New Norwegian films premiering this spring

Jakob Oftebro (Skjervald) i Birkebeinerne

The Norwegian Film Institute has announced the Norwegian films due for premiere this year, with 25-28 being released before the end of the year and nine new films coming this spring. The list of films being released in the upcoming months include a mixture of documentaries, dramas, comedies, historical epics and a ghost movie.

Here are the films we are most looking forward to (descriptions and info via the Norwegian Film Institute):

The Last King (Birkebeinerne)
Dir: Nils Gaup. Scr: Ravn Lanesskog. Prods: Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B Kvae, for Paradox Film. Cast: Jakob Oftebro, Kristofer Hivju, Pål Sverre Hagen, Thorbjørn Harr, Thea Loch Næss, Ane Ulimoen Øverli. Local distr: Nordisk Film Distribusjon. Intl sales: TrustNordisk
Premiere: 12 February
A historical epic about the two men who saved the life of later King Haakon Haakonsson – set in the 13th century,  during civil war in Norway, and following the warriors who escaped across the mountains with the two-year-old prince – the last remaining heir to the throne, whom half the kingdom is out to kill – thus changing the history of Norway.

Doing Good (Mannen fra Snåsa)
Documentary. Dir/Scr/Prod: Margreth Olin, for Speranza Film. Intl sales: tba
Premiere: 22 January
In the last 65 years more than 50,000 people have travelled to the small village Snåsa in northern Norway to meet Joralf Gjerstad, hoping that he would be able to help them. But what can one man’s genuine compassion do? Olin has filmed 22 meetings between Gjerstad and people who need to recreate themselves after personal misfortune.
Welcome to Norway
Dir/Scr: Rune Denstad Langlo. Prod: Sigve Endresen, for Motlys. Cast: Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Henriette Steenstrup, Olivier Mukuta, Slimane Dazi. Local distr: Norsk Filmdistribusjon. Intl sales: Beta Cinema
Premiere: 4 March
Per Primus, is a racist, almost bankrupt owner of a holiday hotel in the fjells, where nobody comes – so now he wants to open a state-funded refugee centre to save the economy. The first 50 unruly émigrés, most of them Muslims, cause absolute chaos – one of them on particular, Abedi, from Congo. First he annoys the hell out of Primus, but in the end he changes him completely.


Afterparty (Det som en gang var)
Dir/Scr: Patrik Syversen. Prods: Fredrik Pryser, Patrik Syversen, for Pryserfilm. Cast: Marte Germaine Christensen, Silje Storstein, Benjamin Helstad, Tobias Santelmann. Local distr: Arthaus. Intl sales: tba
Premiere: 18 March
A journey in the metropolitan night is the beginning of the end of a friendship – when the morning dawns, nothing is as it was. Syversen’s new feature is described as a “finely- tuned relation drama, in which many will recognise themselves ” – film about how even the best of friends can grow apart. Should they hang on or dare to let go?
Grand Hotel
Dir: Arild Fröhlich. Scr: Megan Gallagher. Prod: Karin Julsrud, for 4½ Fiksjon. Cast: Atle Antonsen, Håkon Bøhmer, Vera Vitali, Arthur Berning, Tone Mostraum, Lars Jørgensen, Gard Eidsvold. Local distr: Euforia Film. Intl sales: tba
Premiere: 8 April
A pompous, aging alcoholic and a 10-year-old boy suffering from Tourette’s disorder (with multiple physical and vocal tics) are forced to spend a week together at Oslo’s fashionable Grand Hotel (where 70% of the film was shot). They have one thing in common: they are both difficult to like. But during the week they form a unique friendship, pushing them both towards a change.
The House (Huset)
Dir/Scr/Prod: Reinert Kiil, for Sanctum Film. Cast: Sondre Krogtoft Larsen, Mats Reinhardt, Espen Edvartsen, Ingvild Flikkerud, Anita Ihler, Sigmund Sæverud, Fredrik von Lüttichau, Heidi Ødegaard Mikkelsen, Evy Kasseth Røsten. Local distr: Another World Entertainment Norge. Intl sales: tba
Premiere: 15 April
A ghost movie – a psychological thriller – set in a cold and inhospitable Norwegian winter during World War II: Two German soldiers have captured a Norwegian soldier, and luckily a house pops up in the icy wilderness. What first seems like a warm and welcome rescue, proves to be something completely different – a hell nobody deserves, not even Nazis.
Late Summer (Sensommer)
Dir/Scr/Prod: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, for FilmBros. Cast: Bente Børsum, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Heidi Toini, Christian Bujeau, Aurélien Gabrielli. Local distr: Another World Entertainment Norge. Intl sales: tba
Premiere: 3 June
Losing her battle with cancer, a Norwegian author has secluded herself in the French countryside, it will allow her a peaceful swan song. But a young couple on vacation suddenly intrudes on her isolated life – hidden secrets begin to surface, and the provincial idyl turns into a power struggle. What does the young couple want from her, and why is she desperately trying to hide her past?

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.