The Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund has announced its 2015 program, including some of the top names currently in Nordic cinema. Roar Uthaug’s disaster movie The Wave. The festival, which runs August 18-21, will also host the world premiere of Kari Anne Moe’s socially engaged docu feature Rebels. The screening will be attended by Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon Magnus.
Here are all the Nordic films making an appearance at the festival:
- Gold Coast / Denmark (Dir. Daniel Dencik) / 1836. Leaving his fiancée behind, the visionary botanist Wulff travels to the Gold Coast, where slavery has been abolished. King Frederik VI writes to him that he shall «make a garden out of our graveyard». Wulff works intimately with the indigenous population about the coffee plantations, but his suspicion grows that the Gold Coast still is a graveyard.
- Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words / Sweden (Dir. Stig Björkman) / With invaluable access to Bergman’s diaries, letters and notes,Ingrid Bergman – in her own words provides a unique, personal and deeply captivating insight into the three-times Oscar-winning legend’s life and career, as told by Ingrid herself and her four children.
- Key House Mirror / Denmark (Dir. Michael Noer) / Key House Mirror is a nuanced portrait of old age’s unbearable haste. The film can best be described as a naturalistic and more hopeful retort to Away From Her, with a shared point of departure of life’s ultimate stage as the greatest test of love. A spellbindingly good Ghita Nørby conveys big emotions like falling in love, confusion and frustration – often with merely the tiniest of glances and gestures.
- Life in a Fishbowl / Iceland (Dir. Baldvin Zophoníasson) / Eik, a lone mother, prostitutes herself to increase a meagre kindergarten salary. At a pub she is charmed by Móri, a rowdy writer who has just written his masterpiece and tries to drown old sorrows in new bottles. In each their own way, they create difficulties for Sölvi, a family father working at a bank, ill at ease with the moral shortcuts expected of him.
- My Skinny Sister / Sweden (Dir. Sanna Lenken) Former figure skater Amy Diamond is convincing as an unpredictable anorectic, and 11-year-old Rebecka Josephson is captivating as the confused little sister, in an insightful coming-of-age story mercilessly exposing how serious problems may go under the radar of well-meaning, time-squeezed parents. Sanna Lenken’s debut film won the audience award in Gothenburg and the Crystal Bear in Berlin.
- Virgin Mountain / Iceland (Dir. Dagur Kári) Life has left Fúsi behind. He lives with his mother and has never been outside Iceland – even though we works at the airport. His workmates are bullying him but he seeks solace in phoning in requests to the local radio and recreating battles from World War II with his only buddy. As a consequence of being forced into taking a linedance course, Fúsi meets the enchanting Sjöfn, and for the first time in his life someone needs his help.
- Buddy / Norway (Dir. Mads Eriksen) /Kent has only one buddy, Thomas, but that doesn’t mean that Thomas is a very nice guy. One day something happens that will change their relationship forever.
- Foul / Norway (Dir. Rune Denstad Langlo) / Sometimes even the smallest things can go complete wrong. Foulis a pretty peculiar film – is it sad, or is it funny? – about a very bothersome day in a child’s life.
- The Marathon Diary / Norway (Dir. Hanne Berkaak) What happens if you plan really hard not to win a running competition? This animated film is about the small and the strange, the ones that you hardly notice and who never win – but who may end up with the grand prize at the end of the day.
- The National Day / Norway (Dir. Maida Hals) What does the May 17th National Day celebration look like in the far north of Norway? Where there’s lots of snow and very few people to make up the parade? This documentary follows children from a small place in the North who travel to Oslo to walk in the largest National Day parade in the country. Which is quite something!
- Snowman / Norway (Dir. Iain Forbes) Jan is eight years old and wants his dad to help him build a snowman. But when he tries to enter his father’s world, he crosses a boundary he didn’t know existed.
- Snusa / Norway (Dir. Mads Kristiansen) Some people think that slightly strange old ladies are sinister, that they may be witches and eat little children. Snusa is a rugged film about precisely that – and about some things not being exactly how they appear.
- Rebels / Norway (Dir. Kari Anne Moe) Bravehearts director Kari Anne Moe has made an unsentimental fly-on-the-wall documentary that is gripping in all its simplicity. The sober portraits of the project’s colourful personalities correct the myth of unemployed youths as unenterprising, while exploring the resourcefulness of people buried in the statistics of high school drop-outs.
- Silent Heart / Denmark (Bille August) With Silent Heart Bille August delivers a mature, well-directed and fundamentally humanist chamber piece led by 80-year-old legend Ghita Nørby. The ensemble interact impressively, the dialogues are wonderfully direct, and a warm cinematography subtly conveys the friendly solidarity the family is missing. Bille August has won an Oscar and two (!) Palme d’Ors, and he received an Honorary Amanda in 1993.
- Casper & Emma on Safari / Norway (Dir. Arne Lindtner Næss) / Casper and Emma on Safari is the fourth film based on Tor Åge Bringsværd’s popular books about the two 5-year-olds and their lively and shrewd cuddly toys, Miss Rabbit and Lion Cub.
- Game of Love and Loneliness / Norway & Sweden (Dir. Anja Breien) / Is Games of Love and Loneliness Anja Breien’s most luminous work? Her only literary adaptation became a formally strong bourgeois drama, seen through a sharp female gaze. It was highly emotional and gripping in its poetic look at love; devoid of melodrama but not of the bittersweet anguish of liberation. Its title is a precise description of the inherent richness of contrast – both chilly and hot – as well as Breien’s own register. Lil Terselius is cool and sensitive, the cinematography marvellous. It is a work that shines with the joy of filmmaking and is soaked in delicious love pains.