Norway Scoops Top Prize At Nordic Talents 2014

The graduating students from the Norwegian Film School in Lillehammer – filmmaker Erika Calmeyer and scriptwriter Johan Fasting – were awarded the coveted NOK 250,000 Nordic Talents Pitch Prize for their project Storm. The event took place at the National Film School of Denmark.
Nordic Talents 2014

The drama about the difficulty of dealing with uncomfortable truths was the first Norwegian project in 12 years to win the top Nordic Talents development award. The last Norwegian winner was Eric Richter Strand for his project Sons that went on to become the award-winning feature film of the same name.

This year’s five jury members Stine Helgeland (Norwegian Film Institute, Head of Promotion and International Relations), filmmakers Kari Juusonen and Annette Olesen, Roberto Olla (Head of Eurimages) and Åsa Sjöberg (Director of Content for TV4 Group) were unanimous in praising the quality of the pitches and level of the projects. “It was very hard for us to make up our mind because so many projects were strong”, said Sjöberg. Olla concurred with her: “I was impressed by the incredible quality of the graduation works. Some short films were better than first feature films that I’ve seen. “

In their common statement about Calmeyer and Fasting’s project, the jury said: “Stormis a well-thought drama with a strong and meaningful theme. The jury was impressed by the very well-performed pitch and convincing reflections on the plot and character development. This was also supported by watching the previous work of the creative team involved. We’re looking forward to seeing the feature film soon.”

The second prize or Nordic Talents Special Mention worth NOK 50,000 was granted to Fanni Metelius from Sweden for her fiction project The Boyfriend about breaking up and the difficulty of dealing with a sexless relationship. “Fanni Metelius has a strong personal voice and she addresses questions of sexual identity and emotional integrity that young women and men are facing today. The jury is convinced that we will hear more of this voice in the future,” was the jury’s statement.

The parallel SF Award for Best Children and Family Pitch (SEK 30,000) was handed out to Finland’s Juho Fossi for his feature project Wherever We Go, about the danger of online bullying. “Bullying is not a new phenomenon but digital bullying and the expansion and growth of it is very relevant for young people today, and it’s not something most parents know enough about. We have been very moved by this pitch and the relevance of it”, said SF in its statement.

A representative of Tampere University of Applied Arts, one of six new Nordic film school in attendance, Fossi was twice on the pitching pad and impressed the 210 participants with his topical graduation film 1,048 about social media and human indifference.

Norway’s Trond Kvig Andreassen, from another new Nordic film school – Lillehammer University College, was very pleased with the two day pitching workshop offered by Karoline Leth and Paul Tyler prior to Nordic Talents. “The workshop was amazing because we got great tips, and although we were all competing with each other, there was a strong sense of solidarity”. “Comments from the jury were also very constructive,” he added.

Reflecting on the overall themes, Danish director Annette Olesen said: “Many projects dealt with gender and relationship issues. The Finnish graduation documentary My Godfather, His Thai Bride and Me [that moved audience members to tears] was particularly amazing in its honest approach to people’s desire to control everything, even irrational things like love.”

For Olla, the projects were ‘respectful of tradition, storytelling rules and language with their nose into reality and the future’.
As non-Nordic observer and European co-production specialist he stressed: “Many of the young Nordic talents are probably going to work together in the future, so Nordic Talents is a great opportunity for them to start exchanging ideas at a very early stage. Many regions in Europe should take this initiative as an example like French speaking territories or the Balkans. These territories already collaborate for financial reasons, but here, the bridges go well beyond.“

The 14th Nordic Talents was co-organized by Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the National School of Denmark.  For further details on the projects CLICK HERE.

For profiles on five 2014 Nordic Talents to Watch CLICK HERE.


via the Nordisk Film and TV Fund

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.