Scandinavian films at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Edinburg International Film Festival has announced its programme for 2016, and the lineup includes several big name Scandinavian films. The festival takes place between the 15th and 26th of June 2016.

Read the full programme here


The Commune / Kollektivet

Thomas Vinterberg / Denmark / 2016

Director Thomas Vinterberg sublimely pilfers from his own childhood for this wonderfully constructed story of the ups and towns of family strains. A professional couple – played by Ulrich Thomsen and Trine Dyrholm – establish a commune in a large house in a classy suburb of Copenhagen. The freewheeling story features various characters who stay at the house. / Read our interview with Trine Dyrholm

A Conspiracy of Faith / Flaskepost fra P

Hans Petter Moland / Denmark, Germany, Norway / 2016

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. / Read our interview with Hans Petter Moland

The Homecoming /Blóðberg

Björn Hlynur Haraldsson / Iceland / 2015

Gunnar is a sociologist in his fifties who has written countless self-help books. He lives in a beautiful house that is way too big for him and Dísa, his wife of thirty years. Their relationship has become resentful and discontent as everyday life and total lack of passion dominates their marriage. Their only child, David, is 25 years old and returns home with a new girlfriend, after travelling through Europe with his friends. His girlfriend, Sunna, is pretty, smart, polite and nothing but a perfect daughter in law. However when Gunnar meets Sunna his life takes a quick turn and he is forced to face his deepest secrets. Although his life’s work has been to instruct others how to work through their struggles he is not capable of dealing with his own dilemma. He starts to act really strangely and tries everything to sabotage his son’s relationship with Sunna. But the noose tightens and he is forced to face his biggest fear – telling the truth.

A Man Called Ove / En Man Som Heter Ove

Hannes Holm / Sweden / 2015

59 year old Ove is the block’s grumpy man who several years earlier was deposed as president of the condominium association, but he could not give a damn about being deposed and therefore keeps looking over the neighbourhood with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family moves into the terraced house opposite and accidentally backs into Ove’s mailbox it turns out to be an unexpected friendship. A drama comedy about unexpected friendship, love and the importance of surrounding yourself with the proper tools.

The Model

Mads Matthiesen / Denmark / 2016

The Model tells the story of emerging fashion model Emma who struggles to enter the Parisian fashion scene and develops a dangerous obsession for male fashion photographer Shane White. / Read our interview with Mads Matthiesen

Sparrows / Þrestir

Rúnar Rúnarsson / Iceland / 2015

A coming-of-age story about the 16-year old boy Ari, who has been living with his mother in Reykjavik and is suddenly sent back to the remote Westfjords to live with his father Gunnar. There, he has to navigate a difficult relationship with his father, and he finds his childhood friends changed. In these hopeless and declining surroundings, Ari has to step up and find his way. / Read our interview with Runar Runarsson

A Serious Game / Den allvarsamma leken

Pernilla August / Sweden / 2016

Once Lydia was the innocent girl – a daughter of a painter – that young journalist Arvid fell in love with out in the archipelago. Or did he? Did he fall in love with the idea of what love is supposed to be? In its clearest, most untainted form. The beauty of love, the match made in heaven, the love at first sight. Arvid feels that he wants to make an importance in the world and make a clear break from his social background. His ambition stands in the way of marriage and the love slips away. A decade has past since they first set eyes on each other. Now both are married. Yet not with each other. They meet again and end up having an affair. An affair that forces the couple to reflect upon the time passed, how different they both have become and how far away from each other they actually are. The consequences of their affair are unforeseeable. / Read our interview with Pernilla August

The Last King /Birkebeinerne

Nils Gaup / Norway / 2016

In the year 1206 Norway is raged by civil war. The King’s illegitimate infant son, Håkon Håkonsson, which half the kingdom wants killed off, is guarded in secrecy by two men. A story which changed the course of the country’s history.


Becoming Zlatan / Den unge Zlatan

Fredrik Gertten, Magnus Gertten / Sweden, Netherlands, Italy / 2015

The decisive years of Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, told through rare archival footage where a young Zlatan speaks openly about his life and challenges. The film closely follows Zlatan, from his debut in Malmö FF in 1999, through his conflictual years with Ajax Amsterdam, up to the final breakthrough with Juventus in 2005. BECOMING ZLATAN is a coming-of-age film, depicting the complicated journey of this young, talented and troubled player who finally becomes a superstar in the international football world. It’s a story about a young talent living under constant pressure. From the teammates in Malmö who think he’s too egoistic and only plays for himself. From the tough managers of Ajax who send him to the bench, where he loses his self-confidence. From his father who tells the 18 year old Zlatan: You’re nothing. You’re nothing special until you’ve succeeded internationally.

Brothers / Brødre

Aslaug Holm / Norway / 2015

Aslaug Holm follows closely her two young sons Markus and Lukas in their everyday life, while being sons, close brothers, as well as being kids having pleasures and disappointments.


Andreas Johnsen / Denmark / 2016

Insects as food is a hot topic. Particularly over the last few years, since the UN recommended edible insects as a resource to combat world hunger, they have been heralded for their taste by cooks and gastronomes, for their low ecological impact by environmentalists and for their nutritional content by public health scientists. It would seem that insects are the new superfood that will fix all our problems of global food security.   For the past three years a team from Copenhagen-based Nordic Food Lab made up of chefs and researchers Josh Evans, Ben Reade and Roberto Flore have been travelling the world to learn what some of the two billion people who already eat insects have to say. In BUGS, film director Andreas Johnsen follows them as they forage, farm, cook and taste insects with communities in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and beyond. During their journey they encounter everything from revered termite queens and desert-delicacy honey ants to venomous giant hornets and long-horned grasshoppers trapped using powerful floodlights, that sometimes cause their catchers temporary blindness.

The Islands and the Whales 

Mike Day / Denmark, USA, UK / 2015

The whale hunters of the Faroe Islands believe that hunting is vital to their way of life, but when a local professor makes a grim discovery about the effects of marine pollution, environmental changes threaten their way of life forever.

Focus on Finland

2 Nights Till Morning /2 yötä aamuun

Mikko Kuparinen / Finland / 2016

One-night stand between two strangers without a common language takes an unexpected turn when an ash cloud from a volcano prevents all flights from taking off.

Cheer Up

Christy Garland / Finland / 2016

When a group of cheerleaders from the Arctic circle come last yet again at a regional competition, coach Miia decides that enough is enough. After an inspiring trip to America she pledges to push her troop to breaking point.

Diving into the Unknown /Takaisin Pintaan

Juan Reina / Finland, Norway / 2016

After a terrible accident deep inside an underwater cave, the survivors are forced to risk their own lives to bring the bodies of their friends home.

Lapland Odyssey 2 / Napapiirin sankarit 2

Teppo Airaksinen / Finland / 2016

It’s been three years since we last met Janne and Inari. Since then, they’ve had a daughter named Lumi. Janne and his friends experience a new adventure, this time on an autumn night. The boys go to a party but end up chasing Lumi who has disappeared. Meanwhile, Inari enjoys a girls-night-out and has an adventure of her own.

The Mine /Jättiläinen

Aleksi Salmenperä / Finland / 2016

Fictionalized story about the founding of the ill-fated Finnish mining company Talvivaara.

War and Peace of Mind /Jättiläinen

Ari Matikainen / Finland / 2016

War and Peace of Mind explores what war does to the human mind and how both, the individuals and the nation as a whole, survive it psychologically. Finland and WWII, locally known as continuation war, is the backdrop of this documentary.

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.