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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Norwegian film had a winning year

Never before have so many Norwegian films won so many international prizes as in 2011. And now looms perhaps the biggest prize of all.

The Norwegian Film Institute could report this week that locally made films harvested 52 prizes at film festivals at home and abroad. All told, 35 Norwegian films had their premiere during their year, which newspaper Aftenposten reported was 10 more than normal.

An unusually large number of them were sold for distribution in the US, Great Britain and other countries, including such hits at home in Norway as Trolljegeren (The Troll Hunter), Sykt lykkelig (Happy, happy) and Hodejegerne (The Headhunters).

It was a film aimed at youth, Keeper’n til Liverpool, that won the most international prizes: 13 in all. Seven prizes went to Kongen av Bastøy, while young director Anne Sewitsky’s Sykt lykkelig won five prizes and was chosen as Norway’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. Sewitsky also recently won rave reviews for her film in the industry journal Hollywood Reporter, which called Sykt lykkelig a serious contender to win an Oscar nomination. She’s up against films from 62 other countries to first make a short list of nine films and, finally, the five nominees that will be announced on January 24. The Academy Awards will be presented on February 26.

Sewitsky also won acclaim for her children’s film Jørgen+Anne=sant. She’s now working on two films including one about ice skating star Sonja Henie and also is evaluating two film projects in the US and Great Britain.

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