The Norwegian director duo best known for their most recent film Kon-Tiki have been invited to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes for winners of the annual Academy Awards. They’re reportedly the first Norwegians invited to join the Academy since actress Liv Ullmann in the 1970s.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported that Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are enjoying success in Hollywood after Kon-Tiki itself was nominated for best foreign film and secured international release. Rønning and Sandberg already had achieved box office success at home in Norway for their popular film Max Manus, about the World War II resistance hero.
Their dramatization of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s famous Kon-Tiki expedition won good reviews both in Norway and in the US, and the two directors have since moved on to their biggest project yet, the latest sequel of the film series Pirates of the Caribbean starring Johnny Depp. It will be another major production for Disney, and both Rønning and Sandberg were in Los Angeles this week making preparations before filming begins.
They weren’t available to comment on Aftenposten’s report that they also were among 270 international film industry players who’ve been invited to be new members of the Academy. The Academy sent out the list recently of those likely to add to the roughly 6,000 Academy members who vote on the annual awards known as the “Oscar.”
The invitation was called “a major and important pat on the shoulder from one of the most central institutions in the international film branch” by Stine Oppegaard of the Norwegian Film Institute.
“It shows that Rønning and Sandberg really have make themselves known out there,” Oppegaard told Aftenposten. “As far as I know, (actress) Liv Ullmann is the 0nly Norwegian member of the Academy today.”
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund