This year’s Berlin Film Festival will, much like every other year, contain a very strong Nordic presence.
Two Norwegian films have been selected for Berlin’s Panorama section, which is dedicated to auteur cinema. First is the premiere of Ole Giæver’s From the Balcony. This is the third time Giæver’s films have screened at Berlin, and in From the Balcony we will follow the director/lead actor on a self-exploration of what it means to be human. The film will premiere in Norway this July. The second Norwegian film screening is The King’s Choice, directed by Erik Poppe. The film has already had a strong run, peaking as Norway’s Oscar nomination.
The documentary section of Panorama (Panorama Dokument) is screening Strong Island by Yance Ford. While an American film, Strong Island is co-produced by Denmark’s Final Cut for Real and has just had its world premiere at Sundance.
The section titled ‘Forum’ for innovative and experimental works has picked the Danish film Loving Pia by Daniel Joseph Borgman, the story of an intellectually disabled elder woman who falls in love. Adomeit Film is producing.
The ‘Forum Expanded’ is presenting two Finnish films among 44 artistic works. Studies on the Ecology of Cinema by Eija-Liisa Ahtila and the experimental documentary Jokinen by Laura Horelli.
The Berlinale Special Series is presenting the Danish crime thriller series Below the Surface. Audiences will be able to watch two episodes of the show directed and created by Kasper Barfoed from an idea by Adam Price and Søren Sveistrup, The SAM production will premiere on Discovery/Kanal5 in the spring. Studiocanal handles sales.
In the competition section, Aki Kaurismäki makes his highly anticipated comeback with his second film about harbour cities and immigration, The Other Side of Hope.The Match Factory handles sales as well as on Bright Nights by Thomas Arslan, co-produced by Norway’s Mer Film. Polish top director Agnieszka Holland also competes with Spoor, co-produced by Sweden’s Chimney Pot. Beta Cinema handles sales.
The Finnish documentary Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest produced by Oktober is the opening film of the NATIVe programme dedicated to indigenous cinema from the Arctic. Other feature-length selections include the Finnish classics by Markku Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui Seven Songs from the Tundra (2000) and A Bride of the Seventh Heaven (2003) about the life of the Nenets in Siberia, the Swedish award-winning Sami Blood by Amanda Kernell and the documentary Sumé by Inuk Silis Høegh, a co-production between Greenland, Denmark, Norway.