Join the Fund's newsletter!

Get the latest film & TV news from the Nordics, interviews and industry reports. You will also recieve information about our events, funded projects and new initiatives.

Do you accept that NFTVF may process your information and contact you by e-mail? You can change your mind at any time by clicking unsubscribe in the footer of any email you receive or by contacting us. For more information please visit our privacy statement.

We will treat your information with respect.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

27 OCTOBER 2020

NT20 Award Ceremony / PHOTO: Screen Shot

We have selected seven outstanding new Nordic voices among the 19 film graduates who pitched their projects at last week’s Nordic Talents Online.

Hazhir Ibrahimi, director
Norwegian Film School, Lillehammer
Winner Nordic Talents Pitch Prize for Kolbar

Norwegian/Kurdish director Hazhir Ibrahimi (b.1992) grew up in a conflictual zone on the border between Iraq and Iran. From an early age he had to take responsibility for his younger siblings, while his parents were fighting as soldiers in the Kurdish forces. “I was only 11 when I saw a man killed in front of me. That environment profoundly influenced me,” says the director who came to Norway as a refugee in 2012, aged 19. Ibrahimi learned to speak Norwegian, went to high school, then enrolled at the Norwegian Film School’s documentary course.

Ibrahimi says the defining moment that awakened his interest in filmmaking was when he was 12-13 and watched on television A Time for Drunken Horses at his home in Iraq. “When I saw the film I thought: those children in the film-it’s me! The director made a film about my life! Because of my childhood, I’ve always thrived to make people listen to me. Filmmaking is my way to express myself, whatever the genre. Although I studied documentary filmmaking, for me there is no difference between non-fiction and fiction. It’s just a different way to tell a story.” 


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Hazhir Ibrahimi NT2020 / PHOTO: Private

Inspirations: Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses), Abbas Kiarostami (Close-Up).

Vision: “I’m still trying to define my filmmaking style, but I like observational cinema. I want to bring to the screen stories of ordinary people’s everyday lives that simply need to be told.”

Graduation film: Please Wait (documentary)
The film opens a window into the lives of two brothers Peshawa and Komar, at the Drevsjø asylum centre in Norway. Through his observational lens, the director captures the dreams and hopes of the two brothers, that evolve into feelings of loss, due to the uncertainty of their situation.

Project Pitched: Kolbar (documentary)
The film will follow a 16-year old boy, working on the Iraqi-Iranian border. In order to make money and fulfil his dream, he has to become a ‘Kolbar’, or semi-legal porter transporting goods across borders. “The Kolbars have a tough life in the mountains and risk their lives to make a living” said Ibrahimi. “My intention is to follow the young boy on his perilous trip for a full year. But I will also focus on the main protagonist’s dreams and on his family." The director continues: “We have seen many films about children in conflictual zones from Iraq, Syria, to South America. I feel Kolbars deserve to be seen and recognised around the world.”

Kerren Lumer-Klabbers, director and Emil Wahl, writer
Norwegian Film School, Lillehammer
Co-winners Nordic Talents Special Mention for Woman Walking

Kerren Lumer-Klabbers, director
Danish/Dutch director Kerren Lumer-Klabbers (b.1991) caught the film bug when she did a one-week internship at Zentropa. She attended the talent development course Station Next in Aarhus, then the Media College Denmark in Viborg. She worked as production manager, 1st AD on films such as Darkland, Thorn, while directing her own projects in her spare time, until she joined the Norwegian Film School.

Many of her short films have received international recognition, such as Closed Eyes (2014), selected for the Ekko Shortlist Awards. Her graduation film Papapa from the Norwegian Film School was finalist in the Student Oscars race this year, and won Best Norwegian Short Film at the Bergen International Film Festival. Lumer Klabbers’ feature length debut Woman Walking will be produced by Denmark’s Monolit Film.

The director has several other projects in development including the film Vildfaren to be produced by MOTOR.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Kerren Lumer Klabbers Portrait / PHOTO: Private

Inspirations: “Through my teacher at the film school Hisham Zaman, I found a lot of inspiration in the films made in the 1960’s and 1970’s from around the world, such as Kieslowski’s Camera Buff, Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood, Kalatozov’s Soy Cuba and Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes. Compared to most filmmaking today, they seem liberating in their originality.”

