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Haugesund to kick off 40th anniversary festival with hotly anticipated Kon-Tiki

Other local productions to screen include Karlovy Vary winner The Almost Man, I Belong and documentary Bravehearts.

Spearheaded by Norway’s most expensive feature, Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning $15.4 million (NOK 93 million) action-adventure, Kon-Tiki, seven new Norwegian productions – one every day – will have their world premieres at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, which runs between August 17-23.

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“The Norwegian film industry is one of our most important partners, so we appreciate it has chosen Haugesund as the launching platform for that many titles,” said festival director Gunnar Johan Løvvik, this year celebrating four anniversaries (the festival’s 40th, the festival’s 30th in Haugesund, his own 30th as chief, and the children’s film festival’s 25th).

Kon-Tiki, which will after the festival and a royal command performance be released in all Norwegian theatres, follows Norwegian anthropologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s 8,000 kilometre and 101-day voyage on a wooden raft from South America to the Polynesian Islands. Heyerdahl’s own documentary of the 1947 trip won an Oscar.

The Norwegian catalogue includes two local comedies, Martin Lund’s The Almost Man (Mer eller mindre mann), which won in Karlovy Vary, and Dag Johan Haugerud’s I Belong (Som du ser mig); also Kari Anne Moe’s documentary portrait of “a devoted generation marked for life by July 22,” Bravehearts (Till ungdommen).

Indian director Dheeraj Akolkar’s Liv & Ingmar, about the relationship between Norwegian actress (and honorary festival president) Liv Ullmann and Swedish director Ingmar Bergman is a Norwegian production and will launch the Nordic Focus, a new audience programme with highlights from the five Nordic countries.

For the international section new programme director Tonje Hardersen has picked eight winners from this year’s Berlin and Cannes festivals, adding 13 new films by such directors as Oliver Stone, Todd Solondz, Walter Salles, Jacques Audiard, Michael Haneke, John Hillcoat and Ulrich Seidl.

The Cinemagi and 15+ selections for children and young audiences will be opened by Disney-Pixar’s Brave, and regular sidebars will return, such as French Touch (with four new French films), Videorama (films released straight-to-DVD), and FilmReg (focusing on Norwegial regional production). The total number of entries in the festival and the New Nordic Films market will reach 94.

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