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Nordic Council Film Prize 2009

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                                                                                                                              One region - five countries,
                                                                                                                              One film prize - five contesters,
                                                                                                                              One winner - and the talent behind it all.

                                                                                                                              Welcome to High Five, the magazine about:
                                                                                                                              · The Nordic Council Film Prize 2009
                                                                                                                              · The five competing films and the nominated writers, directors, producers
                                                                                                                              · The filmmaking and makers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden
                                                                                                                              · The film events coming to you soon…

                                                                                                                              The High Five magazine is divided into three sections:
                                                                                                                              · An English language editorial section
                                                                                                                              · A national language section presenting the five nominated films and the Nordic Council Film Prize
                                                                                                                              · A national programme section telling you where and when to screen the five films in cinemas in
                                                                                                                                Copenhagen, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Oslo & Stockholm

                                                                                                                              Nordisk Film & TV Fond administers the Nordic Council Film Prize and it is a great pleasure
                                                                                                                              presenting this years selected titles. Since these five films are “only the tip of the big Nordic film
                                                                                                                              iceberg” it makes perfect sense to take this opportunity to also introduce a number of the people (and
                                                                                                                              their work) behind the success of the Nordic film industry.

                                                                                                                              Norden is not a region known for bragging and loud mouthing. However, in my opinion, there is
                                                                                                                              something to brag about.

                                                                                                                              Enjoy.
 Editor Hanne Palmquist                                                    The Tip Of The Iceberg                        03
 Coordinator Ann-Sophie W. Birkenes                                        Stealing Bicycles                             04
 Cover, Back Cover & All Special Photography Helene Hasen (Rawformat.dk)   Millenium: Back For More                      08
 Design & Artwork Paul Wilson (Yellow1.dk)                                 Music To Thrill                               09   Hanne Palmquist
 Print Delta Grafisk AS                                                    National Section                              11   CEO, Nordisk Film & TV Fond
                                                                           Nordic Council Film Prize Facts               12
                                                                           Films In Competition;                         13
                                                                                 Antichrist                              14
                                                                                 Sauna                                   16   I Wish to thank Roy Andersson, Annika Pham & Karolina Lidin for editorials, Nordic Council of
                                                                                 The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela   18   Ministers, Jesper Schou-Knudsen, John Durie, Camera Film, BioRex, Green Light Film, Arthaus,
                                                                                 North                                   20
                                                                                 Light Year                              22
                                                                                                                              Nonstop Entertainment, Freddy Neumann, Liisa Lehmusto, Hanne Liseth, Ylva Swedenborg
                                                                           Regional Events                               24   & Paul Wilson for overall collaboration & all Jury Members.
                                                                           Larger Than Life                              27
                                                                           Burning Ambitions                             28
                                                                           Boody Nordic Film                             30
                                                                                                                              Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s purpose is to support film and TV productions of high quality in the five Nordic countries, by providing top-up financing for feature films,
                                                                           Faces To Watch Out For                        32
                                                                           Nordic Treasure Trove Of The True             34   TV-fiction / series and creative documentaries. The Fund also supports distribution and film cultural initiatives. The annual budget is approximately €950,000. Partners; Nordic
                                                                           Partners                                      35   Council of Ministers, The Five Nordic Film Institutes, 11 Nordic TV-stations.




02
                 ycles
         ling Bic
     Stea
     A true story
     about Costs &
     Investments
     by Roy Andersson
     Photography by Helene Hasen

     A few years ago, the City of
     Stockholm tried to save money by       “I know that
     cutting back on snow clearing and
     gritting. The cost of healthcare for    for all of us it
                                             remains one of
     the victims of slipping accidents far
     exceeded the savings made.

     Inspired by this example, I would like life’s fondest
     to debate the concepts of cost and
     investment, and cite two experiences
     that have exerted a major influence
                                             memories, and
     on my life.
                                             has aroused
     In 1917, the Gothenburg doctor
     Henry Allard suggested that urban       our desire to
     children not privileged enough
     to spend summer holidays in the         give something
     to get out into the sun and swim in the back.”
     countryside should be given a chance

     sea every day. The City of Gothenburg
     approved the idea and provided            After World War II, Italian cinema
     children with free train tickets to the   was in the midst of one of its many
     Askim Baths at one of Gothenburg’s        periodic golden ages, this time centred
     finest beaches. The scheme continued      around neo-realism. Several of the films
     into the 1950s, under the name “The       that we now consider immortal classics
     bathing kids”. I was one of those kids.   belong to this genre, including Vittorio
                                               de Sica’s “The Bicycle Thief”. Screened
     Free train travel to the sea was great,   in Swedish cinemas in the ‘50s, it was
     but the scheme as a whole had much        also distributed as a 16mm reel to film
     more to offer. Instructors taught us to   clubs across the country. It was in this
     swim. At noon we were given milk in       form that I first came across it along
     mugs that we had brought from home,       with some friends in a youth club’s
     as well as fragrant caraway buns. But     table-tennis room, which had been
     that was not all.                         temporarily transformed into a cinema.
                                               On a small yellow cloth, a crackling
     Before returning to the city, many of     16mm projector cranked out a piece of
     bathing kids were recipients of perhaps   film unlike anything we had seen before:
     the most beautiful of all the many
     caring gestures. Those who lived so far   The film is set in post-war
     from the train station that they had to   Italy, during a period of massive
     take a bus or tram home were given        unemployment. Hundreds of
     two tokens – one for the bus or tram      thousands of would-be breadwinners
     journey home, and one for the next        queue up at employment exchanges
     day’s trip to the train station.          looking for work. One of them is
                                               Antonio, an unemployed Roman
     Along with thousands of Gothenburg        father of two.
     children, I experienced, at the most
     formative of ages, the privilege of       One day, after months of waiting at
     being treated with respect and care.      the exchange, his name is finally called


04
                                                                        ROY ANDERSSON
                                                                        Although he directed only
                                                                        four feature films in nearly
                                                                        four decades, Roy Andersson
                                                                        is an iconic figure of Swedish
                                                                        cinema and today, one of
                                                                        the most exportable Swedish
                                                                        filmmakers. Born in Gothenburg
                                                                        in 1943, Andersson got his
                                                                        major breakthrough in 1970
                                                                        with A Swedish Love Story,
                                                                        winner of four awards at the
                                                                        1970 Berlin International Film
                                                                        Festival. His second feature
                                                                        film Giliap was presented at the
                                                                        Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes
     out. He is offered a job. But the job calls for a bike. He does    1976. Andersson then spent the
     not have one. He had to pawn it. Other people with bikes           next 25 years concentrating on
     offer their services. Desperate for work, Antonio promises to      commercials, building himself
     turn up with a bike.                                               a world reputation. In 1981, he
                                                                        founded his company Studio
     He has promised too much. He has no assets whatsoever.             24 in Stockholm to produce
                                                                        and make his films in total
     Although Antonio is downhearted, his young wife has a              freedom. He then came back to
     solution. She removes the sheets from their bed. They can          the big screen via the short film
     pawn them.                                                         Something Happened (1987)
                                                                        and World of Glory (1991).
     After easing the experienced pawn clerk’s concerns about the       Songs From the Second Floor,
     value of the sheets, the couple raise enough to get the bike       Anderson’s third feature film
     back.                                                              made in 2000 was hailed by many
                                                                        as a chef-d’oeuvre and cemented
     At this point, the narrative temporarily leaves the poor           his new filmic style. The film
     couple, and follows the sheets. They are taken care of by an       won the Jury Prize in Cannes
     assistant, who registers them in a book, marks them, and,          2000. Roy Andersson won The
     with considerable difficulty, begins to climb a ladder that        Nordic Council Film Prize for his
     leans against the shelves where linen goods are stored. We see     film ‘You, The Living’ in 2008.
     that the room’s ceiling is very high, and that shelf after shelf
     is brimming with the sheets of Rome’s poor and unemployed
     masses.

