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FESTIVALS France

Nordic cinema arrives in Rouen

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Tomorrow marks the opening of the 21st edition of the Nordic Film Festival in Rouen (March 5-16), an unmissable showcase of films that are still rarely distributed in French theatres.

The competition line-up includes 11 titles this year, with Icelandic films taking pride of place thanks to Björn Br. Björnsson’s Cold Trail and Baltasar Kormakur’s Jar City [+see also:
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, which won an award at the latest Karlovy Vary Film Festival and will be distributed in France by Memento.

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The Baltic countries are also in the spotlight with Ilmar Raag’s Estonian feature The Class [+see also:
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(which won the Europa Cinemas Label award at the Karlovy Vary Festival and was Estonia’s hopeful for the 2008 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, see news); and Algimantas Puipa’s Lithuanian title Whisper of Sin.

Denmark has two contenders vying for honours: Erik Clausen’s Temporary Release [+see also:
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and Echo [+see also:
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by Anders Morgenthaler (Princess [+see also:
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) which was nominated in nine categories for the 2008 Danish Robert Awards (see interview with Shooting Star Stine Fischer Christensen).

The Scandinavian delegation is completed by Norwegian filmmaker Stian Kristiansen’s The Man Who Loved Yngve [+see also:
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(a debut feature by the director who attracted attention at the Premiers Plans Festival in Angers, winning an award in the student shorts competition); and Finnish director Markku Pölönen’s The Matriarch [+see also:
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, which was a domestic box-office hit last autumn.

The work of two Dutch directors will also feature, including Blind [+see also:
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, the directorial debut by actress Tamar van den Dop who also stars in the other Dutch title in competition this year at Rouen: Wolfsbergen by Nanouk Leopold, which was lauded last year in the Forum section at Berlin and selected at Toronto (see news).

Finally, Belgium will be represented by Philippe Blasband’s Coquelicots (“Poppies”).

The programme also includes the avant-premiere of Nic Balthazar’s Flemish feature Ben X [+see also:
film review
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interview: Nic Balthazar
interview: Peter Bouckaert
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]
on March 16 and a Panorama section which is set to screen Suzanne Bier’s Things We Lost in the Fire, Swedish director Roy Andersson’s You, the Living [+see also:
film review
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interview: Pernilla Sandström
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile
]
(see Focus), Finnish director Olli Saarela’s The Year of the Wolf, fellow Finnish director Klaus Härö’s Mother of Mine [+see also:
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, and Norwegian director Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen’s Bitter Flowers [+see also:
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. Dutch films featured in the Panorama include Dana Nechushtan’s Night Ride [+see also:
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and Anton Corbijn’s Control [+see also:
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.

The 2008 edition of the Rouen festival is also hosting a retrospective devoted to Belgian actor Jan Decleir and sections entitled "On the Finnish Side" and "Childhood in Norwegian Film”.

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(Translated from French)

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