More than 300 industry delegates from top shingles including Warner Bros Discovery, Viaplay, Germany’s Constantin Film, The Match Factory and France’s TF1 Studio are expected on the shores of Haugesund, Norway, over Aug. 23-26, for Scandinavia’s major film showcase, New Nordic Films.
Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner “Triangle of Sadness” will both open the film confab festivities and screen alongside 18 new Nordic finished films at the market. But for the avid buyers and programmers of Nordic content, the biggest draw will be the 18 works in progress – half of them looking for sales and distribution – and 23 pics in development available for co-production and financing.
“We’ve noticed a shift in recent years, with buyers and sellers favouring the Works in Progress and Nordic Coproduction Market over the market screenings. These seem to be more valuable for the industry,” said Gyda Velvin Mykklebust, head of New Nordic Films.
Commenting on this year’s program, Mykklebust said COVID effects on the production sector are still visible, as a record number projects were submitted for the Nordic Coproduction Market. “Beyond the large number of titles still waiting for release, we can see that people are still spending a lot of time in development,” she noted.
While setting the menu for her 28th edition, the New Nordic Films’ honcho decided to platform rising talents who had lacked networking opportunities during COVID, and more than half of the projects in development to be pitched are debut features, many backed by strong producers.
First features to watch out for at the Nordic Co-Production Market take in the family drama comedy “Anything for Her” by Faroese Andrias Høgenni, a laureate of a Canal+ award at Cannes’ Critics Week, and the iron-age set thriller “Stranger” by Denmark’s Mads Hedegaard, produced by “As in Heaven”’s Motor Productions.
“We also have a large number of promising female debutants,” added Mykklebust, citing “The Soft Skin” by the Berlinale Generation-selected Minka Jakerson, “Porcelain” by Swedish/Sami Ann Holmgren, and “The Blowfish” by Elin Övergaard who competed in Cannes 2019 with the short film “Who Talks”.
Other strong projects in development include the U.K.-produced “A Gift to My Mother” by U.S.-born Aaron Brookner (“My Uncle Howard”) and the Estonian-Norwegian refugee survival drama “Container” by Arun Tamm.
Among the works in progress slated for a Winter 2022/Spring 2023 release, attractive titles take in “The Player” by Finland’s Teemu Nikki (“The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic”), a story about addiction starring Pekka Strang, the sci-fi “UFO Sweden” by the Swedish collective Crazy Pictures, the period social drama “The Riot” by Oscar-nominated Nils Gaup (“Pathfinder”), and the Ukraine-Norway-Czech co-pro “Oxygen Station” by Ivan Tymchenko.
The 300-plus industry attendees – most of them coming from Europe – are also invited to inspiring sessions about diversity, talent development and distribution. Sessions will focus on Books in Haugesund, ‘Nourishing New Voices Without Killing Their Vibes’ with filmmakers Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (“Clara Sola”) and Locarno-selected Franciska Eliassen (“What Grows Where Land is Sick?”), EAVE talk ‘Creating a Producer’s Network and Sharing Knowledge, and Europa Distribution-led ‘Force Majeure, How the Industry Can Win Audiences off the Sofa and Back to the Cinema.
New Nordic Films runs parallel to the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival, due to celebrate its 50th anniversary over Aug. 20-26.
Full lineup of New Nordic Films’ Works in Progress:
“A Happy Day” by Hisham Zaman (Snowfall Cinema, Norway)
“Blomster” by Neil Widgardt (Story AB, Sweden)
“Dancing Queen” by Aurora Gossé (Amacord, Norway)
“Feed” by Johannes Persson (Scandinavian Content Group, Sweden)
“Forever” by Anders Hazelius (SF Studios, Sweden)
“Four Little Adults” by Selma Vilhunen (Tuffi Films, Finland)
“Leave” by Alex Herron (Trollbound Entertainment, Norway)
“Listen Up “by Kaveh Tehrani (Motlys, Norway)
“Longing for Today” by Knut Erik Jensen (Rein Film, Norway)
“My Brother Ted” by Anna Widerberg and Fredrik Ydhag
“Oxygen Station” by Ivan Tymchenko (Svitlofor Film, Spætt Film (UA, Norway)
“The Liberation” by Anders Walter (Nordisk Film, Growing Stories, Denmark)
“The Player” by Nikki Teemu (It’s Alive Films, Finland)
“The Riot” by Nils Gaup (Storyline, Norway)
“There’s No Place Like Home” by Puk Grasten (Regner Grasten, Denmark)
“Thiird” by Karim Kassem (Karim Kassem, Johan Matton, Lebanon/Sweden)
“UFO Sweden” by Crazy Pictures (Crazy Pictures, Sweden)
“Unmoored” by Caroline Invarsson (Lava Films, Desmar, Winsford Productions, Poland, Sweden, U.K.)