Three feature films have just received grants from the Norwegian Film Institute’s market scheme, while four documentaries are awarded production grants. The features are the animated family film Valemon – the Polar Bear King, the WW2 sailor drama Convoy (working title) and the children`s film Christmas in Skomakergata.
“We are very happy to acknowledge that the reels keep turning in the Norwegian film industry, and that increasingly more new film productions are realized in these challenging times, says CEO of Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) Kjersti Mo. When Norway in the spring closed down due to the pandemic, the Ministry of Culture granted NOK 85 million (Euro 8,5 million) extra to film funding, to keep productions going.
These applicants received grants:
Valemon – the Polar Bear King
Director Mikkel B. Sandemose and producer Cornelia Boysen for Maipo Film AS received NOK 15,000,000 (Euro 1,400,000) for the animated feature film Valemon – the Polar Bear King. Based on the beloved Norwegian folk tale, the family picture is the story of love, greed and courage set against the spectacular Norwegian nature.
Screenwriter Maja Lunde is internationally known for her novel, The History of Bees, and her children’s book The Snow Sister. Production company Maipo’s previous family film The Crossing (Johanne Helgeland), also written by Maja Lunde, recently won the National Film Award, Amanda, for Best Children`s Film.
Maipo Film is one of Norway`s leading production companies and has a broad slate of family films including the animated Flåklypa trilogy which have been screened in the Generation programme in Berlin, the Ash Lad films – also directed by Mikkel Sandmose, in addition to dramas like Sonja - The White Swan (Anne Sewitsky) and the newly released Diana’s Wedding (Charlotte Blom), recently screened at the markets in Haugesund and Toronto by international sales agent Picture Tree International.
Convoy (working title)
Fantefilm Fiksjon AS with director John Andreas Andersen received NOK 15,000,000 (Euro 1.500.000) for the feature film Convoy (working title), a thriller about Norwegian seamen who suddenly found themselves in the front line during the WW2 and without any military training became war sailors. Convoy is written by Harald Rosenløw Eeg and Lars Gudmestad, who previously has written domestic and international successes like The King`s Choice and Headhunters. The production for Fantefilm Fiksjon is done by Catrin Gundersen, Therese Bøhn and Martin Sundland.
Fantefilm Fiksjon has produced some of the Norwegian biggest box-office hits, among them the disaster movies The Wave (Roar Uthaug) and The Quake (John Andreas Andersen). They are currently in production with their newest disaster movie The North Sea (John Andreas Anderesen), and has the upcoming release of Eirik Svensson’s Betrayed, about the treatment of Jews in Norway. International sales is handled by TrustNordisk.
Christmas in Skomakergata
Director Mikal Hovland and Nordisk Film Production AS received NOK 7,000,000 (Euro 654,000) for the feature film Christmas in Skomakergata, a new version of the old public broadcaster NRK’s Christmas calendar, in which nine-year-old Stine seeks refuge with shoemaker Andersen on the first Christmas after the war. The children’s film tells the story of how children might overcome loneliness by opening up to the people around them.
This film is Hovlands feature film debut. It will also be the debut of screenwriter Maren Elise Skolem and producer Andrea Backstrøm, who produces the feature along with Sigurd Mikal Karoliussen.
Nordisk Film Production AS is among Norway’s biggest production companies. Their disaster film The Tunnel was a great success in Norwegian cinemas, it was sold to more than 80 countries and was this summer one of the most popular films in cinemas in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia. Nordisk Film Productions slate include features like Harald Zwart`s The 12th Man, Tuva Novotny`s Blind Spot and the Oscar Nominated Kon-Tiki (Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg). Nordisk is currently in production with Narvik (Erik Skjolbjærg) and Everybody Hates Johan (Hallvar Witzø).
Four documentaries were awarded grants
Director Håvard Bustnes and Upnorth Film AS received NOK 1,800,000 (Euro 168,000) in production grants for the documentary Trond Giske - Makta Rår. The film follows Norwegian Prime Minister hopeful Trond Giske's political career and downfall after various MeToo revelations. Director Bustnes directed the documentary on father-and-son boxers, John and Ole Klemetsen, called Blod & ære (Big John), which won the Amanda award for Best Documentary in 2008.
Director Stian Indrevoll and Screen Story Film og TV AS got NOK 1,800,000 (Euro 168,000) in subsidies for making the theatrical documentary Mysteriet Raaby, about war hero and Kon-Tiki telegraph operator Torstein Raaby. Mr Raaby worked as an agent for British Secret Intelligence Service during WW2, and died under mysterious circumstances next to a military base in Canada during the Cold War.
Director Carl Christian Lein Størmer and It’s Gonna Happen AS received NOK 1,500,000 (Euro 140,000) in production grants for Before We Die, a documentary on the rock band Hangface. The band worked with big names in the US music industry in the early 2000s, releasing their debut album “Freakshow” in 2005, produced by Eddie Kramer, but then disappeared. The film tries to find out what happened to the band.
Director Charlotte Røhder Tvedt and Medieoperatørene AS received NOK 1,855,000 (Euro 173,000) in production subsidies for After the interview. In 2005, Røhder Tvedt filmed 13 asylum seekers who arrived in Norway to seek asylum for her documentary The Interview. 15 years later we will find out how the asylum seekers fared. The film was developed through NFI's talent programme New Paths Norway.