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Gyda Myklebust / PHOTO: Ingar Johansen

Haugesund’s New Nordic Films spotlights over 50 new Nordic titles-UK Co-productions

Over 250 international delegates will attend Haugesund’s industry event, set to showcase 16 closed market screenings and 36 Nordic films in development, production and post.

The range of titles from established Nordic names and new voices of different origins, will no doubt stir the interest of the programmers from Sundance, Rotterdam, Göteborg, Lübeck, and buyers from more than 20 territories, expected on the shores of the Norwegian waterfront city of Haugesund between August 22-25.

Head of industry Gyda Velvin Myklebust is particularly pleased with the 24 projects in development for the Nordic Co-Production Market, from seasoned directors Jens Lien (Beforeigners, The Bothersome Man), Amanda Kernell (Charter), Carl Javér (Reconstructing Utøya), or rising talents Annika Berg (Team Hurricane), and Jonas Kærup Hjort (The Penultimate).

New names to watch include Norwegian animator/illustrator Hanne Berkaak with her horror animated Pesta, Finland’s Lauri-Matti Parppei (Series Mania competitor with the series A Strange Summer), Iranian-born Norwegian director Farzad Samsami with Zarzis, Sweden’s Sunniva Eir Tangvik Kveum (Göteborg 2023 Talent to Watch) with Nipster, and Mexican/Norwegian Dalia Huerta Cano with Elena.


Haugesund’s New Nordic Films spotlights over 50 new Nordic titles-UK Co-productions

Pesta / PHOTO: Mikrofilm, Julia Torjak

"I’ve been surprised and impressed by the high quality and number of submissions (87) for the Nordic Co-production Market”, said Myklebust who underscored the high number of genre movies, across sci-fi (Joe’s Assignment), fantasy (Into the Rainbow, The Elf), horror (Haven, Pesta, The Home), and even horror western (Who Goes There).

Four projects in development are majority-UK co-productions: Haven by Adam Berg (Netflix’s Black Crab), Gunnar’s Daughter, The DJ by Bafta-winner Joern Utkilen and Who Goes There by UK’s National Film & Television School’s alumna Astrid Thorvaldsen.

The four selected British projects are part of a Special Focus on the UK.

"We’ve wanted to do this UK Focus for several years - on Nordic producers’ special request - but Covid was in the way,” explains Myklebust. “Co-production rules in the UK used to be complex, but now it’s much more straightforward, and post-Brexit, UK producers need to widen their scope of collaborations,” said the seasoned head of NNF who goes on: "I’m thrilled about this two-year initiative which will continue in 2024, and hopefully contribute to boosting Nordic/UK partnerships”.

The UK Focus will also include panel discussions about “How to Co-Produce with The UK” with Denitsa Yordanova, Head of UK Global Screen Fund, a case study on The Damned by Icelandic director Thordur Pálsson, produced by Elation Pictures, UK, and a presentation from Nordisk Film & TV Fond CEO Liselott Forsman on co-producing with the Nordics.

For Myklebust, the financial support to the UK Focus from the British Film Institute, The Norwegian Embassy in London, the British Embassy in Norway and British Council, has mitigated this year’s cuts from Creative Europe. “We have made strategic collaborations, and found other sources of financing, so our content and impact for the professionals attending will be as strong as ever before,” she said.

New Nordic Film’s other highpoint - the popular Works in Progress will showcase 12 projects in post-production. Those include the commercially-oriented Better Times by the Avaz brothers starring Sebastian Jessen and Lars Brygman, The Abyss by Richard Holm starring Tuva Novotny and Edvin Ryding, genre specialist author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s co-penned Handling the Undead by Thea Hvistendahl starring Renate Reinsve, and the Sex Dreams Love trilogy by Dag Johan Haugerud.


Haugesund’s New Nordic Films spotlights over 50 new Nordic titles-UK Co-productions

Handling the undead / PHOTO: Courtesy Trust Nordisk

As part of NNF’s inclusive efforts, indigenous films about the Sámi-community (The Curse-A Love Story,Biru Unjárga, Je’Vida), from Greenland (The Edge of the Shadow) and the Faroe Islands (The Last Paradise on Earth) will also be prominently featured.

Most works in progress and all projects at the Co-Production Market will be looking for sales agents.

