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Nordic films screening at the Vilnius Film Festival 2018

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Vilnius Film Festival runs from the 15th until the 29th of March in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Denmark

WINTER BROTHERS / VINTERBRØDRE

Directed by Hlynur Pálmason

Starring Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Peter Plaugborg, Lars Mikkelsen

Johan and Emil are two radically different brothers who work in a limestone factory in a small Danish village. The former is down-to-earth, hard-working, handsome and agreeable, while the latter is inelegant and insecure, a daydreamer who goes unnoticed. Their passionate and troublesome relationship doesn’t fit into words. Johan tolerates Emil’s volatile behaviour until they find themselves attracted to the same woman. Set against the unforgiving Nordic weather, Winter Brothers privileges image and emotion over dialogue in this multi-layered tale of brotherly love and betrayal.

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THE RETURN

Directed by Malene Choi Jensen

Starring Thomas Hwan, Karoline Sofie Lee

Two Danish-Korean adoptees return for the first time to the country they were once born in. Confronted with the spirit of their Motherland and the personal stories of the fellow adoptees they meet in the city of Seoul, Karoline and Thomas are hurled into an emotionally disorienting journey that forces both of them to question and face their own destiny and identity. Operating in a hybrid field The Return is partially based on director Malene Choi’s personal experience as well as stories shared by adoptees that Malene encountered in Seoul while shooting the film.

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Read our interview with Melene Choi Jensen and our review of The Return in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia

THE DISTANT BARKING OF DOGS

Documentary

Directed by Simon Lereng Wilmont

Oleg lives with his beloved grandmother, Alexandra, in the small village of Hnutove in Eastern Ukraine. Having no other place to go, Oleg and Alexandra stay and watch as others leave the village. Life becomes increasingly difficult with each passing day, and the war offers no end in sight. In this now half-deserted village where Oleg and Alexandra are the only true constants in each other’s lives, the film shows just how fragile, but crucial, close relationships are for survival.

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BOBBI JENE

Documentary

Directed by Elvira Lind

Oleg lives with his beloved grandmother, Alexandra, in the small village of Hnutove in Eastern Ukraine. Having no other place to go, Oleg and Alexandra stay and watch as others leave the village. Life becomes increasingly difficult with each passing day, and the war offers no end in sight. In this now half-deserted village where Oleg and Alexandra are the only true constants in each other’s lives, the film shows just how fragile, but crucial, close relationships are for survival.

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MICHELIN STARS: TALES FROM THE KITCHEN

Documentary

Directed by Rasmus Dinesen

At a moment in time when humanity is obsessed with food –photographing every dish, worshipping cooks and flaunting trophy meals on social media–, this documentary goes under the surface and offers an in-depth, honest and relevant view into the world and day-to-day of Michelin chefs and restaurants. Telling tales from a grand menu of culinary temples as well as digging into the greatness and flaws of the Michelin Guide in this golden age of gastronomy.

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SOLAR WALK

Short film

Directed by Réka Bucsi

The solar system is full of mysteries and unanswered questions. It makes us feel tiny and as a part of something bigger, it triggers questions of faith, life and the Big Bang. How can we ever understand the Universe? Moreover, how does it influence our life on Earth – right here and now?

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Finland

THE CEILING / KATTO

Short film

Directed by Simon Lereng Wilmont

Starring Inna Bodson, Juho Milonoff, Pekka Strang

On the brink of divorce Olavi retreats to his cabin by the lake. After a few days he finds that the ceiling has come down. His friend arrives and insists that something has to be done. The two men start lifting the ceiling – but which of the men is really in need of help?

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Iceland

UNDER THE TREE / UNDIR TRÉNU

Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Þorsteinn Bachmann, Selma Björnsdóttir, Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir

A man has to move back in with his parents after his wife threw him out. While Atli fights for custody of his four-year-old daughter, he is gradually sucked into a bitter dispute between his parents and their neighbours regarding an old and beautiful tree, which casts a shadow over the neighbours lawn, causing their garden to languish. As the disagreement escalates, property is damaged, pets disappear, security cameras are installed, and the complaining neighbor acquires a chainsaw.

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Read our interview with Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia.

Read our review of Under the Tree

Norway

WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY / HVA VIL FOLK SI

Directed by Iram Haq

Starring Maria Mojdeh Nawabi Estanegzai, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ali Arfan, Sheeba Chaddha, Lalit Parimoo, Ekavali Khanna

Sixteen year-old Nisha lives a double life. At home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager. When her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend, Nisha’s two worlds brutally collide. To set an example, Nisha’s parents decide to kidnap her and place her with relatives in Pakistan. At first, in a country she has never been to before, Nisha feels alone and afraid, but then slowly, she starts to discover her parents’ culture in a new way.

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Read our interview with Iram Haq in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia

KAYAYO

Short film

Directed by Mari Bakke Riise

Starring Bamunu Abdul Somed

Kayayo means “girl carrier” in the Ga language. In Ghana’s capital more that 10 000 girls work as real life shopping carts carrying around large trays on their heads. The 8 year old Bamunu works to support her family, living thousand miles away, which she hasn’t seen for two years.

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Sweden

RAVENS / KORPARNA

Agne, a constant farmer who lives in 1970s rural Sweden, fights tooth and nail to save his farm from the owner’s profit-driven aspirations and the overall tendency to “modernize.” As the farm was run by the same family for the last century, passing from generation to generation, Agne is certain that his eldest son will take over. When he gets to know his son’s real intentions, he will have difficulties in discerning the fine line between stubbornness and madness. The first feature film by famous photographer Jens Assur is a dramatic, cliffhanging ode to family burden and the power of the inevitable.

Directed by Jens Assur

Starring Reine Brynolfsson, Maria Heiskanen, Jacob Nordström

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SILVENA / SILVANA – VÄCK MIG NÄR NI VAKNAT

Documentary

Directed by Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring, Christina Tsiobanelis

“Let’s smash patriarchy!” Swedish hip-hop artist Silvana Imam shouts through a megaphone, and hundreds of hands shoot into the air. Her raw raps are autobiographical and strongly focused around sexual identity, politics and her own immigrant background – born to Syrian and Lithuanian parents, she arrived to Sweden at an early age. She describes herself as a lesbian, feminist and anti-racist punk rapper, and calls Sweden a disgusting country: a conservative nation bursting with xenophobia. Silvana starts in 2014, the year of her breakthrough. The film also documents her romance with singer Beatrice Eli – also a “power pussy” who makes music for and about women.

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Read our interview with the film-makers in the December issue of Cinema Scandinavia

THE BURDEN / MIN BÖRDA

Short film

Directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Starring Niki Lindroth von Bahr

In this comically acerbic musical epic, the animal occupants of a generic shopping plaza next to a freeway sing out their existential angst – doomed by the apocalyptic banality of subsistence in the modern age.

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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.