     The film does not end happily. The poor father of two’s bike
     is stolen. After searching in vain for it among Rome’s endless
     human throng, he takes the desperate decision to steal one
     himself, but is caught in the act.

     “The Bicycle Thief” left indelible marks upon us young
     people. We were doubly shaken – not only by the sad story,
     but also by the revelation that there were people in the world
     who had, with great care and understanding, taken the time
     to make a movie about these insignificant and impoverished
     people. Encountering this sense of respect and social
     responsibility restored our faith in humanity.

     The world felt closer . . . and warmer.

     We had come into contact with a model example of an
     unselfish, humanist piece of art.

06
               : re
             um Mo
           ni or
       ille F
      M ck
      B a
     by Annica Pham




     “The Millennium trilogy is about            With 2.7 million admissions across           treated in hospital, after having being
     the oppression of women, within the         Scandinavia alone for The Girl with          shot in the head, and then has to go to
     family in the first book, within the        the Dragon Tattoo, and thousands             prison.”
     trafficking milieu in the second book,      of screens around the world still
     and within the political spheres in         playing Niels Arden Oplev’s thriller,        “Because of the stronger focus on
     the third book” says producer Søren         never before had a Scandinavian              Lisbeth Salander, Film 2 and 3 will
     Stærmose.                                   film reached such rocketing figures          probably appeal even more to cinema
                                                 and global exposure. Of course, as           audiences, plus the character of Mikael
     The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,            rightly put by Jan Lehmann, market           Blomqvist will be more interesting as
     the first film based on Stieg Larsson’s     director for Nordisk Film Distribution       we will actually see him working as an
     Millennium trilogy is continuing to         Denmark, Dragon Tattoo is most               investigative journalist for Salander’s
     open on world screens and to break all      certainly a ‘one time in a life time’ box    freedom.” For Alfredson, the other
     box office records for a Scandinavian       office phenomena for a Scandinavian          strong character in the Millennium
     film. The two other film adaptations        film, based on a unique best-selling         sequels, Salander’s ‘over the top’
     -The Girl Who Played with Fire and          novel. But world appetites for Nordic        surreal father Zala (Bulgarian born
     The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s            crime novels have been successfully          actor Georgi Staykov) will provide
     Nest, more focused on the fascinating       transferred onto a Nordic film, and          extra spice to the storyline, as well as
     character of Lisbeth Salander, will hit     audiences who were satisfied by the          Salander’s girlfriend Mimmi (Yasmine
     Scandinavian screens this autumn.           first film are now eagerly waiting for       Garbi).
                                                 the sequels.
     Since the rights to Stieg Larsson’s                                                      Shot back to back early January over
     trilogy were bought in 2005 by              Like the first book adaptation, the          100 days, Millennium 2 and 3 will
     Sweden’s production house Yellow            second film The Girl Who Played              run over two hours, just like the first
     Bird, specialist in screen adaptations of   with Fire and the third one The              instalment. Nordisk Film Distribution
     Nordic crime novels, the Millennium         Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s                 will open The Girl Who Played
     books and film saga have gone from          Nest will remain “very loyal to the          with Fire simultaneously in Sweden,
     high to high.                               novels,” according to producer Søren         Norway, and Denmark on September
                                                 Stærmose, and actors Noomi Rapace            18 and a week later in Finland. The
     Publishers                                  and Michael Nyqvist will carry on the
                                                 gripping adventures of their respective
                                                                                              Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
                                                                                              will hit screens on November 27 in
     to film                                     characters IT hacker Lisbeth Salander
                                                 and journalist Mikael Blomqvist.
                                                                                              Sweden, Norway and Denmark and
                                                                                              in January 2010 in Finland. The six
     producers and                               For Sweden’s Daniel Alfredson (Tic
                                                 Tac, Wolf) who replaced his Danish
                                                                                              TV films will be broadcast by SVT
                                                                                              (Sweden), ZDF (Germany), DR

     distributors                                counterpart Arden-Oplev behind
                                                 the camera, the main changes in
                                                                                              (Denmark), TV2 (Norway) and MTV
                                                                                              3 (Finland) early 2010.

     have been
                                                 Millennium 2 and 3 will come from
                                                 the setting itself, Stockholm, -unlike
                                                 the first film set in a fictitious island-
     taken by                                    and from the focal point on Lisbeth
                                                 Salander. “Millennium 2 and 3 are
     surprise by                                 really one long story about Lisbeth
                                                 Salander. How she comes to terms
     the books’                                  with her past and learns how to be a
                                                 free woman again. The big difference
     and film’s                                  also is that she is very much a lone
                                                 wolf in films 2 and 3. We get to see
     phenomenal                                  her a lot, but she doesn’t interact
                                                 much with others: in film 2, she is

     success.                                    suspected of murders and has to hide
                                                 all the time, and in film 3, she’s being
08
                                                                                                                                 K
     Mus
        ic To                                                                                                                           dition
                                                                  Thril                                                               hE
     by Annica Pham




                                                                                                                                   lis




                                                                                                                                U
                                                                       l                                                        Eng


     “Music is an emotion. It’s an added feeling to
      the characters, to a film’s dramatic shape, and
      it should never take over. It is part of a bigger
      artistic expression.”
      Jacob Groth, the Millennium composer and one of             In feature film, one of his longest collaborations has been
      Scandinavia’s biggest names in film scores, is betting on   with Rumle Hammerich, a friend since primary school,
      the film series’ international success to widen his work    with whom he worked on his first feature, Otto is a
      opportunities.                                              Unicorn in 1979. Two decades later, the two have teamed
                                                                  up again with Head Hunter, a thriller starring Lars
      May 14 2009. Cannes. The day after the opening night        Mikkelsen, set to open in Denmark this autumn.
      of the biggest festival in the world and the release of
      The Girl with the Dragon tattoo (aka Men Who Hate           One of his numerous collaborations with Søren Kragh-
      Women) on 552 French screens, the Millennium score,         Jacobsen gave him a Silver Bear at the 1996 Berlinale for
      written by Danish composer Jacob Groth, filled the          the score of The Island on Bird Street, co-written with
      breezy open air of the Cinema de la plage, waves in the     Zbigniew Preisner. With Arden-Oplev, Groth shares
      background hitting the shore. As the Athelas Sinfonietta    a ‘common language’, developed through four feature
      Copenhagen prepared to play the themes from the film        films and three TV dramas. When given the opportunity
      and a new song from The Girl Who Played with Fire,          to work together on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,
      director Niels Arden Oplev presented him as “the most       they knew that a symphonic score would be the most
      experienced and without any doubt, one of the greatest      appropriate for such a grand scale Hollywood style
      composers in Scandinavia”.                                  entertainment. And music there was, almost in every
                                                                  scene, to help characters come to life.
      The 51 year-old musician and composer has put his
      stamp on 37 film and TV series in Scandinavia over          Millennium was a project that Groth went after, after
      the last 20 years. His compositions, mixing symphonic       reading Stieg Larsson’s trilogy. Inspired by the character
      orchestra with electronic and acoustic elements, have       of Lisbeth Salander, he instantly got an idea for the
      created the mood and subtle emotions for DR’s popular       main theme, and had to let the music come out of him.
      drama Taxa, the Emmy-award winning crime series Unit        Millennium the film is now out in the world, and Groth
      One (Rejseholdet), and The Eagle (Ørnen), his personal      hopes its success will carry him further away from the
      favorite.                                                   Nordic shores.


