BFI London Film Festival: Nordic Film Entries

We take a look at the Nordic film entries to the 2023 BFI London Film Festival, which will be taking place next month.

Shame On Dry Land | Sweden | Director: Axel Petersén

When fraudster Dimman returns to a Swedish expat community in Malta, after a decade in exile burdened by debt, will his old colleague and friend welcome his return? And what will Dimman have to do for redemption?

Shame on Dry Land is a title not to be missed. Joel Spira is on his finest form here as Dimman – a man who is impossible to read from the moment the film starts.

Also, listen out for one of the wildest soundtracks of the year!

Dancing Queen |

Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever | Denmark | Director: Ole Borndedal

Ole Bornedal’s long-awaited sequel to the 1994 hit Nightwatch (which he also did an American re-make of starring the likes of Ewan McGregor and Patricia Arquette), is finally released with an absolutely incredible cast.

The line up includes the likes of Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Kom Bodnia, Alex Hogh Andersen, Sonja Ricter, Christopher Laesso, and the extremely talented upcoming star Fanny Leander Bornedal.

The films sees the troubled past of the original movie’s characters resurface when one of their daughters decides to open the door to a monster from their past. We can’t wait but we also need a refresher on the original as it has been almost 30 years!

Together 99 | Sweden | Director: Lukas Moodysson

From one sequel to another – this time over 23 years in the making as we see the return of the cast from Lukas Moodysson’s Together. This time we flash forward to 1999 where two of the original members of the commune from the first film are feeling a bit lonely and decide it is high time to reunite with their former house mates, 24 years later.

The Hypnosis | Norway | Director: Ernst De Greer

When Vera (Asta Kamma August) goes to get hypnotised to help her quit smoking, something goes a bit awry with the session which sees her acting very strangely.

Things go from bad to worse as both her and her partner Andre (Herbert Nordrum) go to pitch an app they have been working on together at a prestigious event. Cue much awkwardness and toe-curling moments.

We are so excited to see Herbert Nordrum back on our screens after such a great performance in The Worst Person in the World, and alongside him we have heard very good things about Asta Kamma August.

Paradise is Burning | Sweden | Director: Mika Gustafson

Since Christmas, the absence of their mother has become a familiar routine for sisters Laura, Mira, and Steffi. They’ve grown accustomed to looking after themselves, finding happiness in their independence and engaging in various secret adventures.

Each of them stands at the threshold of a new chapter in their lives, but the uncertainty of their futures looms large. Director Mika Gustafson skillfully brings out compelling performances from her young ensemble.

What we have seen from the trailer and clips so far we feel this could be quite a strong contender at the festival!

Apolonia Apolonia | Denmark | Director: Lea Glob

Apolonia, nurtured in a Parisian grassroots theatre, immerses herself in the bohemian world of art from a young age. As a gifted and free-spirited painter, she embarks on a journey to navigate the challenging art scene.

This award-winning documentary, filmed over 13 years and fuelled by Apolonia’s unbridled passion, it vividly portrays her life lived entirely on her own terms.

This is one of Denmark’s entries for the Academy Awards and we strongly recommend you get this on your watchlist – it is fantastic!

Unmoored | Sweden | Director: Caroline Ingvarsson

The carefully structured life of a Swedish television host unravels when she makes the bold choice to confront her controlling spouse regarding a troubling accusation. Her ensuing escape sets off a series of falsehoods and a growing sense of unease in this gripping psychological thriller that delves into the complexities of guilt, involvement, and personal delusion.

The film takes part in the UK and it is the first feature debut for Caroline Ingarvasson – it is also adapted from the novel The Living and the Dead in Winsford by Hakån Nesser.

Dancing Queen | Norway | Director: Aurora Gossé

Amongst all the dark, weird, and wonderful stories there is Dancing Queen which will certainly be the Nordic ‘go to’ film for a little uplift!

The film follows a young girl who falls in love with a famous dancer and decides that to win his affections she must join his dance crew – there is one problem she can’t dance.

This has films has been picking up lots of love on the festival circuit and a perfect Nordic family film!

Fallen Leaves | Finland | Director: Aki Kaurismäki 

Alma Pöysti is having one of the most incredible years. Since the beginning of 2023 she has appeared in Walter Presents TV series Helsinki Crimes, Selma Vilehunen’s Four Little Adults (hopefully out later this year), A Day and a Half film, and one of the only Nordic films to feature at Cannes this year – Fallen Leaves.

The film follows two lonely strangers who meet one night and encounter an assortment of challenges as they set out to fall in love. The film is directed by Aki Kaurismäki in his first film in six years.

The film has been picked up by MUBI which is excellent news, and will released in December.

Leave a Reply