The Help, Oslo, August 31st among winners at last night’s Norwegian Internationall Film Festival awards ceremony

With a record number of 340 film professionals attending New Nordic Films – the market section at the Norwegian Internationall Film Festival in Haugesund – managing director Gyda Velvin Myklebust reported of ”strong feedback” both from the screening programme and the 5th Nordic Co-Production and Film Financing Forum.

”Several producers told me they have had very useful meetings in Haugesund which they think will result in  partnerships for their projects,” said Myklebust of the forum focusing on productions from The Netherlands, Switzerland and the Baltic States, Canada and Germany - 21 projects with budgets totalling $119 million.

According to Myklebust, there was positive response to the package of local films, spearheaded by Norwegian Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) producer John M Jacobsen’s Victoria, from Norwegian Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun’s 1898  love story between a miller’s son and the daughter of a wealthy landowner.. Filmkameratene’s $7.5 million feature will be directed by Torunn Lian.

Norwegian director Ole Giæver, whose feature debut, The Mountain (Fjellet) was selected for the Panorama at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, is preparing the $3.2 million Iris, with Norwegian producer Maria Ekerhovd’s Mer Film. The sci-fi drama follows the search for new solar systems after Earth has been ruined, and people forced to leave.

Norwegian director Christian Lo is negotiating the $2.9 million budget for his children’s drama/black comedy Tough Guys, about 11-year-old Modulf who is mobbed at school – but at least he spares the others, so he has a function in this world. Lo and scriptwriter/editor Arild Tryggestad are collaborating with Trine Ådalen Lo’s production outfit, Filmbin.

A Norwegian-Lithuanian co-production, Lithuanian award-winning director Audrius Juzenas’ A Glass of Milk, Please is based on Norwegian author Herbjørg Wassmo’s novel about a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl who accepts a job as a waitress in Stockholm, and finds herself as a prostitute in Oslo. The $2.9 million production is packaged by Gintautas Dailyda’s Sensas Film.

At the festival’s awards ceremony last night (Aug 25), the closing film - Joachim Trier’s Oslo, August 31st (Oslo, 31. August) – received the Norwegian Film Critics’s Prize, while the Sower of Joy, from the Norwegian Exhibitors’ Association, went to US director Tate Taylor’s The Help, to be released by the Walt Disney Company Nordic.

The Help also scooped the Audience Award, while the Andreas (ecomenical) prize was given to US Director Terrence Malick’s Cannes winner, The Tree of Life. The 39th edition of the Haugesund fest unspooled 93 films, adding 50 projects at different stages af productions, to 1,410 participants from 25 countries.