Alternativet Produksjon, the Norwegian film banner behind Guro Bruusgaard’s “HIM,” has more thought-provoking projects in the pipeline, including Mariken Halle’s pandemic-themed film “The Outdoor School” and Katja Eyde Jacobsen’s feminist movie “The Second Sex.”
The company was launched in 2017 by four filmmakers, including Halle, Jacobsen, Bruusgaard and Magnus Mork to produce their movies collectively, with a special interest in politically or socially engaged projets. The banner’s latest film credit, “HIM,” revolves around three males of different ages who experience some form of social humiliation. The buzzed-about film had its international premiere last month at the Moscow Festival, where it competed.
“The Second Sex,” which seems to be the female counterpart to “HIM,” follows three generations of Norwegian women in different social settings. Weaving documentary and fictional elements, the film revolves around a grandmother, a mother and a daughter, and their relationship with one another. “The Second Sex” also explores how being a woman affects choices, ambitions and inter-personal relationships. Mer Films is producing “The Second Sex” with Alternativet Produksjon.
“We work on the floor on each other’s projects and build up new work structures from the specific needs of each project we work on,” said the company’s founders. “We also want to contribute to a generous, open art/film field where more people get to make what they long to make,” added the producers.
“The Outdoor School,” meanwhile, follows a day in the lives of Norwegian children and adults during the pandemic. All the characters in the film are named after people from Naomi Klein’s 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine,” which argues that governments have exploited crises to make questionable policy decisions through history.
“I want to make a film that captures the time we are in right now,” said Halle. “A project where children and adults get to work artistically together and where we relate honestly to what is happening around us.”
“HIM” is set to have its Norwegian premiere, handled by local distributor Euforia, on June 4.
In addition to “HIM,” Alternativet’s other credits include the shorts “The Forest” by Magnus Mork, “What Is a Woman?” by Marin Håskjold, and Halle’s film “We Are Here Now.”
This year’s Oscars saw an unprecedented number of Norwegian productions and co-productions shortlisted, notably Maria Sødahl’s “Hope,” which was Norway’s Oscar candidate; Victor Kossakovsky’s documentary “Gunda,” about the life cycle of a majestic Norwegian sow; and Benjamin Ree’s friendship-themed “The Painter and the Thief.”