World premieres and prize-winners queue up for first Filmfest Oslo
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
27/02/2012 - Backed by the top prize – the Golden Dragon for Best Nordic Feature at Sweden’s Göteborg International Film Festival - Norwegian director Arild Andresen’s second feature, The Orheim Company [trailer], will open the first edition of Filmfest Oslo on Wednesday, February 29 (ahead of the March 2 general release through Norsk Filmdistribusjon).
“With an annual audience of 60,000, Tromsø (up north) is Norway’s unofficial champion in organising popular festivals,” said the two film buffs instigating the new showcase, Arild Støfring (festival director) and Morten Steingrimsen (head of programming). “We thought Oslo too needed something new, broadly programmed, strongly profiled and audience-friendly – so here is our bid for the first dance.”
UK Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley (pictured) tops the international guest list for the Nordic launch of US director Martin Scorsese’s first film in 3D, Hugo, which received 11 Oscar nominations and on February 26 cashed in on five of them. Kingsley will be accompanied by US author Brian Selznick who wrote the original children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Among the 50 films screening in five days at five Oslo venues (Folketeateret, Ringen, Eldorado, Klingenberg and Gimle) are three world premieres, Norwegian director Peter Næss’s World War II epic, Into the White [trailer], with an international cast of Florian Lukas, David Kross, Rupert Grint, Lachlan Nieboer and Stig Henrik Hoff. Næss, Danish producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen and lead actors will attend.
Also new to the world are Danish veteran director Henning Carlsen’s Memories Of My Melancholy Whores, a Danish-Mexican co-production adapted from Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez’s 2005 novel, and Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s documentary on global economy, When Bubbles Burst. Both Carlsen and Moland will be there.
Danish directors Kathrine Windfeld and Peter Flinth will introduce the local premieres of their new Swedish thrillers, Agent Hamilton: In the Interest of the Nation [trailer] and Nobel’s Last Will [trailer], respectively, spearheading three thrillers with the Jan Guillou character and six from Liza Marklund’s novels.
Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson will bring Volcano [trailer], which earlier this month received five national Eddas. Finnish director Timo Vuorensola and producer Tero Kaukomaa present their sci-fi adventure Iron Sky [trailer, film focus] and Danish documentarist Mads Brügger shows his award-winning The Ambassador. Finally, there will also be Happy End [trailer], with its Swedish director Björn Runge and his lead actress Madeleine Ekman.