Tromsø awards top film prize to ‘The Fits’

Over the weekend the winners of the Tromsø International Film Festival were announced, with US director Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits taking out the top prize.

In the film, we follow 11-year-old Toni (Royalty Hightower) who, while taking part in boxing training at the gym with her elder brother, becomes entranced by a dance troupe consisting of teenage girls. She joins the group and struggles to fit in, but soon finds herself in danger, as other members begin to suffer from fainting spells and violent fits.

Meanwhile, Icelandic director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s feature-length directorial debut, Heartstone – the only Nordic contender in the Aurora main competition – bagged the Don Quijote Award from the International Federation of Film Societies. The Norwegian Peace Film Award went to Izer Aliu’s Hunting Flies.

The 27th Tromsø International Film Festival presented the seven prizes during Norway’s largest gathering, which takes place 350km north of the Arctic Circle.


Here is the full list of award winners at the Tromsø International Film Festival:

Tromsø Aurora Award
The Fits – Anna Rose Holmer (USA/Italy)

Graduation – Cristian Mungiu (Romania/France/Belgium)

Tromsø Palm
Midsummer Night – Jonas Selberg Augustsén (Sweden)

Don Quijote Award
Heartstone Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (Iceland/Denmark)

Norwegian Peace Film Award
Hunting Flies – Izer Aliu (Norway)

Faith in Film Award
Forever Pure – Maya Zinshtein (Israel/UK/Russia)

Tromsø Audience Award
Sealers: One Last Hunt – Trude Berge Ottersen, Gry Elisabeth Mortensen (Norway)

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.