Maria Sødahl’s Hope has been selected to be the Norwegian entry for the 93rd Academy Awards’ Best International Film section.
Norwegian director Maria Sødahl’s feature Hope (Håp) will be Norway`s bid for the Oscar-nomination as Best International Film. The Norwegian Oscar Committee announced its choice today, (Thursday, November 12) from a shortlist of candidates also including Disco by Jorunn Myklebust Syversen and the documentary Self Portrait by Margreth Olin, Katja Høgset og Espen Wallin.
The Oscar Committee`s Statement
"The film Hope is a rarely intimate and original story about a family going through an all-encompassing crisis. In the shadow of sudden and serious illness, the film pays homage to life and love in the encounter with the worst imaginable, all based on the filmmaker's personal experiences. Approaching the very innermost and complex with such a fine-tuned use of cinematic and emotional means is therefore an achievement. Screenwriter and director Maria Sødahl balances the ensemble both in front and behind the camera with impressive security. Not least, Andrea Bræin Hovig's unsentimental interpretation of the main role, in beautiful and close interaction with Stellan Skarsgård as an introverted husband, helps to create a rare universal and strong portrait of a fragile love affair. This makes "Hope" a touching and wise film which, above all, emphasizes hope and the will to live as indisputable factors when darkness envelops the belief in a future.
The committee believes that the theme's timeliness and the film's brave and strong presence can bring "Hope" far in the competition to be nominated for an Oscar for best international film."
“What a week! Two European Film Awards nominations and the Norwegian Oscar-candidate. I´m overjoyed. Together with my brilliant and generous actors Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård I sincerely wish Hope will leave a lasting impression on audiences in Europe and the US” says director Maria Sødahl.
Producer Thomas Robsahm admits “the first time I read the script, I thought; this is an Oscar contender! Today we are one step closer to that goal, and it feels great.”
Hope is about what happens with love when a woman in the middle of her life gets three months left to live. Anja (43) lives with Thomas (59) in a large family of biological children and stepchildren. For years, the couple has grown independent of each other. When Anja gets a terminal brain cancer diagnosis the day before Christmas, the couple is thrown into a crash course in mutual trust. By getting to know each other anew, they unconsciously become the principal characters in their own love story.
Hope had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2019 | US Premiere at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2020 | European Premiere at Berlin International Film Festival 2020 | Asian Premiere at Skip City 2020.
The film is nominated for two European Film Awards, Best Director and Best Actress to Andrea Bræin Hovig.
Hope is written and directed by Maria Sødahl starring Andrea Bræin Hovig og Stellan Skarsgård. Hope is a Norwegian-Swedish co-production by Thomas Robsahm, Yngve Sæther and Espen Osmundsen for Motlys AS with Zentropa Sweden, Film i Väst and Oslo Pictures, supported by the Norwegian Film Institute, the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and Eurimages. TrustNordisk is handling world sales. It recently opened in Sweden in 90 cinemas with great reviews.
On the heels of the critical acclaim Hope received, the movie was sold by TrustNordisk for the U.S. (KimStim), Germany (Arsenal), Austria (Arsenal Filmverleih has DVD and VOD rights, Panda Lichtspiele Filmverleih has theatrical rights), Former Yugoslavia (Cinemania Group), former Yugoslavia (Cinemania Group), Poland (Aurora Films), Estonia (Estin Film), Lithuania (Europos Kinas) and Israel (Shani Films/Lev Cinema).
All in all, Hope has been sold to more than 40 countries, including USA, UK, Germany, Canada and Benelux.
Norwegian Oscar Committee 2020
The Norwegian Oscar Committee, consisting of eight representatives from the Norwegian film industry and headed by CEO Kjersti Mo.
Kjersti Mo, Norwegian Film Institute
Mode Steinkjer, Norwegian Film Critics Association
Håvard Fandrem, Norwegian Film Workers Union
Assad Siddique, Norwegian Actors’ Union
Lorentz Celo, Norwegian Film Directors Association
Liv Joelle Barbosa Blad, Writers’ Guild of Norway
Gudny Hummelvoll, Virke, Norwegian Producers Association
Stine Oppegaard, Norwegian Film Institute
The submission deadline is 1 December (formerly 1 October). The International Feature Film Preliminary Committee will view the eligible submissions in the category and vote by secret ballot. The group’s top seven choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Executive Committee, will constitute the shortlist of ten films. The shortlists will be announced on February 9, 2021.
All Academy nominations will be announced on March 15, 2021. The 93rd Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021.
Previous Norwegian Oscar nominations
Previous Norwegian feature films that have been nominated are: Kon-Tiki (2013), Elling (2001), The Other Side of Sunday (Søndagsengler, 1996), The Pathfinder (Veiviseren, 1987) and Nine Lives (Ni Liv,1957). The King's Choice was on the academy's shortlist in 2016.