Meanwhile NNF’s third major showcase: the closed market screenings will present 16 of the best recent Nordic films, many of them A-festival entries, such as the Karlovy Vary’s top winning film The Hypnosis by Ernst De Geer, Locarno Kids Screenings selected Snot & Splash by Teemu Nikki, and Toronto-bound Solitude by Ninna Pálmadóttir, Songs of Earth by Margret Ohlin, A Happy Day by Hisham Zaman, Je’Vida by Katja Gauriloff and Cannes Jury Prize winner Fallen Leaves by Aki Kaurismäki, set to open NNF August 22.

Other inspirational industry panels will tackle:

  • ‘Nordic Film and TV-Series on the Global Scene with US expert André Vargas, Chief Data Officer for the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) set to discuss how small budget Nordic films are taking the US and global market by storm.
  • How Nordic Films Are Released Around Europe’, session co-hosted by Europa Distribution, with case studies on the films Sick of Myself and Beautiful Beings.
  • Books at Haugesund, with six Nordic literary agents on hand to present new IP.

Full list of projects at the Nordic Co-Production Market:

  • A Light that Never Goes Out by Lauri-Matti Parppei (Made, Finland)
  • Arrogance by Ville Jankeri (Sons of Lumière, Finland)
  • Becoming a Landscape by Emily Graves (November Films, Canada)
  • Bestiere by Jonas Kærup Hjort (Tambo Film, Denmark)
  • Black Water by Aga Woszczyńska (Lava Films, Poland)
  • Buran by Maryam Moghaddam, Behtash Sanaeeha (Hobab, Sweden)
  • City of Lava by Erlingur Thoroddsen (ZikZak Filmworks, Iceland)
  • Divorce During the War by Andrius Blaževičius (M-Films, Lithuania)
  • Elena by Dalia Huerta Cano (Stær Film, Norway
  • Gunnar’s Daughter (Script Cube, UK-no director yet attached)
  • Haven by Adam Berg (Poisson Rouge, UK)
  • Into the Rainbow by Annika Berg (Manna Film, Denmark)
  • Joe’s Assignment by Jens Lien (Einar Film, Norway)
  • Lotte & Totte by Mia Hagner Fridthjof (Fridthjof Film, Denmark)
  • Nipster by Sunniva Tangvik Kveum (Carbs Film, Sweden)
  • Pesta by Hanne Berkaak (Mikrofilm, Norway)
  • Souls on Tape by Carl Javér (Vilda Bomben, Sweden)
  • Stargate by Ida Sagmo Tvedte (Motlys, Norway)
  • The Curse-A Love Story by Amanda Kernell (Nordisk Film, Sweden)
  • The DJ by Joern Utkilen (Hopscotch Films, UK)
  • The Elf by Joonas Berghäll/Hannes Vartiainen (Oktober, Finland)
  • The Home by Mattias Skoglund ([sic] Film, Sweden)
  • Who Goes There by Astrid Thorvaldsen (Gingerbread Production, UK)
  • Zarzis by Farzad Samsam (Gorillafilms, Norway)

Projects at the Works in Progress:

  • Back to Earth by Mariken Halle (Alternativet Production, Norway)
  • Better Times by Milad Avaz (Forty Five Films, Denmark)
  • Biru Unjárga by Egil Pedersen (Rein Film Finnmark & Paasan, Norway)
  • In This Very Moment by Marte Vold (Stær Film, Norway)
  • Handling the Undead by Thea Hvistendahl (Einar Film, Norway)
  • Kadzo by Baker Karim (Bad Flamingo Studios, Sweden)
  • Sex Dreams Love by Dag Johan Haugerud (Motlys, Norway)
  • Stormskerry Maja by Tiina Lymi (Solar Films, Finland)
  • The Abyss by Richard Holm (SF Studios, Sweden
  • The Last Paradise on Earth by Sakaris Stórá (Adomeit Film, Denmark, Kykmyndir, Faroe Islands)
  • Unsinkable by Christian Andersen (Wasabifilm, Denmark)
  • Viktoria Must Go (WT) by Gunnbjörg Gunnarsdottir (På Film, Handmade Film in Norwegian Woods, Norway)

Haugesund’s New Nordic Films spotlights over 50 new Nordic titles-UK Co-productions

The Abyss / PHOTO: SF Studios

New Nordic Films is part of Haugesund’s Norwegian International Film Festival, unspooling August 19-25.