Haugesund Unveils New Nordic Films Lineup

Annika Pham

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The 25th New Nordic Films, unspooling Aug. 20-23 parallel to the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, will kick off with the critically-lauded “A White, White Day” by Hlynur Pálmason. The Icelandic drama which world premiered at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, is among 19 films set to screen, of which 13 are world market premieres such as Jesper W. Nielsen’s thriller “The Exception,” Venice Critics Week’s pick “Psychosia,”, Venice Days’ entry “Beware of Children”, Jens Jonsson’s “The Spy” and Jesper Ganslandt’s “438 Days”.

The hot Works in Progress session has 20 titles to be pitched to more than 300 attendees. Gauging this year’s crop, New Nordic Films’ managing director Gyda Velvin Myklebust underlines the large number of local films, genre-driven and reality-based stories, as well as the healthy gender balance -half the films are female directed. “There are many new female talents to watch out for,” says Myklebust, citing the Finnish coming of age feature “Eden” by Ulla Heikkilä, whose graduation film “Golgata” played Haugesund’s Next Generation strand in 2016, and Ninja Thyberg’s highly-anticipated debut “Jessica,” about the porn industry, produced by Plattform Produktion (“The Square”).
Set to open later in 2020, the title is among six experimental films vying for the coveted €50,000 Eurimages Lab Project Award.

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Other strong contenders include Daniel Dencik (“Moonrider”, “Gold Coast”), with his fable about identity “Miss Osaka”, a first ever Danish/Japanese co-production, and the Finnish film “Nimby” by Teemu Nikki, nominated for a Cannes Palme d’Or this year for his short film “All Inclusive.” “Nimby” is a dark comedy about the intolerance of tolerant people.

Commercially-oriented and talent-driven films to be pitched include “The Attack of Copenhagen” by Ole Christian Madsen starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jakob Oftebro and Sonja Richter, Christina Rosendahl’s WWII set “The Good Traitor” with Ulrich Thomsen and Denise Gough, Maria Sødahl’s drama “Hope” starring Stellan Skarsgård and Andrea Braein Hovig, and the fantasy adventure “Mortal “by Troll Hunter”’s André Øvredal, toplining Nat Wolff and Iben Akerlie.

Fans of cartoonist/animator Anders Morgenthaler will enjoy sneak-previewing his animated feature “Mugge and the Street Party” co-directed by Mikael Wulff, and nostalgia auds of ‘80s pop sensation a-ha, the documentary “a-Ha -The Movie “by Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm.

Another 17 films in development from the Nordic countries, Turkey and Germany will be pitched at the Nordic Co-production Market, including “Black Bird” by Mia Engberg (“Belleville Baby”) and “Tale of a Sleeping Giant,” the latest work by Marko Röhr in his series of documentaries celebrating the natural beauty of Finland.

New Nordic talents will be platformed at the Scandinavian Debut and Next Nordic Generation strands, and this year’s case study co-organised by Europa Distribution, will be dedicated to May el Toukhy’s “Queen of Hearts.”

Full lineup of Works in Progress:
-“@Chica Chile Norway, “ by Ingvild Søndelin, Norway
-“a-Ha: The Movie” by Thomas Robsahm, Norway
-“Astrup-Catching the Flame” by Pål Øie, Norway
-“Breaking Surface” by Joakim Hedén, Sweden
-“Eden” by Ulla Heikkilä, Finland
-“Helene” by Antti Jokinen, Finland
-“Him” by Guro bruusgaard, Norway
-“Hope” by Maria Sødhl, Norway
-“Inland” by Jon Blåhed, Sweden
-“Jessica” by Ninja Thyberg, Sweden
-“Lake of Death” by Nini Bull Robsahm, Norway
-“Miss Osaka” by Daniel Dencik, Denmark
-“Mugge and the Street Party” by Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler, Denmark
-“Nimby” by Teemu Nikki, Finland
-“Sisters” by Silje Salomonsen and Arild Østin Ommundsen, Norway
-“The Attack in Copenhagen” by Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark
-“The Crossing” by Johanne Helgeland, Norway
-“The Garden” by Ragnar Bragason, Iceland
-“The Good Traitor” by Christina Rosendahl, Denmakr
-“The Tunnel” by Pål Øie, Norway

Full lineup of market screenings:
-“110% Honest” by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, Norway
-“438 Days” by Jesper Ganslandt, Sweden
-“Agnes Joy” by Silja Hauksdóttir, Iceland
-“And Then We Danced “by Levan Akin, Sweden
-“A White, White Day” by Hlynur Pálmason, Iceland
-“Beware of Children” by Dag Johan Haugerud, Norway (by invitation only)
-“Dogs Don’t Wear Pants“ by J-P Valkeapää, Finland
-“Du” by Paul Tunge, Norway
-“Echo” by Rúnar Rúnarsson, Iceland
-“Eden” by Snævar Sölvason, Iceland
-“Heavy Load” by Magus Millang, Denmark
-“Maria’s Paradise “ by Zaida Bergroth, Finland
-“Psychosia” by Marie Grahtø, Denmark
-“Shadowtown” by Jon Einarsson Gustafsson and Karolina Lewicka, Iceland
-“The Ash Ladd-In Search of the Golden Castle”by Mikkel Brænne Sandemose, Norway
-“The Birdcatcher’s Son” by Richard Hobert, Sweden
-“The Exception” by Jesper W. Nielsen, Denmark
-“The Longest Day” by Jonas Selberg Angustsén, Sweden
-“The Spy” by Jens Jonsson, Sweden

Hope

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