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The Nordic films screening at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018

About the festival

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from the 6th of September until the 16th of September in Toronto, Canada. 

Denmark

Before the Frost

Before the Frost (Før Frosten)
Directed by Michael Noer
Starring Jesper Christensen, Magnus Krepper, Gustav Dyekjær Giese

Michael Noer’s fifth feature tells the heart-wrenching story of a struggling farmer in 19th-century Denmark who must go against his morals and make a deal with a wealthy neighbour in order to secure his family’s survival over a harsh winter.

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Heartbound (Hjertelandet)
Directed by Janus Metz
Documentary

In the small northern region of Jutland, Denmark, over 900 Thai women are married to Danish men, a trend that started 25 years ago when a former sex worker from Northeastern Thailand married a Jutland native and has since helped lonely local men and impoverished women from her village find someone to marry and share life with. Acclaimed filmmaker Janus Metz and his anthropologist wife, Sine Plambech, follow four of these Thai-Danish couples over ten years in an intimate chronicle that explores universal questions of love and romance, dreams and everyday hardship, life and death, and the very nature of family.

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That Time of Year

That Time of Year (Den Tid På Året)
Directed by Paprika Steen
Starring Sofie Gråbøl, Paprika Steen, Lars Brygmann

From Danish director and actor Paprika Steen comes a caustic comedy about the deep-rooted grievances that can rip families apart — and the ties that bind them together.

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Finland

Stupid Young Heart (Hölmö nuori sydän)
Directed by Selma Vilhunen
Documentary

When carefree, young Lenni and his girlfriend find themselves expecting a child, he ends up looking for a role model in all the wrong places as he becomes involved with local right-wing activists, in the latest from Selma Vilhunen (Little Wing).

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One Last Deal

One Last Deal (Tuntematon mestari)
Directed by Klaus Härö

An aging art dealer — left behind by the corporatization of his industry and estranged from his family — hopes an undervalued icon will turn his fortunes around, in the latest from veteran Finnish director Klaus Härö.

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Iceland

Victoria
Directed by Brúsi Ólason

In this wonderfully controlled depiction of a resolute woman maintaining her strength, determination, and small pleasures when faced with a harsh reality, a dairy farmer weighs her options as she struggles to keep the family farm afloat in Iceland.

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Let Me Fall

Let Me Fall (Lof mer ad falla)
Directed by Baldvin Z
Starring Þorsteinn Bachmann, Atli Oskar Fjalarsson, Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson 

Drawing on true stories and interviews with the families of addicts, this harrowing portrait of addiction follows Stella and Magnea through the decades as precarious teenage years morph into perilous adulthoods.

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Norway

To Plant a Flag 
Directed by Bobby Peers

Surely there are no two actors that viewers would rather see than Jason Schwartzman and Jake Johnson as hapless NASA trainees in early 1960s Iceland. Bobbie Peers’ deft direction ensures no comedic opportunity goes wasted in this tale of would-be astronauts stuck in territory even less hospitable than the surface of the moon.

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Interior (Interiør)
Directed by Reed Van Dyk

Gripping and provocative, Reed Van Dyk’s superb follow-up to his recent Oscar nominee DeKalb Elementary delineates the increasingly fraught dynamic between a lonely boy and his mother within the home that may feel more like a prison to them both.

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22 July

22 July
Directed by Paul Greengrass

Paul Greengrass (Captain PhillipsUnited 93) recounts the true story of the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack on July 22, 2011, when 77 people were killed after a far-right extremist detonated a car bomb in Oslo before carrying out a mass shooting at a leadership camp for teens.

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Sweden

Persona
Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman’s enigmatic and frightening masterpiece of psychological horror explores the relationship between an actress (Liv Ullmann) who has lost the power of speech, and her young, cheerful nurse (Bibi Andersson) whose own anguish is unleashed by the woman in her care.

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Fuck You
Directed by Annette Sinor

On a night out with friends, Alice steals a strap-on and defiantly challenges her boyfriend’s comfort with boundaries. Fuck You is a bold, astute, and unapologetic approach to teenage sex and expected power dynamics.

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Border

Border (Gräns)
Directed by Ali Abbasi

Ali Abbasi’s Border follows the story of a border agent who uses her ability to sense or smell human emotions to catch smugglers — but when one man confounds her detection, she’s forced to confront a new reality.

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.