Around this time of year a whole load of exciting festivals start to happen and featuring at those tend to be some hotly tipped new Nordic releases. We take a look at some top picks from the Norwegian International Film Festival, which started over the weekend.

Nordic Watchlist’s Top Picks

BAND
Director: Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir | Iceland

When something is described as ‘Icelandic performance art meets Spinal Tap’ you have our attention! The film follows Álfrún, Saga and Hrefna, who perform in The Post Performance Blues Band and are getting ready to throw in the towel on their career. So they decide to give it one more year to see if they can change their fortune around and become pop stars.

This is the kind of film we adore and really can’t wait to see if it gets further releases at the end of this year and into 2023.

DIORAMA
Director: Tuva Novotny | Norway

Pia Tjelta stars as Frida who lives with her partner (David Dencik – who seems to be everywhere at the moment), as we follow their relationship viewed partly from a scientific perspective.

The film’s director, Tuva Novotny, wants her film to question ‘biological human monogamy’, and sets to compare human relationships with that of the animal kingdom.

Intrigued? We certainly are and this quote from the director has certainly caught our attention:

It is a privilege to be able to examine the patterns of duality, with the help of both research and science, circus artists, animals and some of Scandinavia’s best actors

WAR SAILOR
Director: Gunnar Viken | Norway

Actor Kristoffer Joner always seems to find himself in a spot of bother – the star of Norwegian disaster movies The Wave and The Quake finds himself in more danger in Norway’s new blockbuster War Sailor.

Joner is joined by Pal Sverre Hagen as a pair of sailors who find themselves in the frontline during the breakout of WW2 without ever meaning to be there. Unarmed, the sailors do everything they possibly can to survive and get back home to their families.

The film is directed by Gunnar Vikene and one name that has caught our eyes is the excellent cinematographer Sturla Brandth.

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
Director: Rueben Ostlund | Sweden

It goes without saying really – the hype this film is picking up as it hits various festivals (including its Palme D’Or win at Cannes) is making this film hard to ignore – could Ruben Ostlund finally win that Academy Award?

THE YEAR I STARTED MASTURBATING
Director: Erika Wasserman | Sweden

If you want something a little lighter but with an important underlying message, then Erika Wasserman’s The Year I Started Masturbating is definitely one to look out for when it gets a future release.

When the Scandinavians make a comedy and hit the right humour notes they can be an absolute ride and in Wasserman’s debut we see high-achieving Hanna’s (played to perfection by Katia Winters) world collapse when her partner decides to leave her and we follow her journey to get everything back to normality with the help of her new friend Liv (scene stealing performance from Vera Carlborn).

This film has a lot to say and it delivers with a punch – both with humour and emotion.

The Amanda Awards Winners 2022

Over the weekend there was also the Amanda Awards, which is Norway’s prestigious film competition – see some of the big winners from the night below!

Photo: Grethe Nygaard

Best Norwegian cinema: The Worst Person in the World

Best Director: Eskil Vogt  (The Innocents)

Best Female Actor: Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World)

Best male actor: Pål Sverre Hagen (The Middle Man)

Best Supporting Actress: Sara Khorami (Nothing to Laugh About)

Best Supporting Actor: Anders Danielsen Lie (The Worst Person in the World)

Best Documentary Film: Nattebarn 

Best children’s film: Three Nuts for Cinderella 

Best screenplay: Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier (The Worst Person in the World)

Joachim Trier (Left) and Eskil Vogt (Right) cleaned up at the Amanda Awards with their films The Worst Person in the World and The Innocents (Photo: Grethe Nygaard)

Best photo: Sturla Brandth (The Innocents)

Best clip: Jens Christian Fodstad (The Innocents)

Best Sound Design: Gisle Tveito & Gustaf Berger (The Innocents)

Best original score: Jørund Fluge Samuelsen (Everyone Hates Johan)

People’s Amanda: The Worst Person in the World

Honorary Amanda: Aage Aaberge

The Gold clapper: Paul Rene Roestad

Paul Rene Roestad
Photo: Grethe Nygaard

Feature by Alex Minnis