Three features and three documentaries in the Norwegian spring film season.

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Amundsen is Esben Sandberg’s biopic about Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen – the first to reach the South Pole.

After a record year of 2018, when Norwegian films for the first time exceeded a market share of 25% in the cinemas (25.2%, by selling over three million tickets, 43.5% more than in 2017), the Norwegian Film Institute presented the spring season of 2019, including ”three features with adventures, drama and intrigues, as well as three documentaries about camels, fast cars and clairvoyance.”

”With the wide selection of films that the Norwegian audiences can choose from, it is a quality sign of  Norwegian cinema that so many choose to watch local films,” said managing director Sindre Guldvog, of the Norwegian Film Institute, adding that three of last year’s five most viewed titles were Norwegian: John Andreas Andersen’s The Quake (Skjelvet), Harald Zwart’s The 12th Man (Den 12. Mann) and Rasmus A Sivertsen’s Louis & Luca – Mission to the Moon (Månelyst i Flåklypa).

”Norwegian creators of new films and TV series compete for the audiences all the time, and it is a world cup competition; the conclusion must be – and is – that our films and our filmmakers are world class. Now, what we are equally excited about is of course what kind of reception the six Norwegian films in the spring season will get among the press and the public,” concluded Guldvog at the institute presentation in Oslo’s Filmens Hus, where Norwegian producer Tonje Shar Reiersen introduced the first 2019 package.

One of the early releases is Amundsen, by Norwegian director Esben Sandberg (Max Manus: Man of War/Max Manus/2008, Kon-Tiki/2012), whose portrayal of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen – the first to reach the South Pole - stars Pål Sverre Hagen. The Motion Blur Films’ production with SF Studios was filmed in Iceland, the Czech Republic and Norway.

Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland has two premieres in the beginning 2019: besides the local Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester), Paradox Films is ready with this UK-US thriller Cold Pursuit, an English-language remake of his In Order of Disappearance (Krafidioten) black comedy actioner. The cast includes Emmy Rossum, Liam Neeson and Laura Dern.

The full Norwegian spring film season

PSYCHOBITCH

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Drama. Dir/Scr: Martin Lund. Cast: Jonas Tidemann, Elli Rhiannon MüllerOsborne, Henrik Rafaelsen, Jannicke Kruse Jåtog. Prod: Ruben Thorkildsen, for Ape&Bjørn. Local distr: Norsk Filmdistribusjon. Intl sales: Indie Sales

Release date: 11 January

Marius is a middle school pupil, tormented by the thought of not being a success, so he does everything to appear perfect. When the teacher teams him up with Frida, the outsider of his class, he suddenly finds himself a tumultuous relationship that will truly test his character and status.

BORN2DRIVE

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Documentary. Dir: Daniel Fahre. Scr: Linn-Jeanethe Kyed. Cast: Oliver Solberg, Petter Solberg. Prods: Tom Marius Kittilsen, Janne Hjeltnes, Knut Inge Solbu, for Fenomen Studios Distr: Norsk Filmdistribusjon. Intl sales: Wide House

Release date: 8 February

Every child grows up having a dream, even if you have become the world youngest rally driver, which Oliver Solberg has – and he wants to become as good as his father, a three-time world champion. But does he have what it takes to make it happen? 

AMUNDSEN

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Drama. Dir: Espen Sandberg. Scr: Ravn Lanesskog. Cast: Pål Sverre Hagen, Christian Rubeck, Katheringe Waterston. Prods: John M Jacobses, Kristian Sinkerud, Espen Horn, for Motion Blur Films. Local distr/Intl sales: SF Studios

Release date: 15 February

How could Roald Amundsen, an unknown man from impoverished Norway, become the greatest polar explorer the world has ever seen – the first to reach the South Pole? The answer is not just found in one single expedition, but in a dramatic and epic film about the life of a remarkable and fascinating man. Amundsen dedicated his life to the discovery of new lands. If necessary, he took extreme measures in order to achieve his goals. In turn, he succeeded in his professional life – but paid a very high price as a human being.

THE ARCTIC CAMELS

(Kamel)

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Documentary. Dir/Scr: Karl Emil Rikardsen. Cast: Torarin, Svalin, Øystein, Oddveig Sætereng. Prods: Knut Skoglund, Rikardsen, for Relation 04 Media. Local distr: Tour de Force. Intl sales: Autlook Filmsales

Release date: 15 February

The Torarin and Svalin’s parents move to Sørøya in Arctic Norway, they both wanted wanted a horse to ride – instead got Mongolian camels instead. They can also be used for riding, but it takes training, and up North trainers are had to find. And when their father seriously injures his hand, the siblings decide to go to Mongolia to find a skilled trainer.

OUT STEALING HORSES

(Ut og stjæle hester)

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Drama. Dir/Scr: Hans Petter Moland (based on Norwegian author Per Petterson’s 2003 novel). Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg, Tobias Santelmann, Pål Sverre Hagen, Danica Curcic, Jon Ranes. Prods: Håkon Øverås, Turid Øversveen, for 4½ Fiksjon. Local distr: Nordisk Film Distribusjon. Intl sales: TrustNordisk (Denmark)

Release date: 8 March

Translated into 50 languages, Petterson’s international bestseller follows 67-year-old Trond, who discovers he has a neighbor, a man he knew in the summer of 1948, when he turned 15. Then Trond’s father prepared him to shoulder his forthcoming betrayal and disappearance, then Trond grew up and met a woman he yearned for – the same woman his father was preparing to spend his life with.

JEG SER DEG

(English title tba)

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Documentary. Dir: Maria Salazar. Scr: Salazar, Anders Øvregaard. Cast: Michael Winger, Tore Salvesen, Didrik Søderlind, Torstein Røyne. Prods: Anders Graham, Rabea Junge Wold, for Turbin Film. Local distr: Europafilm. Intl sales: tba.

Release date: 15 March

Every year dozens of people disappear in Norway. When the police give up and stop looking, some relatives choose to go to Michael Winger to find their loved ones. Winger will not call himself clairvoyant, but thinks he has a strong intuition that makes him get in touch with memories and feelings that characterised the missing poeple before they disappeared.