10
     Purpose                                                      Previous winners of the Nordic Council Film Prize
     The purpose of the Nordic Council’s Film Prize is to         The Nordic Council celebrated its 50th anniversary in
     promote the range and diversity of Nordic films in all of    2002 and the Nordic Council Film Prize was awarded
     the Nordic countries, in order to strengthen the Nordic      for the first time on that occasion. The winner was
     cultural community and develop the Nordic countries as       the Finnish film ‘Mies vailla menneisyyttä’ (‘The Man
     a domestic cultural market, thereby contributing to the      Without a Past’) by Aki Kaurismäki.
     strengthening of Nordic films internationally.
                                                                  The Film Prize was made permanent in 2005 and the
     The prize-winning film                                       following years winners were:
     The prize is announced once per year and awarded             2005: ‘Drabet’ (‘Manslaughter’) directed by Per Fly,
     during the Session of the Nordic Council at the end of       scripted by Kim Leona, Dorte Høgh, Mogens Rukov
     October. The prize will be awarded for an artistically       and Per Fly, and produced by Ib Tardini for Zentropa,
     valuable, Nordic-produced feature cinema film with a         Denmark.
     running time of at least 72 minutes. The film must have
     had its national cinema première within the 12-month         2006: ’Zozo’, written and directed by Josef Fares and
     period preceding the national nomination, and before 1       produced by Anna Anthony for Memfis Film, Sweden.
     September. The prize will be divided equally between
     the film’s scriptwriter, director and producer, which        2007: ’Kunsten at græde i kor’ (The Art of Crying’)
     underlines that film as an art form is the result of close   directed by Peter Schønau Fog, written by Bo hr. Hansen
     co-operation between these three main functions. The         (based on a novel by Erling Jepsen) and produced by
     five nominated films will be announced on Tuesday 27         Thomas Stenderup for Final Cut, Denmark.
     August. The award-winning film will be announced on




                                                                                                                                            tion...
     Wednesday 21 October.                                        2008: ’Du Levende’ (’You, the Living), written and
                                                                  directed by Roy Andersson and produced by Pernilla




                                                                                                                                       mpeti
     Criteria for nomination                                      Sandström for Studio 24, Sweden.
     The nominated films must be embedded to a significant




                                                                                                                                  In Co
     degree in Nordic culture, and must be of high artistic




                                                                                                                            Films
     quality, stand out through their artistic originality,
     and combine and refine the many elements of film
     in a convincing and integrated work. The nominated
     films should preferably be in a Nordic language. In its




                                                                     ordic
     assessment and nominations, the adjudication committee




                                                                   N
     may also lay weight on films which are innovative in their
     form and/or content in relation to the prevalent film
     tradition.




                                                                    ouncil
     National and Nordic Adjudication Committee
     The national adjudication committee consists of a




                                                                   C
     member and a substitute appointed by the Nordic
     Council of Ministers (ministers of culture). The
     adjudication committee is chosen from among prominent
     personalities who have taken an analytical and critical




                                                                      Film
     approach to film in their work. The adjudication
     committee should be independent of the national film
     industry and is appointed for a mandate period of 3
     years. The five national committee members watch the
     five nominated film together in a cinema and choose the




                                                                      Prize
     winner afterwards giving the reasons for their choice.
     Members: Anne Jerslev (Denmark), Johanna Grönqvist
     (Finland), Sigurjón B. Sigurdsson (Iceland), Le LD
     Ngyen (Norway) and Eva af Geijerstam (Sweden).
     Substitutes: Bo Green Jensen (Denmark), Kati Sinisalo
     (Finland), Sif Gunnarsdottir (Iceland), Øyvor Dalan Vik




                                                                     Facts
     (Norway) and Tony Forsberg (Sweden).




12
     IN COMPETITION DENMARK


     Antichrist
     Antichrist
     A couple undergoes extreme changes and the woman suffers from intense anxiety attacks.
     In order to help her and to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, they retreat
     to ‘Eden’, their isolated cabin in the woods. But the stay turns out to be stranger and more
     horrifying than they ever expected as nature takes its course and things go from bad to
     worse. Their relationship is put to test and they are forced to confront themselves and their
     fears.

     Director Lars von Trier
     Scriptwriter Lars von Trier
     Producer Meta Louise Foldager
     Production Company Zentropa
     International Sales TrustNordisk
     Length 104 Minutes




     DIRECTOR/SCRIPTWRITER                    PRODUCER
     LARS VON TRIER                           META LOUISE FOLDAGER
     One of the founders of the Danish        Born in 1974, Meta Louise Foldager
     Dogme movement in the 90s, Lars          studied film science at Copenhagen
     von Trier is among today’s most          University. As a producer for Nimbus
     celebrated European filmmakers.          Film from 2002 to 2005 she worked
     Born in Denmark in 1956, he              on Nikolaj Arcel’s King’s Game,
     graduated from the Danish National       Island of Lost Souls and Ole-
     Film School in 1983, and the             Christian Madsen’s Angels in Fast
     following year, had his breakthrough     Motion. In January 2006, she joined
     with The Element of Crime. His           Zentropa, specifically to produce Lars
     latest works include Dogville (2003),    von Trier’s films, taking over from
     Manderlay (2005) and The Boss of         Vibeke Windeløv. Since then, she
     it All (2006). Von Trier is an habitué   has produced The Boss of it All and
     of the Cannes International Film         Antichrist. Other Danish filmmakers
     Festival where he won several awards,    who recently collaborated with her
     including the Grand Prix du Jury for     include Morten Hartz Kaplers (AFR),
     Breaking the Waves (1996) and the        selected at the Nordic Council Film                    “Lars von Trier’s Antichrist is uncomfortable and moving at one and
     Palme d’or for Dancer in the Dark        Prize Nominations 2007, and Pernille                    the same time. It is a wild, beautiful and shockingly violent film
     (2000). As a scriptwriter, he has        Fischer Christensen (Dancers). She
     collaborated with Thomas Vinterberg      will next produce Arcel’s A Royal                       about sorrow, rage and guilt, about the chaos that infects the two
     on Dear Wendy and Jacob Thuesen          Affair.                                                 main characters’ lives following the death of their young son. Inner
     on The Early Years-Erik Nietzsche
     Part 1, which represented Denmark at                                                             and outer realities fuse in Antichrist’s terrifying and aesthetically
     the 2008 Nordic Council Film Prize
     Nominations.
                                                                                                      sublime vision of the hold that overwhelming pain and anger have
                                                                                                      over human beings. In much the same way as Von Trier, by looking
                                                                                                      afresh at the entrails of the horror-movie genre, digs deep and
                                                                                                      disturbingly into the inner workings of his protagonists, the film
                                                                                                      digs deep into those of the viewer.”
                                                                                                      National Jury, Denmark: Anne Jerslev & Bo Green Jensen



14
     IN COMPETITION FINLAND


     Sauna
     Sauna
     Year 1595. The long war is finally over. Brothers Knut and Erik, members of a commission
     marking the border between Finland and Russia, commit a terrible sin when they leave a
     young girl to die a horrible death. As they cross an uncharted swamp, the girl returns to
     haunt them, her face pouring endless filth. Seeking forgiveness, Knut and Erik step in…

     Director AJ Annila
     Scriptwriter Iiro Küttner
     Producers Tero Kaukomaa/Jesse Fryckman
     Production Company Bronson Club
     International Sales Bogeydom Licensing
     Length 80 Minutes




     DIRECTOR                                 SCRIPTWRITER                             PRODUCERS
     AJ ANNILA                                IIRO KÜTTNER                             TERO KAUKOMAA
     Born in 1977, AJ Annila graduated        Iiro Küttner is an accomplished writer   & JESSE FRYCKMAN
     from Tampere School of Art and           who has been working on a dozen          Tero Kaukomaa has over 20 years
     Media in 2002, with a thesis on          film and TV productions in Finland       experience as a producer. His
     Hong Kong action films. His first        since the beginning of the 90’s.         company Blind Spot Pictures is one
     feature, the Kung fu fantasy film Jade   Top Finnish directors he has been        of the most prolific and successful in
     Warrior (2006), was the first-ever       associated with include Jukka-Pekka      Finland. Award-winning filmmakers
     co-production between Finland and        Siili, Saara Saarela, Pekka Lehto and    he has been working with include
     China. Sauna is his second feature.      AJ Annila for whom he wrote Jade         Auli Mantila (Geography of Fears),
     Annila is currently developing for       Warrior (2006) and Sauna (2008).         Aleksi Salmenperä (Producing Adults,
     Blind Spot Pictures a ‘Ninja Musical’,                                            A Man’s Job), AJ Annila (Jade
     and Adrift produced by Dimension                                                  Warrior, Sauna) as well as Lars von
     Films.                                                                            Trier (Dancer in the Dark) and Jan
                                                                                       Troell (Everlasting Moments). Since
                                                                                       2002 Kaukomaa is based in Zürich,
                                                                                       Switzerland.

