Berlinale 2019: Norwegian culture will be in the spotlight at the Berlin International Film Festival, the jazzahead! Festival in Bremen and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

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When on Friday, 8 February, Norwegian culture minister Trine Skei Grande opens the Norway House at the Berlin International Film Festival, she will launch the largest international export drive for Norwegian culture in Germany, which is Norway’s most important market for cultural products.

Besides the Berlinale (7-17 February), where Norway is the Country in Focus at the European Film Market, the initiative will unspool at the jazzahead! Festival and Market in Bremen (13-28 April), and the Frankfurter Buchmesse (16-20 October), the world’s biggest trade fair for books, where Norway is a guest country.

“It is great to start the Norwegian cultural year in Germany with the opening of the Norway House in Berlin during one of the world’s most important film festivals – here Norwegian cinema and the Norwegian film industry will be presented to the German and the international markets,” said Skei Grande. “Norway is the third Country in Focus after Mexico and Canada - the idea is to strengthen the exchange between the two countries in culture, business, science and technology, and the Norway House emphasises our presence at the festival.”

Norway is the first Country in Focus to build a separate house for its festival scene, just across the street from the European Film Market – it will accommodate representatives of the Norwegian Film Institute, the Filmreg organisation, the country’s film commissions, Sørfond and the Virke Enterprise Federation. There will also be stands for Norwegian service and equipment suppliers for film productions, including Daylight, Skeie Seating, Camera rental, Spectrum light & scene, DVnor/Nettkino, Storyline, Gimpville and North.

With support from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, and in collaboration with the Norwegian film industry and the European Film Market, the institute will focus on the best Norway has to offer to the audiovisual industry, also promoting Norway as a recording country for foreign films and series in a market with participants from 130 countries. In addition Norway's and production companies film workers and up-coming talents will get the chance to show off their projects and liaise with new contacts.

"We will use this unique opportunity to highlight  Norwegian series, feature films, short films and documentary films for a major international audience," explained managing director Sindre Guldvog, of the Norwegian Film Institute. During the film festival, the Norway House will host seminars, presentations, networking events, debates, press conferences and meetings from morning to night. Among others there will be seminars on freedom of speech, artificial intelligence and diversity in the industry.