Four Films From Nordic Region Compete In Sundance

The Norwegian film Homesick by Anne Sewitsky, the documentaries The Visit by prominent Danish director Michael Madsen, Swedish/Danish Pervert Park by debutants Frida and Lasse Barkfors, and US sci-fi Z for Zachariah produced by Iceland’s Zik Zak Filmworks are heading off to the Sundance Film Festival unspooling January 22-February 1st, 2015.

The full list of 118 feature length features from 29 countries selected for Robert Redford’s leading film festival for independent films was announced on Wednesday.

– Anne Sewitsky returns to Sundance in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition where she won in 2011 the Jury Grand Prix for Happy Happy. Her new film screening is produced again by Maipo Film. It’s the story of Charlotte (27) who meets her brother Henrik (35) for the first time. They don’t know what a normal family is and begin an encounter without boundaries. World sales are handled by TrustNordisk and the domestic release via Nordisk Film is set for March 27, 2015.

Two of the 12 films screening in the World Cinema Documentary Competition programme are from the Nordic region.

– The Visit (pictured) is the latest film by the award-winning director of Into Eternity. Here Michael Madsen explores man’s potential first encounter with alien intelligence and therefore humanity itself, using unprecedented access to the United Nations’ Office for Outer Space Affairs as well as leading space scientists and agencies. The Visit is produced by Lise Lense-Møller for Magic Hour Films with support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond. World sales are handled by Autlook Film Sales.

– Pervert Park which had its world premiere at CPH:DOX is written and directed by the Frida and Lasse Barkfors. The films follows the everyday lives of sex offenders in a Florida trailer park as they struggle to reintegrate into society, and try to understand who they are and how to break the cycle of sex crimes being committed. Frida Barkfors is producing for her Swedish outfit De Andra, in co-production with Denmark’s Final Cut for Real. DR Sales handles world sales.

– Top Icelandic producers Skúli Malmquist and Thor Sigurjonsson (Zik Zak Filmworks) are for the first time heading off to Sundance with Z for Zachariah by Craig Zobel, screening as a world premiere in the US Dramatic Competition section. The film is produced with Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe, and Palomar Pictures’ Joni Sighvatsson in the US. Pall Grimsson who contributed to the script written by Nissar Modi is also executive producer.

Adapted from Robert C. O’Brien post-apocalyptic 1974 novel, the thriller follows a small-town girl (Margot Robbie from The Wolf of Wall Street) who lives alone on a farm in the only valley with breathable air in the wake of nuclear war. Her world is turned upside down when two strangers (Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor) wander in from the forest.

Malmquist told nordiskfilmogtvfond.com: “Craig Zobel who directed the psychological horror movie Compliance did a fantastic job on Z for Zachariah. Our script, written by LA based British writer Nissar Modi was on the Black List 2009 and had gotten great response. However Craig was able, in delicate ways, to put his personal finger prints on the script which enhanced it even further.”

Z for Zachariah will be released in the US by Lionsgate and in Scandinavia by Scanbox. Lotus Entertainment handles international sales.

from the Nordisk Film and TV Fund

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.