                                                                                       Jesse Fryckman runs the Helsinki-
                                                                                       based production company Bronson
                                                                                       Club, founded in 2007 with producer
                                                                                       Tero Kaukomaa. The company                  “Sauna explores and hacks its way through Finnish film culture.
                                                                                       specialized in multi-platform                Rather than deploy the usual scare tactics and special effects,
                                                                                       productions and feature films. AJ
                                                                                       Annila’s Sauna is his first feature film.    this ambitious horror inhabits an entirely new world infused with
                                                                                       New projects include the innovative          a sinister atmosphere. Sauna is built on virgin soil that sometimes
                                                                                       theatrical sing-along children’s
                                                                                       animation film Ella and Aleksi.              feels as solid as a swamp. In the end, however, Sauna proves
                                                                                                                                    that it is possible to approach themes such as sin, repentance
                                                                                                                                    and atonement – themes deeply rooted in the mythical Finnish
                                                                                                                                    gloominess – via a genre that has until now been almost non-
                                                                                                                                    existent in Finnish cinema.”
                                                                                                                                    National Jury, Finland: Johanna Grönqvist & Kati Sinisalo



16
     IN COMPETITION ICELAND


     The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela
     The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela
     Raquela is a transsexual from the Philippines who dreams of escaping the streets of Cebu
     City for a fairy tale life in Paris. In order to make her dreams come true, she turns from
     prostitution toward the more lucrative business of Internet porn. Her success as a porn star
     brings new friends, including Valerie, a ladyboy in Iceland, and Michael, the owner of the
     website Raquela works for. Valerie helps Raquela get as far as Iceland. From there, Michael
     offers her a rendezvous in Paris. Will Paris be everything she dreamed of? And will Michael
     turn out to be her Prince Charming?

     Director Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
     Scriptwriter Olaf de Fleur & Stefan Schaefer
     Producers Olaf de Fleur Johannesson/Stefan Schaefer/Helgi Sverrisson/Arleen Cuevas
     Production Company Poppoli Pictures
     International Sales Visit Films
     Length 80 Minutes




     DIRECTOR/SCRIPTWRITER/                     CO-WRITER/PRODUCER                      PRODUCERS
     PRODUCER OLAF DE FLEUR                     STEFAN SCHAEFER                         HELGI SVERRISSON
     JOHANNESSON                                The US born Stefan Schaefer has         & ARLEEN CUEVAS
     Born in 1975 in Budardal Valley, a         worked on independent films as          Helgi Sverrisson has worked as a
     small town in Iceland, Olaf de Fleur       director, writer, and producer for      filmmaker and producer in Iceland for
     Johannesson has been a dedicated           over 12 years. His feature debut        over 20 years. Several of his projects
     filmmaker for over a decade. His           Confess won Best Screenplay at          were made for Iceland State television
     first two documentaries Shining            the 2005 Hamptons International         RUV. He has produced three films by
     Star and Africa United won “Best           Film Festival and his second feature    Olaf de Fleur Johannesson.
     Documentary” at the Eddas (Icelandic       Confess travelled to over 30 film
     Film Awards), in 2003 and 2004
     respectively. His first feature film The
                                                festivals. Schaefer met Olaf de Fleur
                                                Johannesson in 2003. So far, they’ve
                                                                                        The 29 year-old Filipino Arleen
                                                                                        Cuevas is very active in her home
                                                                                                                                 “The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela is a touching and daring
     Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela          made two feature films together: The    country as line producer and producer.    film that tells the story of the main character, a Filipino lady boy, in
     (2008) won numerous awards. His            Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela       She often collaborates with the
     following feature was the comedy           and The Higher Force as well as         up-and-coming Filipino filmmakers
                                                                                                                                  an unassuming manner that allows the viewer to enter her world
     The Higher Force (Stora Planid)            the innovative sci-fi web series The    Adolfo Alix Jr and Raya Martin.           without prejudice and yet, at the same time, succeeds in satisfying
     starring some of Iceland’s top talents     Circledrawers, 2009.
     and US actor Michael Imperioli (The                                                                                          our curiosity about her lifestyle. In blurring the line between fact
     Sopranos).                                                                                                                   and fiction, the director, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, adopts a
                                                                                                                                  humane stance towards his all-too-real subject, and yet enjoys
                                                                                                                                  taking advantage of the narrative opportunities afforded by a “good
                                                                                                                                  story”. Whether she is prostituting herself on the streets, posing in
                                                                                                                                  front of a webcam for a morally ambiguous New York family man
                                                                                                                                  and porn entrepreneur, or enjoying life on the beach and shopping
                                                                                                                                  with her girl friends, Queen Raquela’s sober but upbeat attitude to
                                                                                                                                  life reminds us that it is not up to the observer to judge if the lives
                                                                                                                                  of others are worth living.”
                                                                                                                                  National Jury, Iceland: Sigurjón B. Sigurdsson & Sif Gunnarsdottir


18
     IN COMPETITION NORWAY


     North
     Nord
     Following a nervous breakdown, ski athlete Jomar has isolated himself in a lonely existence
     as the guard of a ski park. When he learns that he might be the father of child way up north,
     he sets on a strange and poetic journey through Norway on a snowmobile, with 5 litres of
     alcohol as sole provisions. On this journey through amazing arctic landscapes, Jomar seems
     to do everything in his power to avoid reaching his destination. He meets other tender and
     confused souls, who will all contribute to push Jomar further along his reluctant journey
     towards the brighter side of life.

     Director Rune Denstad Langlo
     Scriptwriter Erlend Loe
     Producer Sigve Endersen
     Production Company Motlys
     International Sales Memento Film Sales
     Length 78 Minutes




     DIRECTOR                                 SCRIPTWRITER                              PRODUCER
     RUNE DENSTAD LANGLO                      ERLEND LOE                                SIGVE ENDRESEN
     The 37 year-old filmmaker born           Since the mid-90’s, Erlend Loe is one     Sigve Endresen is active in the
     in Trondheim, has over ten years         of Norway’s most renowned novelists.      Norwegian film business since 1975.
     experience as director and producer      His literary debut came in 1993 with      He directed his first short film in
     in the documentary genre. North is       the novel Tatt av kvinnen (Gone with      1978, and set up his own production
     his feature debut. He first joined the   the Woman), and his second book           company Motlys in 1983. Co-run
     production company Motlys in 1998        Naive Super (1997) became a cult          today with producers Yngve Sæther
     as production assistant and researcher   novel and best-seller across Europe.      and Brede Hovland, it is one of the
     for a historic documentary on            As a scriptwriter with a degree from      leading feature film and documentary
     Roald Amundsen. He then directed         Denmark’s National Film School,           production companies in Scandinavia.
     the feature length documentaries         he has adapted his own novels Gone        Endresen directed several award
     Too much Norway (2005), to               with the Woman for filmmaker              winning documentaries and produced
     commemorate the country’s centenary,     Petter Næss, and Kurt Turns Evil, the     some of Norway’s strongest directors
     and 99% Honest (2008) about a hip        animation film directed by Rasmus A.      like Nils Gaup(Misery Harbour)
     hop band. Both films were released       Sivertsen. He also wrote the script for   Marius Holst (Dragonflies), and
     in the cinemas and received critical     Pål Jackman’s acclaimed feature debut     Gunnar Vikene (Falling Sky). He has
     acclaim.                                 Detektor.                                 also co-produced Denmark’s The Art
                                                                                        of Crying, winner of the 2007 Nordic   “This year’s Norwegian nomination is a road movie in the classic
                                                                                        Council Film Prize, and Sweden’s
                                                                                        Everlasting Moments.                    mould, save for its unconventional means of transportation. It tells
                                                                                                                                the story of a man who has to face his inner demons, and along the
                                                                                                                                way becomes a catalyst for other people to face theirs. Visually, the
                                                                                                                                film contrasts dramatic exterior landscapes in remote areas with
                                                                                                                                sparse interiors, reflecting some of the conflicts raging within the
                                                                                                                                main character. Subtle and understated, lead actor Anders Baasmo
                                                                                                                                Christiansen makes a huge impression in this straightforward,
                                                                                                                                genuine and at times extremely entertaining film.”
                                                                                                                                National Jury, Norway: Le LD Ngyen & Øyvor Dalan Vik


