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Kon-Tiki enters Oscar race for Norway

Historical adventure story playing this week at Toronto.

Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg-Joachim Rønning’s action-adventure Kon-Tiki - Norway’s most expensive feature, shot on a $16.2 million (NOK 93 million) budget - will be Norway’s official candidate for the 2013 Oscar as Best Foreign Language Feature.

Exeeding 583,000 domestic admissions since it was launched last month (Aug), the Jeremy Thomas-Aage Aaberge production from Nordisk Film Production Norway and UK’s Recorded Picture Company had a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival, where HanWay Films continued foreign sales.

“Kon-Tiki is an adventurous account of a single man’s ambition to make his mark in history by drawing a map larger than himself,” said the Norwegian Oscar committee. “Sandberg and Rønning emphasise the narrative format of the epic, with space for the detail, the individual and the small story set in a universal context. Strong performances, especially by lead actor in Pål Sverre Hagen, contribute to create intimacy in a broad history.”

Scripted by Petter Skavlan, the film follows Norwegian anthropologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition with five fellow scientists from South America to the Polynesian Islands - a 8,000-kilometre journey on a wooden raft which took 101 days, which was filmed by Heyerdahl to win an Oscar in 1952.

Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Odd-Magnus Williamson, Tobias Santelmann, Jakob Oftebro and Agnes Kittelsen star in the second Norwegian feature by the director team of Sandberg and Rønning, whose Max Manus was Norway’s Oscar candidate in 2009. - The Oscar Academy will announce its five nominations on Jan 15, prior to the ceremony on Feb 24.

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