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The Norwegian films shortlisted for the Academy Awards

Three Norwegian films have been shortlisted as Norway’s selection for the foreign language film category at the Academy Awards.

The first of those films is Joachim Trier’s upcoming ThelmaThelma is a supernatural thriller about a young woman who falls in love and subsequently realises the full potential of some powers she has had since she was a child. Thelma screened at the Norwegian International Film Festival and will screen at Toronto and New York in September. Thelma is one of our favourite films of the year, and it’s a wise pick for the Oscars. However, we think the next film in the shortlist may be chosen over Thelma… We spoke to Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt, and Eili Harboe (Thelma) in our new magazine, which you can find here. 

Second, we have Hunting Flies by Izer Aliu, which was selected as Norway’s entry for the Nordic Council Film Prize (NCFP). Due to the prestige of the NCFP, there is a chance this film will be chosen. It’s a political drama about the rise and fall of a dictatorship portrayed through a classroom setting. Ghani is an idealistic teacher, who locks the students inside the classroom after one breaks his mobile phone. He then sets out to find the culprit, and while he says, an interesting analysis of politics and mob mentality is unearthed. Hunting Flies is amazing. Get your hands on it if you can.

Third, we have the Norwegian nature film Hoggeren, which is directed by Jorunn Myklebust Syversen. Starring Anders Baasmo Christiansen as Anders, the film follows as he leaves the city life in Oslo behind to live at a farm. There, he spends his days chopping trees in a forest. He has no plan, rather he wants to find peace with nature. This cracks when his relatives come to visit. Hoggeren (The Tree Feller in Norwegian) is undeniably the most Norwegian of the film but may be a little too Norwegian for the Academy.

So, of the three, Thelma will be the most popular, Hoggeren is the most Norwegian, and Hunting Flies is probably the best film.

A total of 28 films were in the lineup, and the final selection will be decided by the Norwegian Oscar Committee. The candidate will be announced on the 5th of September 2017.

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.