Finland, Norway, Sweden Oscar Candidates

The Oscars committees in Finland, Norway and Sweden unveiled this week their candidates for the Academy Award nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Those are respectively Concrete Night by Pirjo Honkasalo, 1001 Grams (pictured) by Bent Hamer and Force Majeure by Ruben Östlund. The three films were supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

The Finnish entry Concrete Night (Betoniyö) co-written by Honkasalo and Pirkko Saisio, has had a successful festival run since its international premiere in Toronto 2013. The stylish drama in black and white won six Jussi national film awards including Best Finnish film and Best director and most recently the Best Feature Award at the 61st Pula International Film Festival. The film produced by Bufo opened domestically in November 2013 via Cinema Mondo. Film Republic handles world sales.

1001 Grams (1001 gram) is Bent Hamer’s third Norwegian entry at the Oscars nominations with Kitchen Stories (2003) and O’Horten (2008). The off-beat comedy written, directed and produced by Hamer will have its world premiere on Sunday at Toronto’s Masters section before opening the Bergen International Film Festival on September 23. The national release is set for September 26, courtesy of Norsk Filmdistribusjon. World sales are handled by Les Films du losange.

1001 Grams was shortlisted with two other Norwegian films: Eskil Vogt’s Blind and Isham Zaman’s Letter to the King.

Force Majeure (Turist) is Ruben Östlund’s second opportunity to represent Sweden at the Academy Awards after Involuntary (2009). The drama was one of Cannes’ hottest selections at Un Certain Regard where it won the Prix du Jury. It was picked up by US distributor Magnolia Pictures and has therefore a good chance to make it in the final round of Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film to be announced on January 25, 2015.

As part of the Oscar push and preamble to Force Majeure’s US opening on October 24, a retrospective of the first 10 years of Östlund’ s filmmaking career will take place in January 2015 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York and at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis before embarking on a three-month tour of North America. The touring retrospective is produced by Comeback Company in partnership with the Swedish Film Institute, Östlund and producer Erik Hemmendorff’s Plattform Produktion, support from the Swedish Embassy in the US and Sweden’s Consulate General in New York.

Force Majeure is currently playing in Swedish cinemas via TriArt. World sales are handled by The Coproduction Office.

Concrete Night
 and Force Majeure are also competing for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize.

Denmark’s final Oscar entry will be announced on September 18.


via the Nordisk Film and TV Fund

CategoriesFinland Norway
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.