The critically acclaimed Norwegian drama Hope is to appear in the Panorama section of the Berlinale. This will also be the film's European premiere.

Håp Maria Sødahl

Sødahl's self-experienced drama, starring Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård, has already garnered very good reviews both nationally and internationally after its Norwegian premiere on November 22. Earlier this fall, Hope was featured in the Discovery section of North America's most important film festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, so we obviously have to do with a film with both national and international appeal. It's also not that often films get the honour of appearing at several A-festivals, which both Toronto and Berlin are, one after another. But that honour is now being shared by Maria Sødahl. The Panorama section of Berlin is for films from around the world that challenge audiences and tell stories in new ways. The section has its own audience award.

A great honour

-Norway was the country in Focus at the European Film Market during the Berlin Film Festival this year, and now we are following up the festival in 2020 with participation with such a raw and strong film as Maria Sødahl's Hope. We are delighted to participate with a film of such high quality that it has already made its mark internationally, and we are sure that it will also make an impression on the well-accustomed Berlinale audience, says Kjersti Mo, director of Norwegian film Institute.

 

-It is a great honour to be able to show Hope in Berlin! The world's largest film festival where we get to meet a wide audience, international press and launch the film outside Norway. I have great faith that this unusual love story will hit many people, says Maria Sødahl.  

The Berlinale in 2020 will take place between 20 February and 1 March.

About Hope

Almost ten years after Maria Sødahl's debut film Limbo, she has made her second feature film, Hope. One of the reasons for the long wait is the cancer illness that hit the director - and from which there are autobiographical elements in the film.

Synopsis: What happens with love when a woman in the middle of her life gets three months left to live? Anja (43) lives with Tomas (59) in a large family of biological children and stepchildren. For years, the couple have grown independent of each other. When Anja gets a terminal brain cancer diagnosis the day before Christmas, their life breaks down and exposes neglected love.

The cast includes Norwegian actress Andrea Bræin Hovig (An Affair, 2018; All the Beauty, 2016) who takes the female lead opposite multi-award-winning Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård (Chernobyl, 2019; Out Stealing Horses, 2019), who stars as the male lead in the drama.

Hope is produced by Thomas Robsahm for Motlys in co-production with Zentropa Sweden, Film i Väst and Oslo Pictures, with support from the Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Nordic Film and TV Fund, Eurimages, and in cooperation with SF Studios, TrustNordisk, NRK, SVT, Amarcord, Talent Norge and Storyline Studios.

International sales handled by TrustNordisk. Hope was released in Norwegian cinemas on November 22nd.

The film has so far received about NOK 13 million in grants from the Norwegian Film Institute, for development, production and Norwegian launch.