20
     IN COMPETITION SWEDEN


     Light Year
     Ljusår
     The heart of the film is the sundrenched kitchen garden. Towards the street in the west are
     dense lilac bushes; on the northern side a half-timbered house; a raspberry thicket serves
     as a border to the southern neighbour and a lush honeysuckle grows on the fence to the
     parkland in the east. There are out-houses, a chicken run, a bricked–in corner for compost
     and a herb garden. The giant hawthorn lives side by side with the gnarled old apple tree,
     and then, there is a throng of birds at all times of the year – the residents, the casuals and
     the migrants. With beautiful sequence of shots and meticulously authentic sound, Mikael
     Kristersson explores the greatness of the small objects in his own garden in Falsterbo, an old
     village in the south of Sweden. We see the real world from the perspective of the great tit, the
     wasp and the cabbage butterfly, and we human beings as one species among many.

     Director Mikael Kristersson
     Scriptwriter Mikael Kristersson
     Producer Lisbet Gabrielsson
     Production Company Lisbet Gabrielsson Film AB
     International Sales Post Scriptum & Media
     Length 104 Minutes




     DIRECTOR/SCRIPTWRITER                    PRODUCER
     MIKAEL KRISTERSSON                       LISBET GABRIELSSON
     Born in 1947, Mikael Kristersson         Born in 1944 in Växjö, Gabrielsson
     made his first documentary film for      studied film prodution between
     Swedish television in 1972. After        1969 and 1971 at Stockholm’s
     graduating in film and photography       University College of Film, Radio,
     from Dramatiska Institutet’- in          Television and Theatre. She
     1975, he made 35 films, primarily        worked as a producer on children,
     documentaries. He directed his first     animation, short and documentary
     feature length documentary Pica Pica     films for the Swedish Film Institute                      “In his third documentary film, Lightyear, Mikael Kristersson
     in 1987 and his second film Kestrel’s
     Eye in 1998. Both films were well
                                              between 1975 and 1993, then as
                                              film commissioner for the institute’s
                                                                                                         captures a year in his own garden. With sharp eyes – and
     received by critics and international    ’Greenhouse-new filmmakers’ strand                         especially with keen ears – he extends and reinvigorates the
     festivals. Light Year is Kristersson’s
     third feature-length documentary
                                              until 1996. the same year, she set up
                                              her own production company Lisbet
                                                                                                         nature-film genre. His great affinity for the subject enables him
     film.                                    Gabrielsson.                                               to depict the reality that surrounds us, but about which we are
                                                                                                         almost entirely ignorant. For Kristersson, there is no clear dividing
                                                                                                         line between raw nature and human culture – he considers
                                                                                                         humanising animals as absurd as romanticising “the wild”.
                                                                                                         Lightyear sensitively endows all of the garden’s inhabitants with
                                                                                                         equal dignity, toppling humans from their self-appointed role
                                                                                                         as the crowning glory of creation. His insights have particular
                                                                                                         resonance in 2009, the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and 150
                                                                                                         years since the publication of On the Origin of Species.”
                                                                                                         National Jury, Sweden: Eva af Geijerstam & Tony Forsberg


22
            l Events
     Regiona
     Denmark
     Copenhagen:                                           4-9 October
     Finland
     Helsinki:                                             19-24 September
     Iceland
     Rekyavik:                                             11-13 September
     Norway
     Oslo:                                                 19-20 September
     Sweden
     Stockholm:                                            24-28 October
     See www.nordiccouncilfilmprize.com for full program

24
UK   Larger Than Life
     by Annica Pham



     One of the most wanted production designers
     on grand scale international movies, Karl ‘Kalli’
     Júlíusson is working on his third Viking movie after
     having created haunting forest sceneries for Lars von
     Trier’s Antichrist.

     For Scandinavia’s top production designer Karl
     Júlíusson, the film adventure started in 1984 in his
     homeland –Iceland- when as a leather manufacturer,
     he was contacted to make boots and costumes for
     the Viking movie When the Raven Flies by Hrafn
     Gunnlaugsson. Twenty five years later, Júlíusson is
     in the middle of prep work for his third Viking epic,
     to be directed by Iceland’s enfant prodige Baltasar
     Kormákur.

     For Júlíusson, Vikingr (working title) is a dream
     project: the opportunity to meet his good old friends
     from his debuts, and to work for the second time
     with Kórmakur (After A Little Trip to Heaven) on a
     Hollywood project. The film is produced by US firm
     26 Films, for $50 to $60 million, a ‘realistic’ budget
     for Júlíusson that will allow him to use his skills, and
     imagination to the full, to recreate in Iceland the
     whole Viking universe with a crew of over 200 men.

     The Scandinavian production designer who worked
     on other US movies (K-19-The Widowmaker, The
     Hurt Locker) praises the Hollywood system that gave
     him the means for his artistic ambition, something
                                                                “In Europe, producers
                                                                 often think: How cheap
                                                                 can I make this movie?
                                                                 Whereas in the US they
                                                                 think: How spectacular
                                                                 can I make this movie?”
                                                                “They give more respect to production designers and encourage
                                                                us to have a vision because films are bigger in scope.”

                                                                Despite his frustration with financial restrictions on European
                                                                films, Júlíusson is proud to have been -and to be- associated
                                                                with some of Europe’s biggest auteurs, from Lars von Trier
                                                                with whom he has worked on four occasions (including the
                                                                Cannes 2009 competition entry Antichrist which he describes
                                                                as a ‘kammerspiel set in a forest’), to Hans Petter Moland (The
                                                                Beautiful Country) and Nils Gaup (Head Above Water).

                                                                Gaup’s Sami epic The Kautokeino Rebellion gave Júlíusson
                                                                his most recent accolade from the Norwegian film industry: an
                                                                Amanda Award in 2008 for Best Production Design. Together
                                                                with Max Manus, The Kautokeino Rebellion was one of the
                                                                most expensive –and successful- Norwegian films ever, the type
     much harder to secure on the other side of the             of ‘larger than life’ project that Julíusson thrives on.
     Atlantic.

