Two veryr different projects from female directors have been the talk of the industry at Haugesund’s New Nordic Films market this week.
Amanda Kernell won the pitching prize after the Co-Production Market presentation of her third feature film, The Curse – A Love Story while Thea Hvistendahl’s work in progress Handling The Undead, which reunites Renate Reinsve and Anders Danielsen Lie after The Worst Person in the World, hugely impressed buyers and festival programmers alike
The Curse will follow Kernell’s Venice 2016 premiere Sami Blood and Sundance 2020 selection Charter. The The He
The award goes to the best project in the Nordic Co-production Market and will include an invitation to Cannes Marche’s Producers Network for producer Eva Akergren of Nordisk.
The pitch jury consisted of Heidi Zwicker of Sundance Film Festival, Inke van Loocke of International Film Festival Rotterdam, filmmaker Hisham Zaman and Liselott Forsman, CEO of Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
Kernell, who is of Sami heritage, spoke passionately about the Sami beliefs in curses and how she personally thought she was cursed as a young woman. The The We Trust TrustNordisk handles sales and Neon has already swooped up US rights.
Attendees of the Works in Progress were also intrigued by the first Swedish disaster epic,
The Abyss directed by Richard Holm and produced by SF Studios; sparky Norwegian family film Viktoria Must Go,
newly boarded by LevelK; the Faroese feature Last Paradise On Earth, a drama about a fish factory worker directed by Sakaris Stora; and Marte Vold’s In This Very Moment, an intimate portrait of one couple over 15 years.Also igniting buzz was Sex Dreams Love, an ambitious trilogy being directed by Norway’s Dag Johan Haugerud. The Mo 01 The The The As Other co-production pitches included the sci-fi
Joe’s Assignment directed by Jens Lien; Norwegian-Iranian director Farzad Samsami’s Morocco-set Zarzis; Iran-set drama Bouran,
directed by Ballad Of A White Cow team Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha; Motlys’ Norwegian family Christmas drama
; Danish filmmaker Jonas Kaerup Hjort’s second feature
Bestiere, about a woman who develops animal-like tendencies after getting a pig’s heart transplant; and Hanne Berkaak’s animated genre film Pesta set during the Black Death.Other industry highlights at Haugesund included a session about how the UK and Nordics can collaborate on more co-productions (including a case study from The Damned producer Kamilla Kristiane Hodol of Elation Pictures; a Europa Distribution panel about Nordic releases in Italy, the Netherlands and the UK; and CAA’s chief data officer Andre Vargas looking at how Nordic content is faring in the US and global markets.
WinnersAt the public festival, the Norwegian International Film Festival Haugesund, the critics’ award went to Neighbours
by Mano Khali; the audience award was scooped by Tove’s Room directed byMartin Zandvliet; the ray of sunshine award (from cinema managers) went to Kaveh Tehrani’s Listen Up! and the Next Nordic Generation Award went to Marlene Emilie Lyngstad’s short Norwegian Offspring from The Danish Film School.Haugesund also hosts the annual Amanda awards, Norway’s local academy prizes. Winner War Sailor captured four prizes including best actor for Pal Sverre Hagen and best supporting actreses for Ine Marie Wilmann, plus cinematography and costume.War epic Narvik also won three awards: the audience prize, sound design and visual effects.The lowdown on all the 2023 Venice Film Festival titles