The market, co-production and film financing forum (Aug 18-21) also boasts 13 world premieres in market programme.

A record number of 366 international film professionals have registered for New Nordic Films - the market, co-production and film financing forum that runs Aug 18-21, preceding the 38th Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, which then continues till Aug 26.

”Also, for the first time, 13 of the films in the market programme are world premières,” explains acting director Vigdis Lian. ”The Nordic Film industry has increasingly realised that Haugesund is an  efficient launching pad for a new feature, and international distributors find it a useful meeting place to get updated with Nordic cinema.”

Norwegian directors are strongly represented in line-up, covering Marie Sødahl’s feature debut and festival opener, Limbo; Petter Næss’ Maskeblomstfamilien (Shameless), fresh from the lab; Vibeke Løkkeberg’s Tears of Gaza. Danish director Kasper Munk’s Hold Me Tight (Hold om mig) and Swedish director Emil Jern-Emil Larsson’s Savage (Odjuret) are also first-timers.

”Most international showcases, including the ‘A’ festivals, are represented, and this time we are welcoming a programmer from Sundance,” added market co-ordinator Roger Grosvold. ”All Nordic sales agencies will be here, and among the new companies on the buying side are Russia’s A-One Films, Taiwan’s Cineplex Development, Spain’s Creative Films and Fox Searchlight from the US.”

With 17 producers from seven countries attending, the annual co-production and film financing forum (Aug 19-21) will focus on projects with Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland; 15 Nordic works-in-progress will be presented, including works by Simon Staho (Denmark), Dome Karukoski (Finland), Stian Kristiansen, Marius Holst (Norway) and Björn Runge (Sweden).

In the seminar programme, Deutsche Bank’s Bernie Stampfer will be the guide through the financial landscape of co-productions and beyond in Co-Productions – Heaven or Hell?, while Ontario Media’s Karen Thorne-Stone and Canadian Film & TV Producers’ John Barrack will introduce the Canadian Landcape. The local Directors’ Association will stage a discussion on final cut.

Also before the actual festival starts (Aug 19), UK director Robert Young’s Wide Blue Yonder, starring Lauren Bacall, Brian Cox and James Fox, will have its world première. The $8.7m (€6.8m) feature was shot on locations around Haugesund in 2007, but due to the production company’s insolvency, it has been in an extremely slow post. Cox will attend the screening.