Vision: “Years ago, someone asked me: “If you should make a film about something you don’t know the answer to, what would that be?” This question stayed with me ever since and is strongly affecting my filmmaking. If you don’t have all the answers from the beginning, there's a chance that you might learn something new in the process. And through that you might have a chance of giving the audience something new and original. This is definitely not easy, but I am not interested in just repeating stories that have already been told.”

Emil Wahl, writer
Norwegian writer Emil Wahl (b.1994) grew up filming the world around him with a small camera. He took a Bachelor’s Degree in filmmaking from Oslo’s Nordic Institute of Stage and Studio, then enrolled at the Norwegian Film School’s screenwriting course. “I felt I needed to complement my technical filmmaking skills with training in screenwriting,” he said.

His graduation film Papapa directed by Kerren Lumer-Klabbers received several honours such as Best Short Film at the Bergen International Film Festival and a place in the finals of the 2020 Student Oscars.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Emil Wahl / PHOTO: Private

Inspirations: “I’m inspired by real life. I like to create stories where there is always a grain of truth that I can fall back on.”

Vision: “I want to challenge myself with every project and try something I’ve never done before.”

Joint-graduation film: Papapa (feature film)
In the near future, a young girl meets her donor-father for the first time. Together they go through experimental therapy exercises, in the hopes of making their relation more than just a theory. In the starring roles are Thure Lindhardt and Anna Filippa Hjarne.

Joint project pitched: Woman Walking (feature film)
The absurd comedy drama centres on a woman who starts walking around in a field, in an apparently meaningless pattern. Her family and the local community go crazy in the attempt to find out why.

Other project pitched by Wahl: Rook (TV series), directed by Mohamed Chakiri
After leaving the local chess club, Reza decides along with his new apprentice to start his own club and recruit an army of misfits. The chess club fights for the championship, resulting in intrigues, broken hearts and lots of humour.

Lauri-Matti Parppei, writer/director and Julia Elomäki, producer
ELO Film School Helsinki, Aalto University

Lauri-Matti Parppei
Finnish born Lauri-Matti Parppei (b. 1984) is a musician, graphic designer, writer and director from the coastal town of Rauma. He attended the Tampere University of Applied Science, then graduated in 2020 from the Elo Film School Helsinki-Aalto University. He has directed several short films including You Built Me a Labyrinth (2013), nominated at several festivals including Warsaw, Dresden and Tallinn’s Black Night Film Festival. In his work, music and film are intrinsically connected, and the writer/director usually composes his own film scores.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Lauri Matti Parppei / PHOTO: Private

Inspirations: Iranian filmmakers such as Abbas Kiarostami (The Separation) and Bahman Ghobadi (Turtles Can Fly).

Vision: “I want to explore things near me, discuss relationships, loneliness, friendship, everyday life, bringing in new artistic universal dimensions.”

Julia Elomäki
Finnish-born Julia Elomäki was immersed in film from a young age, through her father who worked as an exhibitor. She holds a Bachelor of Culture and Arts degree from the Tampere University of Applied Sciences and a Master of Arts degree from Elo Film School Helsinki-Aalto University.

Since 2016, she has held various positions as production coordinator, production manager and producer, working for Finnish production companies including Illume, Mjölk Films, Meat Films, It’s Alive Films. Since 2018, she is fully-employed at Tekele Productions as Junior Producer. Elomäki has worked on a dozen short films such as Thoughts About Dying by Jani Ilomäki (Rampere Youth Jury Prize), and the feature film Elvis & Onerva (2019) by Mikael Syrjälä. She is currently developing for Tekele the feature film The Beast Friend.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Julia Elomäki / PHOTO: Tekele

Inspirations: Contemporary Finnish directors such as Jenni Toivoniemi (Games People Play), Ulla Heikkilä (Eden).

Vision: ”I want to bring new perspectives to the world, and collaborate with filmmakers from my generation to help them tell their stories.”

