Dir: Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir. Prods: Birgitta Björnsdóttir, Hlin Jóhannesdóttir, for Vintage Pictures. Intl sales: M-Appeal World Sales (Berlin)
“Thick Lashes of Lauri Mäntyvaara” (Lauri Mäntyvararan Tuuset Ripset”/Finland). Dir: Hannaleena Hauru. Prod: Jussi Rantamäki, for Aamu Film Company. Intl. sales: Premium Films (Paris)
“Tom of Finland” (Finland). Dir: Dome Karukoski. Prods: Aleksi Bardy, Mila Haavisto, Annika Sucksdorff for Helsinki-Filmi. Intl. sales: Protagonist Pictures (London)
”The Tree Feller” (”Hoggeren”/Norway). Dir: Jorunn Myklebust Syversen. Prod: Maria Ekerhovd, for Mer Film. Intl sales: Mer Film (Oslo)
“Under the Tree” (“Undir trénu”/Iceland). Dir: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. Prod: Grímar Jónsson, for Netop Films. Intl. sales: New Europe Film Sales (Warsaw)
“Winter Brothers” (“Vinterbrødre”/Denmark, Iceland). Intl sales: New Europe Film Sales