Nordic films at the Venice Film Days

The Venice Film Festival’s independent strand, the Venice Days, has unveiled the line-up for its 13th edition, which runs alongside the main festival between the 31st of August and the 10th of September.

Overall, there are eleven titles in the competition, six special event screenings, and two shorts at the event.

A Danish-Finnish coproduction, The War Show, is going to be opening the programme. From co-directors Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon, the documentary road film chronicles the Syrian uprising and war and follows Zytoon who sets off on a road trip around Syria, telling the Syrian story through a series of personal stories.

Also competing at the Venice Days is Heartstone, the Icelandic film by Guomundur Arnar Guomundsson. Heartstone is set in the beautiful yet harsh nature of Iceland and portrays the journey of friendship and love that two boys go through as one tries to win the heard of a girl while the other discovers new feelings towards his best friend.

The Swedish/Danish/Norwegian film Sami Blood rounds off the Nordic involvement in the competition. In Sami Blood, Amanda Kernell looks at the false teachings in racial biology, colonial structures and Sami identity. She has previously covered these subjects in her Guldbagge-nominated short Northern Great Mountain, which we reviewed here.


In Sámi Blood, Amanda Kernell looks at false teachings in racial biology, colonial structures and Sámi identity. She has previously covered the same subjects in her Guldbagge-nominated short Northern Great Mountain (Stoerre Varie), which was also selected for the Sundance Film Festival in the US and won the Audience Choice in the short film category ‘Startsladden’ at the Göteborg Film Festival last year. Northern Great Mountain, starring Maj Doris Rimpi and Olle Sarri as a mother and son who return to the mother’s roots together, is an epilogue to the Sámi family epic Sámi Blood. The feature-length film is set in the 1930s and depicts a dark chapter in Swedish history.

Image: Lene Cecilia Sparrok in Sámi Blood. Photo: Sophia Olsson



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.