Nordic focus at the Film Fest Gent

The Film Fest Gent kicked off earlier this week, and for those lucky enough to be in Gent they should go along and take a look at the special Nordic cinema focus that’s part of the festival.

Explore the whole programme here

Film Fest Gent runs until the 21st of October and here are the Nordic films screening:


Land of Mine dir. Martin Zandvliet

An untold story of young German prisoners of war forced to demine the Danish coast at the end of WWII.

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Kiwi & Strit dir. Esben Toft Jacobsen

Furry and funny! In this non-dialogue animated series, two cuddly creatures tumble from one adventure into the other. Danish director Esben Toft Jacobsen (‘The Great Bear’) believes “there’s something raw and unpolished about Nordic nature and the Nordic drawing tradition; it’s scratchy and painterly.”

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Julius in Winterland dir. Jacob Ley

A little boy enters a magic universe to save Santa Claus and the Christmas spirit. ‘Julius in winterland’ rediscovers the joys of the old tradition and childhood beliefs. “This animated adventure creates a special look with a Nordic note, and a hint of Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.” (Variety)

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Facebookistan dir. Jakob Gottschau

acebook speaks and lives of that its citizens must be connected and open, but Facebook themselves are closed and intransparent.

With 1.4 billion users, Facebook is the world’s largest public space and the company store personal data on an unprecedented scale. Several individuals and organizations are hit hard by Facebook’s policy, working conditions and the power and the potential consequences of Facebook’s power is enormous. Facebookistan takes a close look at Facebook’s business model and way of operating.

The film examines through case examples and ‘outlaws in Facebookistan’ how the business Facebook challenges two of democracy’s basic principles – the right to speak and the right to privacy.

Film director Jakob Gottschau has made a well researched indictment against Facebook with interesting and relevant persons such as Peter Øvig who came into Facebook’s censorship machine with his books on the hippie period and the related nudes, Sister Roma who, as an important representative of the queer scene in the United States, was discriminated against in terms of keeping a secret identity and the film’s protagonist, Max Schrems – an Austrian activist who has successfully filed a lawsuit against Facebook and who’s founder of the group ‘Europe vs. Facebook ‘.


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A Conspiracy of Faith dir. Hans Petter Moland

When an eight-year old message in a bottle ends up at Department Q. Carl Mørck and his assistant, Assad, are drawn into a horrific case involving a psychopathic murderer, religious fanaticism and abducted siblings never reported missing by their parents.

These cold-case cops sure are hot. At home, the first parts of the ‘Department Q’ series became the highest-grossing Danish films ever. This third one again broke opening records and played in competition in Edinburgh. “Imagine a Michael Mann film with Kierkegaard as co-director.” (The New York Times)

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The Fencer dir. Klaus Härö

A Cold War swordplay and heartening inspirational-teacher movie, ‘The Fencer’ is classic storytelling at its best with handsome muted-colour widescreen photography. “Though in the tradition of ‘Dead Poets Society’, the film offers higher stakes and, consequently, a bigger payoff.” (The Chicago Reader) (R.D.)

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Concrete Night dir. Pirjo Honkasalo

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A Reykjavik Porno dir. Graeme Marly

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Heartstone dir. Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thór and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it’s time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

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The Wave dir. Roar Uthaug

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Dam dir. Paul Tunge 

Two young men, J and Jo, just had a one night stand. The following day they go for a hike in the mountains. J is brimming with unresolved self hatred. Jo desperately wants to be loved. Their trip soon becomes a psychological battle of wills that can only find release in an act of violence.

‘Demning’ (‘Dam’) is a journey of two queer hikers being alone together, with “lyrical echoes straight out of a Terrence film,” as one reviewer noted. The Nordic film journal Rushprint proclaimed: “one of the most distinctive and exciting voices of the new independent Norwegian film.” (R.D.)

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The Yard dir. Måns Månsson

Yarden is the name of a loading station for passenger cars in the port of Malmö. Hundreds of cars with uniform white protective covers are parked there in neat rows stretching as far as the eye can see. This is where a poet past his prime ends up after he catapults himself out of intellectual life via a suicide mission of sorts and becomes dependent on the job centre. His colleagues are migrants and distrust the new guy, the Swedish guy. The management never addresses anyone by name and informants receive bonuses. The poet becomes number 11811 and gradually loses everything in the forbidding reality of his new surroundings, even the respect of his son with whom he lives, separated from the mother.

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A Serious Game dir. Pernilla August

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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.

  1. Rita Harris says:

    Looking forward to seeing some of these films. I hope Netflix picks them up or Comcast streams or we in America are never going to see them.

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