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‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film.

Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and was broadcast live on national TV.

Moland’s generation-spanning outdoor drama very quickly took the lead at Saturday night’s ceremony, collecting additional awards for cinematography (Rasmus Videbæk), original music (Kaspar Kaae), best supporting actor (Bjørn Floberg), and best director.

The film premiered to strong notices at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, where cinematographer Rasmus Videbæk won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution. In his Berlinale review, Variety critic Guy Lodge called the Amanda winner a “loving adaptation” and credited the film’s “lush visual storytelling against its characters’ desolate interiors.”

Awarded by popular vote, the People’s Amanda went to director John Andreas Andersen’s disaster movie “The Quake,” which also took home the prize for best visual effects (Lars Erik Hansen).

Tobias Santelmann, who lead the Netflix potboiler “Borderliner” and now stars in the British historical series “The Last Kingdom,” won best actor for his role in the true-crime thriller “The Congo Murders,” while Pia Tjelta took home the best actress prize for her role in “Blind Spot,” a mental-illness drama that garnered much acclaim at last year’s Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals.

Writer/director Martin Lund won the awards for best screenplay and best children film for his teen romance “Psychobitch,” and Eirik Svensson’s “Harajuku” made a strong showing in the technical categories, winning for sound design (Gunn Tove Gronsberg) and editing (Karsten Meinich & Elise Solberg).

An austere nature docu shot in muted black and white, Egil Håskjold Larsen’s “Where Man Returns,” claimed the Amanda for best documentary.

The night also saw many female winners. Beyond best supporting actress winner Marie Bonnevie (“Phoenix”), the prize for best production design went to Lina Nordqvist (“Sonja”), best short film to director Fanny Ovesen (“She-Pack”) and best foreign film to Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”).

Indeed, the foreign category proved particularly fierce, with “Capernaum” besting last year’s Palme d’Or winner “Shoplifters,” last year’s Academy Award champion “Green Book” and last favorite of both Sundance and Rotterdam, “The Guilty.”

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