Nordic shorts selected for the Cannes Film Festival 2017

The line-up for the Cannes Film Festival has been announced, with two Nordic short films to screen.

The first of the two comes from Finland. Titled Ceiling, the short film tells the story of Olavi, a man on the brink of divorce, who notices that the ceiling of his summer cottage has mysteriously lowered. Ceiling is directed by Teppo Airaksinen, written by Melli Maikkula and produced by John Lundsten for TACK Films Oy.  The cast includes Pekka Strang, Juho Milonoff, Inna Bodson and Iida-Maria Heinonen.

“It is wonderful that Teppo Airaksinen’s Ceiling has been selected to the competition in Cannes out of nearly 5000 short films. Considering that there are only nine international films in the competition, this is a rare honour for a Finnish short film – only five other Finnish short films have ever made it to the Short Films Competition of the Cannes Film Festival. Also, after its Cannes premiere, I trust that Ceiling will prove to be a festival hit” Otto Suuronen, The Finnish Film Foundation’s short film advisor, told the Finnish Film Foundation in their press release. 

The second short film comes from Sweden. Titled Push It, the film is about never being able to win, even though you’re the best. Hedda tries to approach Adam in every way she can, but everything she does turns out wrong. She doesn’t fit the tight mould of a teenage girl as she is both stronger and more skilled than the boys. Adam gets to break all the rules, and this film is about what it feels like that his gaze decides her worth.

Push It is directed by Julia Thelin and produced by Eliza Jones and Markus Waltå for Grand Slam Filmproduktion AB. This is the second year in a low that a Swedish film has been in competition for the prestigious Short Film Palm d’Or. Last year both Simon Vahlne’s Fight on a Swedish Beach and Simón Mesa Soto’s Swedish-Colombian Madre were in the running.

Despite the success in the short film section of the Cannes Film Festival, Scandinavian films are nowhere to be seen elsewhere in the line-up. This is disappointing for Scandinavian film, especially considering at least one film can be found in either the main competition or the Un Certain Regard. It was rumoured for a while that Joachim Trier’s Thelma would screen, but that turned out to not be the case. Last year, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki won the Un Certain Regard. In 2015, Trier’s Louder Than Bombs was in the main competition and Grímur Hákonarson’s Rams won the Un Certain Regard. In 2014, Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure screened in the Un Certain Regard.

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.