Magazine article Screen International

Haugesund's Hot Tickets

Magazine article Screen International

Haugesund's Hot Tickets

Article excerpt

The Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund (Aug 17-26) offers international attendees a window on some of the hottest new projects from the region. Jorn Rossing Jensen reports

The Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund (August 17-26) takes place in a small coastal town, originally built around shipping and fishing, that has become a hub for the Nordic film industry. It is also a key destination for overseas players interested in the region's films and talent.

Originally set up as a trade show for Norwegian exhibitors, Hau­gesund has expanded together with the growth of Norway as an ambitious producer of quality cinema. And with four major Norwegian films in its main programme, and a further three in its sidebars, the territory's cinema is hitting new heights, says festival director Gunnar Johan Lovvik. "Norwegian cinema has never been so strong," he observes.

Among the local titles screening are Morten Tyldum's slick art-theft thriller Headhunters, which premiered at Locarno; Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31st, which screened at Cannes; the world premiere of Jens Lien's suburban punk drama Sons Of Norway; and Pushwagner, Even Benestad's documentary about the Norwegian artist.

In addition to serving up the best in world cinema, including Cannes titles A Separation, The Tree Of Life, Drive and Poliss, Haugesund's Nordic Focus sidebar and its New Nordic Films market (August 17-20) shine the spotlight on regional titles and attract a range of international sellers, buyers and programmers.

"The Nordic Focus will host the world premiere of Richard Hobert's A One-Way To Antibes," says programme director Hakon Skogrand of the must-see films. The tragi-comedy stars Swedish actor-singer Sven-Bertil Taube as a widower who discovers his children are planning to put him in a home so stages a spirited fight-back.

Haugesund also hosts Norway's national film prizes, the Amanda Awards (August 20), and the Cinemagi showcase for children and young audiences (August 22-26). There will be a tribute to the late Norwegian actress Wenche Foss and -- with local directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning in production on Kon-tiki, about explorer Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 raft voyage -- Haugesund will screen Heyerdahl's own 1950 Oscar-winning documentary. …

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