26
                                                       #1 Anna Asp (Sweden)                        1996. Back then, the young Cambridge        Nelonen (Channel Four Finland),
                                                       Production Designer                         University graduate Thórhannesdóttir        Pirjo Airaksinen has been with the
          #3
                                                                                                   had just entered the Icelandic film         broadcaster almost since its inception a
                                                       “Using colours                              business, as managing director of the
                                                                                                   Reykjavik International Film Festival,
                                                                                                                                               decade ago, and has played a major role
                                                                                                                                               in the group’s fast expansion.
                                                        to underline                               of which Fridriksson was artistic
                                                                                                   director.                                   Her knowledge in finding tailor-made
                                                        drama”                                     She then held various key positions
                                                                                                                                               programmes for different slots stems
                                                                                                                                               from her previous experience in the
                                                       With her strong artistic sense, polished    in the Icelandic film industry before       making of commercial and industrial
                                                       over her career spanning from the late      turning to film production last year        films and TV series for various
                                                       1970s to the present, Sweden’s top set      with Country Wedding, the directorial       independent production companies
                                                       and production designer Anna Asp            debut of world renowned editor Valdis       (Crea Video, Story Film, Video
                                                       has worked with the greatest names in       Oskarsdottir (Eternal Sunshine of the       Design).




      Burni
                                                  #4   Scandinavian –and European- film.           Spotless Mind).                             As Senior VP, content for Nelonen
                                                                                                                                               Media, she oversees the programming
                                                       Collaborator to Ingmar Bergman on           Mamma Gógó will only be                     of the group’s six TV channels, a job




           ng
                                                       his later works (Autumn Sonata, After       Thórhannesdóttir’s second feature           made harsher by the current global
                                                       the Rehearsal, and Fanny & Alexander        film, but producing the Oscar-winning       economic crisis. But Airaksinen is




      Ambi
                                                       for which she won an Oscar) Asp then        Fridriksson has already made her a hot      proud of what she and her team at
                                                       made six major films with Bille August,     item in the European film world.            Nelonen Media have achieved so far
                                                       including the Palme d’or winners Pelle                                                  and will continue to do in the future:




          tions
                                                       the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) and                                                     “TV business is team work. Nobody
                                                       The Best Intentions (Den goda viljan).      #3 Nina Refseth (Norway)                    achieves anything on their own,”
                                                       One of her fondest memories was with        Head of the Norwegian Film Institute        she stresses. “We’ve grown from one
                                                       Andrei Tarkovsky on The Sacrifice.
                                                                                                   “Builder of
                                                                                                                                               channel platform to a multimedia
                                                                                                                                               house. In programming, we have
                                                       Mikael Håfström (Evil/Onskan), and                                                      brought something new to Finnish
                                                       more recently Josef Fares (Zozo) also
                                                       trusted her craftsmanship and unique
                                                                                                    a new Film                                 television from very early on and certain
                                                                                                                                               series are now landmark productions. It
                                                       ability to create moods with colours.
                                                       “Colour unconsciously influences our
                                                                                                    Institute”                                 is rewarding to work with talented and
                                                                                                                                               creative people within this industry.”
                                                       senses and using colour is a good way       Nina Refseth is not the only woman in
                                                       to underline the drama in an image,”        the driver’s seat of the biggest national
     #5                                                she says. For Arn the Knight Templar        film organisation in a Nordic country.      #5 Susanne Bier (Denmark)
                                                       and its sequel, bright and joyful colours   The film institutes in Finland, Iceland     Filmmaker
                                                       were used for Arab cloths and flags         and Sweden are all headed by women,
                                                       to contrast with the European coat of
                                                       arms in black and white, and blue and
                                                                                                   and so is the pan-Nordic Nordisk Film
                                                                                                   & TV Fond. But Nina Refseth is the
                                                                                                                                               “A Danish lady
                                                       white where the main colours for the
                                                       crime series Wallander, as she tried to
                                                                                                   newest in the job, and hers has been the
                                                                                                   most challenging of all.
                                                                                                                                                in Hollywood”
                                                       differentiate the safe police world with                                                The Copenhagen born filmmaker
                                                       blue uniforms and cars, from the crime      A year and a half ago, she was recruited    Susanne Bier is a hot item in
                                                       world set in cobblestoned Ystad .           by the Norwegian government to make         Hollywood these days. From
                                                       Asp is currently preparing for a new        sure the Norwegian Film Institute           Dreamworks ‘ Lost in the Fire to
                                                       collaboration with an ‘old’ friend:         (NFI) would safely come to life, from       Universal Pictures’ love triangle project
                                                       Pernille August, on the actress’s feature   the merger of three existing film           Lost for Words, Bier hasn’t lost her
                                                       debut Svinalängorna based on a novel        organisations. Since the date of birth      time in tinsel town where she has been
                                                       by Susanna Alakoski.                        of the new NFI -April 1st 2008-the          working over the last few years.
                                                                                                   building of the new Institute has been      Her international fame came with the
                                                                                                   harder than anticipated, plus the 43        Dogma drama Open Hearts (Elsker
                                                       #2 Gudrun Thorhannesdottir (Iceland)        year old top exec recruited from the        dig for evigt) in 2002, and her two
                                                       Producer (Spellbound Production)            publishing world, has had to learn fast     following Danish hits Brothers and

                                                       “Go Mamma
                                                                                                   the ropes of the film business. Today,      Oscar-nominated After the Wedding
                                                                                                   she is grateful to the people in the        (Efter brylluppet) caught the eyes
                                        #1                                                         industry who have been ‘patient and         of Hollywood film package experts.
                                                        Gogo”                                      open-minded’ with her, and she is
                                                                                                   ready to move on to her new challenges.
                                                                                                                                               She has helped Jim Sheridan direct
                                                                                                                                               Jake Gyllenhall and Toby Maguire in
                                                       Voted Iceland’s 2009 ‘Producer              By 2010, she has to help Norwegian          the US version of Brothers (yet to be
                                                       on the Move’ at this year’s Cannes          films reach a 25% market-share (from        released) and will contribute to Open
                                                       Film Festival, Gudrun Edda                  22.5% in 2008), nurture talents, and        Hearts’ US remix. But Bier has never
                                                       Thórhannesdóttir is reaching a peak         bring more women filmmakers/writers/        stopped being in touch with her Danish
                                                       in her career as her feature project        producers to the forefront. The film        producer Sisse Graum Jørgensen from
                                                       Mamma Gógó by veteran Icelandic             business may be unpredictable, but for      Zentropa, who is currently putting
                                             #2        filmmaker Fridrik Thor Fridriksson is       Refseth, it is full of drive and energy.    together the financial puzzle of her next
                                                       getting nearer to completion.                                                           Danish project: Civilization. The road
                                                                                                                                               to success has been a relatively straight
                                                       The director’s comedy is                    #4 Pirjo Airaksinen (Finland)               journey for the former graduate from
          Nordic Women                                 Thórhannesdóttir’s first feature
                                                       film produced for their company
                                                                                                   Senior VP Content, Nelonen Media            the Danish Film School who has made
                                                                                                                                               her name with character-driven dramas.
          setting the film                             Spellbound Productions. “The film
                                                       has Fridriksson’s typical mix of humor,
                                                                                                   “Team work is                               The pragmatic Bier has always kept her
                                                                                                                                               focus on making interesting human-
          world on fire                                compassion and strong visual style,”
                                                       she says. The 40 year-old Icelander is
                                                                                                    essential”                                 related stories that have naturally hit
                                                                                                                                               a cord with Danish and international
          by Annica Pham                               immensely proud to be working with          Top buyer of programmes for                 audiences.
          Photography by Helene Hasen                  Fridriksson whom she has known since        the Finnish commercial channel

28
                                                                                                                                 “Each time I
                                                                                                                                  set out to do
                                                                                                                                  a genre film,
                                                                                                                                  it becomes

     Bloody N                                                                                                                     something
                                                                                                                                  else. I add
             ordic
     by Annica Pham
     Photography by Helene Hasen
                                   Film
                                                                                                                                  other stuff.
                                                                                                                                  So I don’t
                                                                                                                                  know if this
                                                                                                                                  is straight
                                                                                                                                  horror.”
                                                                                                                                   Lars von Trier, Variety



