It’s that time of year, everyone! The Christmas of the festival calendar, the Cannes Film Festival, is back for another year. Last year, Scandinavian cinema did really well with Force Majeure taking home one of the top prizes, and looking at this line-up it looks like it’ll be another great year for the Nords. Along with a film in the main competition, we can see Nordic films in all the categories. Here is our Nordic Film Guide to Cannes:
First things first, Look at the Scandinavian Terrance. There, you can meet all the big names of the Scandinavian cinema market, as well as eat delicious food and look over the beautiful views of Cannes. We couldn’t find a program of what’s on there, but with this link you can sit back in envy at everyone who’ll be visiting the terrance over the coming weeks.
Norway has a fantastic line-up at this years Cannes. Leading the main competition is Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs, which will also be the worldwide premiere for the film. Louder Than Bombs is a story of breakaway and unity in a modern family. Photographer Isabelle Reed was killed three years ago, apparently in a car accident. Now her widower Gene wants to tell their youngest son Conrad what really happened, and he asks their eldest, Jonah, to come home and help. But instead Jonah turns against him.
Meanwhile, in the Un Certain Regard section is a co-production with France, Ethiopia and Germany titled Lamb (dir. Yared Zeleke). This film is amazing mostly because it is the very first Ethiopian film to screen at the Cannes film festival. Lamb tells the tale of nine-year-old Ephraim and his constant companion, a sheep named Chuni. Ephraim’s affection for Chuni deepen after he loses his mother to famine. Consequently, his beloved father sends him and Chuni far away from their drought-stricken homeland, to live with distant relatives in a greener part of the country. Ephraim soon becomes a homesick outcast who is always getting into trouble. When his uncle orders him to slaughter Chuni for the upcoming holiday feast, Ephraim devises a devious scheme to save the sheep and return to his father’s home. (read more at Indiewire)
Meanwhile in the Marche du Film we can see Out of Nature (we interview director Ole Giaever in our new magazine) and It’s Only Make Believe on the big screen.As part of the TrustNordisk promo screenings, The Last King and Villmark Asylum will make up a collection of trailers shown.
Iceland has a small but remarkably important presence at the festival. Rams (dir. Grimur Hakonarson) will be part of the Un Certain Regard. At Marche du Film Life in a Fishbowl and Virgin Mountain are part of the lineup. Here is the synopsis for Rams:
In a secluded valley in Iceland, Gummi and Kiddi live side by side, tending to their sheep. Their ancestral sheep-stock is considered one of the country’s best and the two brothers are repeatedly awarded for their prized rams who carry an ancient lineage. Although they share the land and a way of life, Gummi and Kiddi have not spoken to each other in four decades.
When a lethal disease suddenly infects Kiddi’s sheep, the entire valley comes under threat. The authorities decide to cull all the animals in the area to contain the outbreak. This is a near death sentence for the farmers, whose sheep are their main source of income, and many abandon their land. But Gummi and Kiddi don’t give up so easily – and each brother tries to stave off the disaster in his own fashion: Kiddi by using his rifle and Gummi by using his wits.
As the authorities close in the brothers will need to come together to save the special breed passed down for generations, and themselves, from extinction.
Finland is surprisingly small at this years festival – especially considering how well Finnish film is doing domestically. To Return Until (dir. Salla Sorri) is part of the Cinefoundations. While inviting her ex for a cup of tea, Tanja opens the gate to the past. To Return Until is a short film about crossing the line into the grey areas of violence in a close relationship.
This year we can see a strong presence of Danish films. Tsunami (dir. Sofie Kampmark) is part of Cinefoundations. When Animals Dream, Concerning Violence, Antboy 2, and a TrustNordisk promo reel will be part of the Marche du Film. Walk With Me is the main feature of that promo reel.
Ingrid Bergman is the face of Cannes this year, so that’s a good start for Swedish film! Besides that, it’s a quiet year for Swedish film following the success of Force Majeure last year. You can catch Force Majeure, Bridgend, My Skinny Sister and Every Face Has a Name at the Marche Du Film. The Here After is part of the Directors Fortnight.
Producers on the Move
A ton of Scandinavian producers are heading to Producers on the Move. They are:
- Denmark’s Katja Adomeit worked six years for Zentropa before setting up Adomeit Film in 2012. Her first film as producer was The Weight of Elephants which premiered in Berlin 2013. The same year her company produced Anna Eborn’s Pine Ridge, Best Nordic Documentary in Gothenburg and the hybrid film Not at Home which she co-directed with Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat.As co-producer, Adomeit has worked as freelancer on Ruben Östlund’sForce Majeure. She is currently involved in the documentary Winter Buoy by Frida Kempff.
- Finland’s Mikko Tenhunen started as a screenwriter for television before producing the comedy FC Venus, The Novelist, Backwood Philosopher and Body of Water. In 2014, he joined Mjölk Movies -film division of the advertising company Mjölk – jointly run by Mjölk CEO Yrjö Nieminen and director Aleksi Salmenperä. The director’s latest feature, the comedy Distractions based on a play will soon be delivered as well Mikko Kuparinen’s English language debut 2 Nights Till Morning starring Marie-Josée Croze.
- Heather Millard based in Iceland joined Spier Films in 2007 to run their London sales office. In 2009 she moved to Iceland where she became partner in Compass Films Iceland and Spier Films Iceland. She co-produced South-African director Jahmil X.T.Qubeka’s award-winning Of Good Report and Thorkell Hardarson & Orn Marino Arnarson’s documentary Trend Beacons. She is currently in postproduction with David Kinsella’s hybrid feature The Wall and in production with Kristin Olafsdottir and Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir’s documentary INNSÆI.
- Norway’s Kjetil Omberg spent 15 years in film distribution –including five years at Sandrew Metronome Norway as Head of Publicity, before moving into production with Tappeluft Pictures, specialising in genre movies. Since 2010 he has produced 15 films and TV dramas including Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow and Dead Snow: Red vs Dead, the TV series Hellfjordand comedy Tina & Bettina –The Movie. Currently MD of Tappeluft and Nordisk Superfilm, Omberg has Ole Endresen’s comedy The Wendy Effect in post and Wirkola’s international action adventure The Saga About Olaf Sledgehammer in development.
- Sweden’s Annika Rogell has collaborated for various established production companies such as Memfis, Garagefilm International and Filmlance. In 2009 she started working for the documentary outfit Story where she produced Göran Hugo Olsson’s award-winning filmsThe Black Power Mixtape 1967 – 1975 and Concerning Violence. For her own company Tangy, she has produced Sanna Lenken’s debut feature My Skinny Sister, Crystal Bear at Berlin Generation KPlus 2015. (source: Nordisk Film and TV Fund)