Norwegian Documentaries – Better Films, more Prizes

-Last year the institute allocated €5.5 million (NOK 45 million) to develop and produce a total of 34 documentary films and series – a record 48.9% had a woman filmmaker in key positions: writer, director, producer, said CEO Sindre Guldvog, of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Tripled support

-In 2009 ,the average support from the institute for a Norwegian documentary was under €74,000 (NOK 600,000) – in 2013 it was €159,000 (NOK 1.3 million), and this year, so far, it is over €221,000 (NOK 1.8 million).

-In the last five years it has been the institute’s delibarate strategy to secure a more stable and viable documentary film industry to get internationally stronger films, and one of the results has been an increasing number of awards on the festival circuit. Recently Mona Friis Bertheussens Twin Sisters (Tvillingsøstrene) received the Audience Awards at both IDFA in Amsterdam and the Gothenburg festival, and it will shortly screen on the PBS channel in the US. And A Norwegian co-production, The Act of Killing, was nominated for an Oscar,”, Guldvog concluded.

Ten Norwegian documentaries for the Autumn

 Here follows a short presentation of the highlights of the Norwegian documentary autumn

  • Drone
    Dir: Tonje H. Schei, with Jonathan Borge Lie. Prods: Lars Løge, Johnny Holmvåg, for Flimmer Film. On the background of the CIA’s secret drone war, the film asks critical questions about future warfare.

  • Death – A Series about Life (Døden – ein serie om livet).
    Dirs: Eivind Tolås, Paulo Chavarria, Stian Indrevoll. Prod: Lars Løge, for Flimmer Film. In a five-part series nine-year-old Tonje, who has lost her mother, travels the world with her somewhat nervous father to meet death for good and evil.

  • I am Kuba (Jeg er Kuba)
    Dir: Åse Svenheim Drivenes. Prods: Anita Rehoff Larsen, Tone Grøttjord, for Sant & Usant. 12-year-old Kuba has to take care of his younger brother Mikolaj (8), when their parents are forced to leave Poland to find work abroad.

  • Mot normalt
    Dir: Hans Lukas Hansen. Prod: Tommy Gulliksen, for Norsk Fjernsyn. 44-year-old Jan is a psychiatric patient, and after a long life at a mental hospital he has two dreams: to live on his own and to find a girlfriend.

  • Glade jul
    Dir: Ingrid Boon Ulfsby. Prod: Vibecke Rolland, for Monster Entertainment. Norwegian Christmas Eve 2013 – as depicted by six films crews following the people in six different homes in an Oslo apartment building.

  • 1989
    Dir: Anders Østergaard. Prod: Lise Lense-Møller, for Denmark’s Magic Hour Films, with ao Kristian Mosvold, for Norway’s Substans Film. The Danish Oscar-nominated director (Burma VJ/2008) looks at key events leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain 25 years ago.

  • A Dream at Sea (En drøm til havs)
    Dirs: Erik Pirolt, Trond Nicholas Perry. Prod: Kristian Mosvold, Substans Film. After eight years of work, three young artists go from Kristiansand to a sculpture exhibition in Münster, Germany, in a homemade floating boat construction – and destroys it.

  • Out of Norway
    Dir/Prod: Thomas A  Østbye, for Plymserafin. After 10 years in Norway as a refugee without a residence permit, Emanuel Agara returns to his home country of Liberia.

  • Little Big Hearts (Lille store hjerte)
    Dir: Yvonne Thomassen. Prod: Trude Refsahl, for Pandora Film. In 12 short episodes children, with an older person, express themselves about the big questions in life – death, outer space, faith, friendship and war.

  • De bortførte barna
    Dirs: Camilla Brusdal, Aksel Storstein. Prod: Storstein, for Novemberfilm. The five-part series looks at deadlocked cases where children have been abducted by either their fathers or mothers

via the Norwegian Film institute

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.