Five Nordic feature films compete for the Nordic Council Film Awards
Five Nordic feature films have been nominated for the Nordic Council Film Awards. The prestigious recognition that her 20thth Aki Kaurismäki’s “The Man Without a Past” was awarded for the first time this year.
Hlynur Pálmason’s Godland, Teemu Nikki’s The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic, Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannson, Joachim Trier’s Oscar-nominated The Worst Person in the World and Clara Sola directed by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, will all be fighting for the award.
It is billed as an award that “celebrates a unique vision of filmmaking deeply rooted in Nordic culture” and comes with a sum of DKK 300,000 ($40,000), shared equally between the director, screenwriter and screenwriter producer is divided.
Trier, fresh from winning Saturday’s Amanda Awards, previously won the award in 2016 for Louder Than Bombs. It’s also not the first nomination for Finn Nikki, who previously attracted attention for her darkly comedic “Euthanizer.” His new film, starring Petri Poikolainen, who suffers from MS, won the Audience Award in Venice and just days ago won Best Film at the Beijing International Film Festival, with Poikolainen winning Best Actor.
“We all knew the film was pretty good, but we weren’t ready for that kind of success. It surprised us all. But I can’t complain. Getting our film to a lot of festivals and winning a lot of awards is quite nice. It could be worse,” Nikki said diversity.
“It’s wonderful. Awards come and come and I just love it,” added Poikolainen, with producer Jani Pösö chipping in:
“I am super proud of the success of our film. But the best prize is that Petri got the opportunity to show the world how good he is.”
The announcement marks a double score for Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales, which is overseeing the sales of Godland and Lamb, starring Noomi Rapace, and representing Denmark and Iceland. The latter, the jury argued, successfully combined “Iceland’s tradition of pastoral cinema and the literary heritage of folk tales”.
“We are proud to work with both Hlynur and Valdimar, directors whom we have accompanied since their first feature films,” says Marcin Łuczaj, Head of Acquisitions.
“We’ve always been a discovery label and Scandinavia has proven to be a great source of talent and home to unique films. Iceland and Denmark in particular are countries where filmmakers combine unique signatures with universal stories, emotional impact and a sense of humor that seem to resonate with global audiences.”
“Neither ‘Godland’ nor ‘Lamb’ were obvious projects and we took them on at a time when the market was already difficult,” he adds.
“But working on these films was great, mostly because of the creativity, collaborative spirit and trust of the filmmakers and producers who made us feel like part of the team. This produced great artistic and sales results for both films and made us hungry for more projects like this.”
“Godlands” producer Katrin Pors from Copenhagen’s Snowglobe couldn’t hide her excitement either.
“Last week we were shortlisted for the European Film Awards. The film is received better than we could have ever hoped for. Hlynur masters making films on an international level with a strong Nordic core – he stays true to his roots,” she says.
“’Godland’ is about our common – and much unknown – Nordic heritage. We talk about this ‘common history’ in Scandinavia, but at the same time most of us know very little about the history of our neighboring countries.”
Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s feature film debut, Clara Sola, impressed the Swedish judges with its portrayal of the world as “natural and utterly new and unique, both magical and intrinsically logical”.
“Together with her protagonist Wendy Chinchilla Araya and photographer Sophie Winqvist, she has made a sensual film about sexuality and the fight for freedom, in which you can smell and taste, feel the skin under your fingertips and feel the power of nature around you”, they said.
“For the twentieth year, the Nordic Council Film Awards will highlight five exceptional films chosen by national juries and the Nordic winner, chosen by a pan-Nordic jury. There is no jury lobbying, no advertising campaigns. It’s about the films themselves. That’s also the recipe for success in our industry and it’s really worth celebrating,” summarized Liselott Forsman, CEO of Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
The winner will be announced on November 1st during the Nordic Council meeting in Helsinki. Other past winners include Roy Andersson’s You, the Living, Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt or Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, which was crowned last year.
Gov. Hlynur Palmason
Set in the late 19th century, it tells the story of a young Danish priest who travels to a remote part of Iceland to build a church and photograph the people. But the deeper he ventures into the unforgiving landscape, the more he strays from his goal. Pálmason is also behind “Winter Brothers” and “A White, White Day”. Produced by Eva Jakobsen, Katrin Pors and Mikkel Jersin (Snowglobe) and Anton Máni Svansson (Join Motion Pictures), the film premiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes. “He’s a cinematic original whose voice grows stronger and more confident with each film. And God, as they say, is in the details,” he wrote diversity.
“The Blind Man Who Didn’t Want to See the Titanic”
Dir. Teemu Nikki
Jaakko is blind and handicapped, glued to his wheelchair. He loves Sirpa. They live far apart and have never met in person, but they meet every day over the phone. When Jaakko finds out about Sirpa’s deteriorating health, he decides to go to her immediately, despite his condition. Nikki, who co-directs It’s Alive Films with Jani Pösö, was also nominated for the Nordic Council Film Award for Euthanizer. His fifth feature film, directed by Sari Aaltonen, premiered at Orizzonti Extra at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. International distribution through Intramovies.
Dir. Valdimar Jóhannsson
This Noomi Rapace star is a supernatural drama about an Icelandic couple who live with their flock of sheep on a beautiful but remote farm. When they discover a mysterious newborn on their land, they decide to keep it and raise it as their own. Written by Jóhannsson and Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson aka Sjón – who also wrote The Northman with Robert Eggers – this dark fairy tale is produced by Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, owner and CEO of Go to Sheep, and Sara Nassim. Domestic distribution is through Sena and international distribution is through New Europe Film Sales, also behind Godland.
“Worst Man in the World”
Director Joachim Trier
Julie (Renate Reinsve) turns thirty and her life is an existential mess. Some of their talents are wasted and their older boyfriend is urging them to settle down. One night she crashes at a party and meets Eivind. Trier, behind “Louder Than Bombs” or “Thelma”, wrote the screenplay together with Eskil Vogt. The film won an award at Cannes for Reinsve’s performance and received two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and International Feature Film. An Oslo Pictures Production, produced by Thomas Robsahm and Andrea Berentsen Ottmar. Domestic distribution by SF Studios, with MK2 Films handling sales.
Dir. Nathalie Alvarez Mesén
Clara is believed to have a special connection with God. As a healer, she sustains a family and village in need of hope while finding solace in her relationship with nature. After years of being controlled by her mother, Clara’s sexual impulses are awakened by her attraction to her niece’s boyfriend. Maria Camila Arias co-wrote with director Nathalie Alvarez-Mesen, a filmmaker from Costa Rica and Sweden. While Clara Sola – produced by Hobabs Nima Yousefi, also with Luxbox – marks her feature film debut, she is already working on her second film, The Wolf Will Tear Your Immaculate Hands.
https://variety.com/2022/film/global/nordic-council-film-prize-goldland-1235347819/ Five Nordic feature films compete for the Nordic Council Film Awards