Opening with Norwegian actress-director Liv Ullmann’s Miss Julie [+] on 9 October, the 50th Chicago International Film Festival will this year focus on Scandinavia in its fourth Spotlight within the World Cinema programme, with 20 features and eight shorts.
“Since 1967, we have had a tradition presenting and awarding films from Scandinavian masters, from Aki Kaurismäki and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson to Bille August and Tomas Alfredson,” said the festival’s founder and artistic director, Michael Kutza, adding that Miss Julie is a suitable way to get things started, as Chicago has screened Ullmann’s three previous films as a director.
“In the last ten years, Scandinavian cinema has had a strong, vibrant presence at the festival, so our 50th anniversary is the ideal occasion to highlight the vitality and excellence of contemporary Nordic film,” explained programming director Mimi Plauché.
For the jubilee line-up, Kutza and Plauché have selected a series of Nordic classics and former Chicago entries, including Swedish directors Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (1982) and Jan Troell’s digitally restored Here’s Your Life (1966), which won the top prize at Chicago, as well as Danish director Lars von Trier’sBreaking the Waves (1996) and Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur’s The Deep [+] (2012).
Among the new films are the Oscar submissions from Finland (Pirjo Honkasalo’s Concrete Night [+]), Norway (Bent Hamer’s 1001 Grams [+]) and Sweden (Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure [+], aka Turist). Also on the menu are the North American premieres of Danish director Niels Arden Oplev’s Speed Walking, Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson’s Of Horses and Men [+] and Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s In Order of Disappearance [+]. The festival runs until 23 October.