                                          The new heat wave of Nordic chillers       directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield).      Bolso Berdal a Norwegian Amanda
                                          on screens                                                                             Award for Best Actress. Cold Prey 2
                                                                                     Meanwhile, Swedish horror master            was as successful, and a third sequel is
                                          What is Nordic cinema’s biggest            Ajvide Lindqvist has teamed up again        in the making.
                                          export these days, apart from the          with Alfredson on his latest novel,
                                          Millennium phenomenon? Not, the            Människohamn (‘Human Harbor’)               Dead Snow (Død Snø), described by
                                          usual psychological dramas under           and another of his best-sellers, the        filmmaker Tommi Wirkola as a ‘feel-
                                          Ingmar Bergman’s influence, absurd         zombie story Handling the Undead            good-Nazi-zombie-splatter-comedy
                                          comedies dramas, or Dogme hand-            (Hanteringen av odöda), is to be            movie’, was sold worldwide and gave
                                          held movies. Horror and vampire films      filmed by award-winning Kristian            its filmmaker a ticket to Hollywood
                                          from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and          Petri. The latter will first complete the   where he is revisiting the Hansel
                                          Norway are the new flavours of the         psychological horror movie Bad Faith        and Gretel tale for Paramount. The
                                          moment, gathering seals of approval        (Ond tro) based on a script by Magnus       latest slasher movie to hit Norwegian
                                          from the hard-core fans of gore flicks     Dalhström. Delivery date is set for         screens is Detour (Snarveien). The
                                          to sophisticated film critics around the   spring 2010.                                film’s massive launch on July 31 was
                                          globe.                                                                                 supported both by the Norwegian Film
                                                                                     In neighboring Norway, half a dozen         Institute and Ministry of Culture,
                                          Lars von Trier’s Antichrist that           horror/thrillers have made it to the        a proof that the genre is taken dead
                                          electrified Cannes crowds in May           cinemas over the last few years, with       seriously in Norway.
                                          before testing general audiences across    a more regular hit rate for the genre
                                          Europe, is among the latest examples       than in the rest of the Nordic region.      More horror has come out of Finland
                                          of Nordic filmmakers’ new thirst for       In direct line to the American horror       in 2008-2009, with uneven results.
                                          bloody images. A lover of the genre,       sequels of the 1980s, the Norwegian         The English language Dark Floors
                                          von Trier had already dipped his           offers have added their own dark            with Eurovision winning creepy group
                                          camera into supernatural horror with       humor while maintaining an overall          Lordi in the cast, failed to enthuse
                                          his1994 television series The Kingdom      high quality level.                         crowds, but AJ Annila’s gothic tale
                                          (Riget) and turned towards stylised                                                    Sauna won several international
                                          gore with Antichrist. “I don’t know        The first film to kick start the slasher    awards and was picked up for foreign
                                          if it is straight horror,” confessed the   trend was Dark Woods (Villmark)             distribution.
                                          Danish bad boy director who made a         in 2003 directed by Pål Øie. The
                                          very personal reinterpretation of the      film was recently voted the ‘scariest       Last but not least, in Iceland where
                                          genre.                                     Norwegian movie ever’ and positioned        only a handful of movies are produced
                                                                                     Øie as Norway’s top director in the         each year, two horror/thrillers set
                                          Just before him, another auteur            genre. “The film opened up the              in fishing vessels, will hit local
                                          filmmaker, the Swedish Tomas               eyes of Norwegian producers to the          screens in 2009-2010: Árni Ólafur
                                          Alfredson had also reinvented horror       genre who saw the possibility to            Ásgeirsson’s Undercurrent (Brim)
                                          with the vampire movie Let the             make low budget films for a larger          and Julius Kemp’s Reykjabik Whale
                                          Right One In. A novice to the genre,       audience,” commented Ivar Køhn,             Watch Massacre. The Texas Chain
                                          Alfredson was taken by John Ajvide         Head of Production for the Norwegian        Saw Massacre star, ‘Leatherface’
                                          Lindqvist’s successful eponymous           Film Institute. Other low budget            Gunnar Hansen will play the captain
                                          novel and transferred to the silver        Norwegian slasher movies followed:          of the whale watching boat. “He is an
                                          screen the vampire essay with an           Manhunt (Rovdyr) (2008), and                Icelander and this time, he is playing
                                          existential twist and social background.   Hidden (Skjult), Øie’s second horror        a good guy and has no mask” stressed
                                          The film has turned into a cult movie      flick released last April. Set in the       Kemp.
                                          in the international film world, and       snowy Norwegian mountains, Cold
                                          was Sweden’s biggest export of 2008.
                                          Right On In’s producer John Nordling
                                                                                     Prey (Fritt Vilt) reached new heights
                                                                                     with Norwegian cinema audiences             Even creepier!
                                          is now working on a US version to be       (270,000 admissions) and gave Ingrid

30
                                                                                                                                           Faces To Watch O
     #1 Cyron Melville (Denmark)                  The same year, he was offered his           impudent, Maristo conveyed the
                                                  most challenging feature role in Gudný      complexity of her character and gave
     “With his photogenic looks and               Halldórsdóttir’s The Quiet Storm            a subtle portrait of a young girl’s




                                                                                                                                                                            #1
     imposing physical presence, he has a         (Veðramót) for which he won an              awakening to a new world, in her first
     candid look that engages an audience         Icelandic Oscar, an ‘EDDA’ as Best          leading role on screen. Working for
     immediately, and his evident versatility     Supporting Actor.                           the second time under the guidance
     will ensure his stature as an actor in the                                               of Karukoski (after the 2008 Nordic
     years ahead.” This comment was made          In 2008, Ragnarsson widened his             Council Film Prize nominated film
     by a jury of European film professionals     experience with two Icelandic feature       Home for the Dark Butterflies) was
     who elected him and nine other young         films co-produced with Europe:              crucial for the 24 year old actress for
     European talents as the ‘Shooting Stars      Solveig Anspach’s comedy drama              whom trusting and understanding
     2009’.                                       Back Soon (Skrapp út), and Óskar            the filmmaker’s point of view is
                                                  Jónasson’s Rotterdam-Reykjavik. This        quintessential.
     Half Danish and half Scottish, Cyron         year, Ragnarsson has signed on for the      Before her collaboration with
     Melville, was bitten by the acting bug       third season of Ragnar Bragason’s TV        Karukoski, Maristo had small parts
     through his father, Johnny Melville.         series The Prisonshift and will start       in two Petri Kotwica award-winning
     At the age of 10, he had his first major     shooting this summer the feature film       films, Homesick (2005) and Black
     film role in Carsten Rudolf’s The Beast      Bjarnfreðarson based on the three main      Ice (2007). She is now back on stage,
     within (Menneskedyret). He became a          characters of the TV series.                where she first set foot at primary




                                                                                                                                                                            #5
     household name in Denmark playing                                                        school, continuing to polish her acting
     in the Emmy-awards nominated TV                                                          skills.
     series, The Killing (Forbrydelsen).          #3 Agnes Kittelsen (Norway)
     Since then, he has had several chances
     to play leading roles for instance in        For the 1.2 million Norwegians who          #5 Malin Crepin (Sweden)
     Triple Dare (Supervoksen) by Christina       saw the local blockbuster Max Manus
     Rosendahl and Life Hits (Råzone) by          this year, Agnes Kittelsen is ‘Tikken’      Quote from the jury of the Stockholm
     Christian E. Christiansen. For his part      Lindebraekke, the love interest of the      International Film Festival and L’Oreal
     as Emil in Natasha Arty’s karate film        WWII resistance fighter Max Manus           Paris about Malin Crépin: “She is a
     Fighter, he was nominated as Best            (Aksel Hennie). Never before had she        young talent and has with great courage
     Supporting Actor by the Danish Film          played in a movie, but Max Manus will       tackled challenging parts that touch
     Critics.                                     hopefully be the first of many screen       the audience. She has all the glow and
                                                  adventures for the 29 year-old actress      commitment of a Rising Star.”




