This year, Norwegian is really Norwegian in Haugesund
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
20/08/2012 - "We have rarely lived up so well to our name as this year – the Norwegian International Film Festival," said new programme director Tonje Hardersen of the 2012 showcase, which opened Saturday (August 17) and runs through August 23. No less than seven new Norwegian productions – one for every day – will be premiered during the anniversary event: 40 years of festival, 30 years in Haugesund, and 25 years with a programme for children and young audiences, now Cinemagi and +15.
"Kon-Tiki [trailer] gave us exactly the spectacular opening an anniversary calls for," added Hardersen, referring to Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's action-adventure – Norway’s so-far biggest movie production, which launched the festival. With Pål Sverre Hagen in the lead, the €12.3 million film follows Norwegian anthropologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl on his 1947 voyage between Callao in Peru and the Polynesian Islands on a wooden raft – 8,000 kilometres in 101 days.
In the local selection are Kari Anne Moe's documentary portrait of "a devoted generation marked for life by July 22" (the 2011 Utøya massacre), Bravehearts, and Frode Vestad's documentary With Accordion to the Opera, adding Dheeraj Akolkar's
Also on the programme:
The Almost Man. Dir: Martin Lund – the black comedy winner of two top prizes in Karlovy Vary portrays a 35-year-old man who is still fooling around as he did 10-15 years ago, until his girlfriend becomes pregnant.
I Belong. Dir: Dag Johan Haugerud – a first feature, the tragi-comedy deals with human differences: three examples that what can be a trifle to some, may be disaster to others.
Squeeze. Dir: Kathrine Haugen – the second film about the four teenage-girls in Coming Home [trailer] (2011), which Haugen produced. Now they have grown older, and their eyes are opened to the opposite sex.
Festival director Gunnar Johan Løvvik – who celebrates his 30th anniversary as well – will also host an international programme of 21 features, a Nordic Focus, Cinemagi and +15 sections, FilmReg for regional entries, French Touch and Videorama for releases on DVD only. Including the preceding New Nordic Films market (August 15-17), Haugesund will screen 94 titles.