Erik Poppe’s film about Norwegian terrorist attacks selected for Berlin

Erik Poppe’s new film U-JULY 22 has been selected to compete at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. The festival will also be the international premiere for the film.

U-JULY 22 depicts the terrorist attack that occurred in Norway on the 22nd of July 2011. More than 500 youths at a political summer camp on an island just outside Oslo were attacked by a right-wing extremist, who also set off a bomb in the centre of Oslo earlier that day.

The film is a fictional depiction of events, following the young people as they experienced the attack. It follows Kaja (18) and her friends when they learn about the bombing in Oslo. They reassure their family and friends that they are far away from the incident. Suddenly, the safe atmosphere is shattered when shots are heard. We follow Kaja as she tries to survive – minute by minute.

The film has based itself on known facts and written testimonies, but has fictionalised the names for the sake of the victims and their relatives.

This is not Erik Poppe’s first time at the Berlin Film Festival. Last year, The King’s Choice was featured in Panorama, and his first feature film Schpaa also screened at the festival.

U-July 22 is produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B. Kvae for Paradox Film. The screenplay is written by Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Anna Bache-Wiig. The film stars  Andrea Berntzen, Elli Rhihannon Müller Osborne, Jenny Svennevig, Aleksander Holmen, Ingeborg Enes Kjevik, Sorosh Sadat, Brede Fristad, Ada Otilde Eide, Karoline Schau, Solveig Birkeland, Torkel Dommersnes, Daniel Sang Tran, Tamanna Agnihotri, Mariann Gjerdsbakk and Magnus Moen.

The domestic premiere of the film will be on the 9th of March 2018. No further international release dates have been announced.

This isn’t the only film being made about the Norwegian terrorist attacks. British filmmaker Paul Greengrass is also directing a fictional film about the events, with Anders Danielsen Lie starring as Anders Breivik. You can read about it here. 

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.