                                                                                                                                                                            #2
     Two of his latest feature films were         born in Kristiansand.
     released in Danish cinemas in 2009:                                                      The first recipient last year of the New
     the family adventure film Curse of the       Acting is her passion since she was 16.     Rising Star Award from Stockholm
     Viking Witch (Vølvens forbandelse),          As soon as she finished ‘gymnasiat’         International Film Festival and
     and most recently, Love & Rage               (sixth form) in 2000, she enrolled at the   L’Oreal Paris, Malin Crépin has had
     (Vanvittig forelsket) by Morten Giese        Oslo National Academy of Arts. Three        an ideal acting coach and mentor in
     in which he plays Daniel, a young            years later, she was out on the world       Sweden’s most renowned contemporary
     promising pianist who falls in love with     stage. She spent two years at Bergen’s      playwright Lars Nóren with whom
     a girl and becomes extremely jealous.        Nationale Scene, and moved to Oslo’s        she collaborated on three plays, after
     “Daniel’s sensitive but sometimes            National Theatre in 2007, her home          graduating from Malmö Theatre
     aggressive behavior was a great mix          since.                                      Academy: Terminal, Lille Eyolf and
     and a challenging role to play, “says the                                                A la mémoire d’Anna Politkovskaia.
     young actor.”                                For television, she had parts in NRK        For the latter play, staged in Brussels,
                                                  dramas The School (Skolen) and Dahl         Paris and in Sweden, Crépin was the




                                                                                                                                                           ut For
                                                                                                                                                                            #4
                                                  Brothers and the Mystery and Honey          only Swedish actress in an all French/
     #2 Jörundur Ragnarsson (Iceland)             Trap (Brødrene Dal mysteriet med Karl       Belgian ensemble cast. She learnt
                                                  XII gamasjer).                              to speak French to play a Russian
     A familiar face for Icelandic TV viewers                                                 prostitute fighting for survival, the kind
     who have followed his character Daniel       Playing ‘Tikken’ Lindebraekke was a         of challenge that drives the 31 year-old
     over the last two years in the Channel       memorable experience for Kittelsen,         actress.
     2 TV series Nightshift (Næturvaktin)         who feels drawn to strong personalities.
     and Dayshift (Dagvaktin) Jörundur            “Tikken was a modern woman who              It was right after A la mémoire
     Ragnarsson is gradually making his           molded her own happiness out of             d’Anna Politkovskaia in 2008 that
     mark in film as well.                        specific choices. She was a very strong     she was offered her first major part
                                                  and inspiring woman”. Until the next        in a feature film: In Your Veins (I
     He had his first trial as an actor at        screen opportunity, she’s back on           skuggan av värmen) based on Lotta
     the University of Iceland where, as          stage for an Autumn Sonata at Oslo’s        Thell’s eponymous autobiographical
     a student in political science, he was       National Theatre.                           novel about drug addiction. Another




                                                                                                                                                                            #3
     offered a chance to join the Student                                                     challenge for Crépin who eagerly
     Theatre. He then enrolled at the                                                         grabbed it. “After A la mémoire.., I was
     Iceland Academy of Arts. “After that,        #4 Marjut Maristo (Finland)                 in the right landscape, so to speak. It
     there was no turning back!” he recalls.                                                  was a brutal and physical play so I was
     Right after graduating in 2006, he was       In Dome Karukoski’s Forbidden Fruit         already raw and primitive,” she recalls.
     hired to take part in the successful TV
     series Nightshift playing one of the
                                                  (Kielletty Hedelmä), this year’s second
                                                  most successful local film in Finland,
                                                                                              In Your Veins premiered in Sweden
                                                                                              last March and is running its course.          New
     three nightshift employees of a gas
     station in Reykjavik. “What attracted
                                                  Marjut Maristo was the angelic face
                                                  of Raakel, the 18 year-old girl brought
                                                                                              As for Crépin, Norén and his universe
                                                                                              is waiting for her. She is looking             Nordic
                                                                                                                                             Talent on
     me to the project was the fact that the      up in a Christian fundamentalist            forward to another challenging part, an
     producers asked me to co-write the           community whose senses and beliefs are      opportunity to introduce the audience
     series with the two other leading actors,    put to test during a summer holiday.        to people –and characters- that they
     the director and another actor,” stresses
     Jörundur.
                                                  Soft yet determined, shy then
                                                  progressively self-assured and almost
                                                                                              have never seen before or chosen not
                                                                                              to see.
                                                                                                                                             the rise
                                                                                                                                              by Annica Pham
                                                                                                                                              Photography by Helene Hasen

32
                 sure e
            Trea Tru
     No rdic f The
     Trov eO
     by Karolina Lidin
     Photography by Helene Hasen



      Doc-ville:
      from the
      tiniest gem
      to a sparkling
      masterpiece.

     “What defines Nordic                      tradition and high regard for artistic,   I hope these two documentary Films
     documentaries?” is a question I           personal accounts of the world in         (yes, with a capital F!) will have
     have often been asked throughout          which we live. Films that speak not       you come back begging for more.
     the years, and I am almost always at      only to our mind, but also to our         And more there certainly is! Stay
     a loss for a quick answer. Because        heart and soul. Still going strong        tuned in 2009 for BANANAS*,
     how do you describe your whole            are the Masters: Pirjo Honkasalo,         VIDEOCRACY, INTO
     family in a few words? There is the       Jørgen Leth, Stefan Jarl, Fridrik         ETERNITY, ITO – A DIARY OF
     philosophical cousin, the opinionated     Thor Fridriksson and Margret Olin,        A CITY PRIEST, LIVINGROOM
     grandmother, the crazy uncle, the         just to name a few – meticulously         OF THE NATION, SUNSHINE
     freewheeling son – and how about          and resolutely they continue to           BOY, NEMESIS, RESTLESS
                                                                                                                                  Partners
     the unpredictable niece? Among            explore human nature and build            IN PARADISE, COMPLAINTS
     ourselves we spot a lot of differences.   their oeuvre. But they are constantly     CHOIR and many many more.
     But let’s face it, we are all related.    being challenged by the Young Blood
                                               flowing in – fearlessly on the look-      For every new film our Nordic
     The two documentaries nominated for       out for new paths, new horizons,          documentary family grows in new
     this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize     redefining what documentary               directions – and it certainly won’t
     are case in point. How to compare         filmmaking is all about.                  be any easier in the future to find                                                  Nordic Council
     Swedish “Light Year” – a low-key                                                    a short and simple answer to what
     cinematic celebration of our own          So it is hardly surprising that two of    Nordic documentary is all about. “It
     backyard - with “The Amazing Truth        this year’s five films nominated for      takes all sorts” as the Americans say,
     of Queen Raquela” – a Philippine          the Nordic Council Film Prize are         and so it is in our Nordic treasure
     transsexual Cinderella story? These       documentaries, and they will certainly    trove of the true. Here you can find
     two films each mark a boundary            not be the last. This year we honor the   anything from the tiniest gem to the
     of sorts – and between themselves         passionate Swedish veteran, Mikael        sparkling masterpiece. But what ever
     embrace the multitude of subjects,        Kristofersson, who generously invites     their size, shape or form, you can be
     styles, voices and perspectives that      us into his personal sanctuary, and the   sure that they all have in common a
     Nordic documentary filmmaking is all      maverick Icelandic daredevil, Olaf de     strong commitment to the power of
     about.                                    Fleur, who unabashedly pushes the         documentary cinema to make us see
                                               boundaries of traditional documentary     Life anew – again and again and again.
     What we do have in common is              content and form.                                                                  Visit      www.nordiccouncilfilmprize.com
     a strong cinematic documentary                                                      Explore!                                            www.nordiskfilmogtvfond.com


34
www.nordiccouncilfilmprize.com
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the films.

				
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