Nordic co-productions also awarded, including for Best Cannes 2024 documentary.

Two years ago an enthusiastic estimate was made, deeming the year 2022 as “the busiest Cannes ever” when it came to the Nordic countries. Counting nine selected titles with either Nordic production or co-production, including three in the main competition, two in Un Certain Regard, and one each in the Critics’ Week, Cinéfondation, Acid and the immersive XR section, the assessment looked plausible (1946 wasn’t too shabby either, with four films in the main competition and an additional three in the shorts competition). There were prizes as well, including acting and script awards in the main competition, and of course the Palme d'Or, Ruben Östlund’s second, for Triangle of Sadness.

An even slightly higher statistic is to be found in the 2024 edition, at least in the number of selected films; two in the main competition, two in Un Certain Regard, two in the Critics’ Week, and one each in the Directors' Fortnight, Cannes Premiere, Cannes Écrans Juniors and the immersive competition – ten titles in all. Though no Nordic golden palms were received this year, an equally prominent and grand moment saw the Caméra d'Or/The Golden Camera award for best first feature – given out since 1978 and chosen across all of the various Cannes sections – handed to Norway’s Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel for writing and directing Armand.

Suitably entered in the Un Certain Regard section, highlighting rising talent and innovative filmmaking (Joachim Trier, Ali Abbasi and Ruben Östlund were all first seen here), Armand deals with the aftermath of a school incident, involving two six-year old boys. Parents and school staff hold a meeting that more or less instantly gets out of hand in this increasingly absurd chamber-play, which at times bursts into strange dance routines and surreal fantasy scenes. Produced by Andrea Berentsen Ottmar for Eye Eye Pictures with international sales by Charades and with Renate Reinsve and Ellen Dorrit Petersen leading a solid cast, Armand is the second Nordic film, following Dane Christoffer Boe’s Reconstruction in 2003, to win the Caméra d'Or. The film also won the Prix de la meilleure création sonore for best sound design, created by Mats Lid Støten and composer Ella van der Woude.

Several Nordic co-productions were also awarded. The Belgian-Swedish Critics' Week entry Julie Keeps Quiet (Julie zwijgt), directed by Leonardo Van Dijl and co-produced by Nima Yousefi, Hobab, and Kristina Börjeson, Film i Väst, won the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution as well as the SACD Award, given by the French Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers. Also awarded in the Critics' Week was Egypt’s Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir’s The Brink of Dreams, co-produced by Mette-Ann Schepelern, Magma Films, Denmark, which won the L'Œil d'or/Golden Eye Award for best Cannes 2024 documentary, ex aequo with Raoul Peck’s Ernest Cole: Lost and Found.

Forthcoming Nordic fare in current degrees of progress includes works by Joachim Trier, Emilie Blichfeldt, Amanda Kernell, Jeanette Nordahl, Maryam Moghaddam, Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon, Joshua Oppenheimer, Erik Poppe, John Skoog, Klaus Härö, Anders Thomas Jensen, Jens Lien, Tarik Saleh, Nathalie Alvarez Mesén, Baltasar Kormákur, Eirik Svensson, Björk, Pirjo Honkasalo, Frederik Louis Hviid and, yet again, Ruben Östlund, who threatens to be back in 2026 with The Entertainment System Is Down. The Nordic Cannes statistics could well be kept both intact and quite busy in the years to come.