Scandinavian shorts and docs summit in Århus
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
23/09/2011 - Nordisk Panorama 5 Cities Film Festival – Scandinavia’s main showcase for shorts and documentaries – opens its 22nd edition today (September 23) in Århus, Denmark, which will take turns to organise the six-day event with Oulu (Finland), Malmö (Sweden), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Bergen (Norway).
Approximately 700 film professionals have registered for the festival which received a record number of 600 submissions for the New Nordic Voices competition and accordingly extended the programme from 12 to 14 entries (four from Sweden, three from Denmark, three from Finland, two from Iceland, two from Norway). The first prize, which will go to ”a new promising Nordic filmmaker”, includes a cheque for €3,000.
Organised by Filmkontakt Nord in collaboration with the Århus International Film Festival, the showcase will open with Danish director Omar Sharwagi’s ½ Revolution, one of the 21 films competing for the main prize, the €6,700 Nordic Documentary Award. With nine selections, Sweden leads the contenders, against Denmark and Denmark, which have four each, Norway with two and Iceland one.
33 Nordic shorts are vying for the award, while 14 films from the Jutland region are eyeing the €9,400 cash and services award in the Go Wæst competition. A total of 81 films have been selected for the main programme, adding sidebars of Evergreen Documentaries (such as last year’s winner, Danish director Michael Madsen’s Into Eternity [trailer]), films on human rights, Sami Shorts, European Film Award nominees.
The Nordisk Panorama Market begins tomorrow (September 24), with 250 new shorts and documentaries independently produced in the Nordic region within the past year – the films will also be available for pre-screenings around-the-clock at NPM Online. This year, Filmkontakt Nord will introduce NPM one-to-one, short 10-15-minute meetings between Nordic filmmakers and market professionals.
At Nordisk Forum (from September 25), with some 200 producers, directors, commissioning editors from television, film institutes and regional film funds, 24 new documentary projects will be pitched not only to Nordic participants, but also to an invited delegation of producers from Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The selection includes five 'Nordic Wildcards', to emphasise the element of innovation and surprise.
Norsk Panorama Outlook, also to be launched tomorrow, is a special industry section focusing on international financing, distribution and sales. Among the festival highlights is a discussion between Danish Armadillo [trailer, film focus] director Janus Metz and his UK Oscar-nominted colleague, James Marsh (Man on a Wire [trailer]), and a master-class conducted by Swedish director Jonas Odell, accompanied by a retrospetive of his work.