Norway ‘happily’ enters Oscar race

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The Norwegian film “Sykt lykkelig,” a comedy translated into “Happy, Happy” for an international audience, has been chosen as Norway’s entry into the competition for Best Foreign Language Film at the next Academy Awards show.

Norway's candidate for an Oscar nomination stars Agnes Kittelsen, who also will play Thor Heyerdahl's first wife Liv in the new "Kon-Tiki" film, currently in production. PHOTO: Norsk Filminstitutt (NFI)

The film by young Norwegian director Anne Sewitsky already won the World Cinema Grand Jury Award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and now the Norwegian committee charged with selecting a candidate for an Academy Awards nomination thinks it has the best chances for winning the Academy’s coveted Oscar.

“Happy, Happy” has also already been sold for distribution in the US and nearly 50 other countries, so will be available in markets outside Norway. It’s being distributed by Magnolia Pictures in the US, which also will distribute the popular Norwegian troll-hunting film Trolljegeren and the new film based on Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s crime novel Hødejegerne (The Headhunters).

Sewitsky’s film beat out two other Norwegian films on the Norwegian Oscar committee’s short list, Sønner av Norge (Sons of Norway) and Oslo, 31. august, both of which were just recently released in Norwegian cinemas. “Happy, Happy” came out last November and the committee considered it an “impressive” film with “gallows humour” about the desire to be loved, the fear of being let down and reluctance to portray one’s true self.

The Norwegian Film Institute reported that Magnolia Pictures is also campaigning for “Happy, Happy” to be nominated in other Oscar categories as well as Best Foreign Film. The film, produced by Synnøve Hørsdal for Maipo AS, will have its American premiere on September 16.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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