A record number of 343 film professionals from 28 countries, including 100 buyers and sellers, will today arrive at the Norwegian coastal city of Haugesund for New Nordic Films, the four-day market section preceding the Norwegian International Film Festival between August 18-23.

While the festival, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary, is mainly a showcase for exhibitors, audiences and press – most of Norway’s cinemas are owned by the municipalities and run as a public service – the market is set up as Nordic cinema’s window to the world, with new films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden screening to trade only.

At the same time the programme presents Nordic works-in-progress and organises a co-production and film financing forum with participants not only from the Nordic countries, but also from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Poland and the Baltics. Up to five of the projects will continue to the Film London Production Finance Market (Oct 17-18).

“The buyers come a long way – Lighthouse Pictures from Singapore, Cineplex from Taiwan, Madman Entertainment from Australia, EnterMode from South Korea, Russian Federation Report from Russia, New Yorker Films, Music Box Films and Visit Films from the US,” explained head of New Nordic Films, Gyda Velvin Myklebust.

“This year they can see 23 films, including previews of Danish director Bille August’s Marie Krøyer [pictured] and Swedish director Jan Troell’s The Last Sentence (Dom över död man), and Norwegian women directors Sara Johnsen’s All That Matters Is Past (Uskyld) and Eva Sørhaug’s 90 Minutes (90 min).”

“Three of last year’s works-in-progress have returned for previews – Troell’s film, Finnish director Matti Kinnunen’s Miss Blue Jeans (Miss Farkku-Suomi), and Norwegian director Dag Johan Haugerud’s I Belong (Som du ser meg). Three projects from the Co-Production and Film Financing Forum are back as works-in-progress.”

“They include Norwegian director Torun Lian’s Victoria, Danish director Christoffer Boe’s Spies & Glistrup, and Norwegian director Christian Lo’s Tough Guys (De tøffeste gutta). Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s Queen Kristina – Royal Rebel, soon to shoot as a Finnish-Canadian-German-French co-production, was also launched here.”

“For this year’s Forum we received 60 submissions, mainly from experienced producers, and 16 were selected for the programme,” Myklebust concluded. – New Nordic Films  hosts an extensive seminar programme, such as a case study on the financing of the $15.5 million (NOK 93 million) Kon-Tiki, Norway’s so far most expensive feature, from Denmark’s Nordisk Film and the UK’s Recorded Picture Company.

For more on Nordic productions, see Screen’s new Nordic supplement.