Joint graduation film: The Last Day (feature film)
The Last Day is an intimate, experimental musical. It follows two lovers spend their last 24 hours together. They live in different countries and will never meet again, and the final moments are spent having sex, eating and drinking. The film, otherwise grounded in realism, uses Orthodox Christian church music as the narrator, and the main characters’ dialogue is delivered in recitative, to express those strangely massive feelings the characters are going through.

Joint project pitched: The Beast Friend (feature film)
Set in modern-day Finland, in an isolated house, the film is an intimate story of a young woman, befriending a gigantic bear. The seemingly cute friendship takes a sharp turn into a disturbing power play, forcing the viewer to reflect on their own past relationships and choices. “The film is a king of fairy-tale for adults, “My Friend Totoro gone wrong,” said Parppei and Elomäki” in their pitch.

Emilie Beck, writer/director
Norwegian Film School, Lillehammer
Norwegian born Emilie Beck (b.1991) had her breakthrough as a child actor, playing one of the title roles in Eva Dahr’s feature film Orange Girl when she was 17. Her interest for film gradually shifted from acting to writing and directing. “It felt more fun to work behind the camera,” she says. Beck got a B.A. in documentary filmmaking from the Norwegian TV School in 2017, and then completed a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking at the Norwegian Film School.

She has garnered awards at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in Seattle 2016 and 2017 with her short films The Routine and Damn Graduation. Her first major fiction-length project, the six-part series Escaping Bolivia, will be produced by the established Norwegian production company 4 ½. The project has received development support from NRK.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Emilie Beck / PHOTO: Malin Jeanette Eeg

Inspirations: Norwegian contemporary directors such as Anne Sewitsky, Cecilie A. Mosli, Per-Olav Sørensen, as well as Thomas Vinterberg and Denis Villeneuve.

Vision : “I’m drawn to stories based on real life that bring a nerve to filmmaking”

Graduation film: Two Girls in Jessheim (pilot for TV series)
The pilot for the TV series Escaping Bolivia follows two main characters before they make the biggest mistake of their lives: travel to Bolivia to smuggle 22 kilos of cocaine back to Norway.

Project pitched: Escaping Bolivia (TV series)
The crime series inspired by a true story, centres on Ida (17), her girlfriend Cecilie (18) and sister in-law Michelle (22) who are caught with 22 kilos of cocaine at a Bolivian airport, on their way back to Norway. Their dream of an exotic adventure becomes a sobering journey into a women’s prison; a corrupt cesspool run by the inmates. Desperate and scared, the girls begin pointing fingers at each other. Sentenced to 13 years for cocaine smuggling, the girls fight for survival and dream of returning to normal life in Norway. Beck has researched the story for four years, travelling to Bolivia. She has used her close access to two of the real protagonists and many other real characters to nurture her fiction screenplay.

Mathias Rodrigues Bjerre, animation director
The National Film School of Denmark

Mathias Rodrigues Bjerre grew up in Esbjerg, Jutland. He is a writer/director, working in animation, games, illustrations and 3D. The autodidact Rodrigues Bjerre says he turned to animation because he could create films without relying on a crew. “I just took a bunch of YouTube tutorials and went straight ahead,” he says. He enrolled at the National Film School of Denmark, determined to take his chance every year if necessary-for the fiction or animation courses -and got in on his first try when he was 19.


Seven Nordic Talents to watch

Mathias Rodrigues Bjerre / PHOTO: Private

Inspirations: Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away

Vision: “I’m interested in pushing the limits of narrative storytelling, dealing with socio-political issues, using new technologies and animation to make it entertaining for the wider audience.”

Graduation Film: I Don’t Have Time for This (3D animation) There’s a huge problem. The wristwatch that David’s company launches in a few days is faulty. It doesn’t count seconds precisely. This comes up hours before a planned vacation with his girlfriend. Torn between a huge career opportunity and his holiday, David tries to fix the watch, so his co-worker won’t get the credit for it, whilst also enjoying drinks on the beach. He learns, all too late, that you can’t have it all.

Project Pitched: Black Dragon Express (animated TV series-10x22’) The sci-fi comedy series follows a 12-year old human girl, trapped on a magical flying train in space. She must work for the aliens on board until it reaches destination Earth. Her humanity spreads like a virus on her co-workers