The fifth Nordic Co-Production and Film Financing Forum, which started today (Aug 18) at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, will present 21 film projects at different stages of development with budgets totalling $119 million.

Besides the Nordic countries, the programme, which is part of the festival’s New Nordic Films market, focuses on new productions from The Netherlands, Switzerland and the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Canada and Germany.

Among the 21 films is Norwegian director Torum Lian’s Victoria, the first local crack at Norwegian Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun’s love story from 1898 (which was last filmed by Swedishy director Bo Widerberg in 1979). Producer John M Jacobsen is packaging the $7.5m project for Filmkameratene.

Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki is preparing the $11.5m Queen Kristina – Royal Rebel, about the Swedish Queen who was instrumental in negotiating the end of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) between Catholics and Protestants. Anna Stratton will produce for Canada’s Triptych Media.

Credited for Iceland’s first feature, 1980’s Land and Sons (Land og synir), Icelandic director Agúst Gudmundsson will film Spooks and Spirits, his and Rudi Teichman’s story about a house which is haunted by ghosts and accordingly difficult to sell. The $2.2m production will be realised by Isfilm.

Danish director Christoffer Boe [pictured], whose Reconstruction won the Camera d’Or in Cannes in 2003, will depict the relationship between two prolific Danes – a lawyer-turned-politician and a king-of-charter millionaire - in the $3.7 million The White Caesar, produced by Tine Grew Pfeiffer and Caroline Schlüter, for Alphaville Pictures.

New Nordic Films, which started yesterday, has also scheduled market previews of 21 new Nordic features – ”this year of an unusually high quality, and a strong international potential,” according to market director Gyda Velvin Myklebust. Norway and Sweden are both represented by seven features in the showcase.

Norwegian entries include Jens Lien’s Sons of Norway (Sønner av Norge), Morten Tylum’s Headhunters (Hodejegerne) and Joachim Trier’s Oslo, August 31st (Oslo, 31. august); Sweden has sent Kjell Sundvall’s False Trail (Jägarna 2), Björn Runge’s Happy End and Lisa Ohlin’s Simon and the Oaks (Simon ock ekarna).

Another nine new Nordic movies are on show in the festival’s Nordic Focus, and besides a seminar programme – US award-winning scriptwriter Jim V Hart (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) will demonstrate his Hart Chart script tool - the 330 participants in the three-day market will also be introduced to 14 works-in-progress.

Danish director Peter Flinth will show clips from Nobel’s Last Will (Nobels testamente), Finnish director Sakari Kirjanainen from Silence (Hiljaisuus), Icelandic director Óscar Jónassen from Legends of Valhalla – Thor, Norwegian director Petter Næss from Comrade, and Swedish director Jan Troell from Truth and Consequence (Dom over död man).