Joachim Trier has become the first Norwegian director in nearly 40 years to succeed at getting a film into the final round of competition at the Cannes International Festival. Trier’s new film, Louder Than Bombs, will be the only Nordic entry in the main competition to win the festival’s Palme d’Or.
“I see this mostly as a possibility to reach a larger public,” Trier told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Thursday evening, after news broke that his film had beaten out more than a thousand entries to be a contender for what Norwegians call the Gullpalmen prize.
“Trier’s selection for the main competition at Cannes is a great recognition for him as a filmmaker, as well as confirming the quality of Norwegian cinema,” said Sindre Guldvog, chief executive of the Norwegian Film Institute.
Trier is now working feverishly to get the film finished before the festival starts in mid-May. “I’ve always wanted to make an international film, even though I have my starting point in Norway,” Trier told NRK. “The chances of reaching an international audience have absolutely become greater after this.”
He’s no stranger at Cannes, though. His highly praised film Oslo 31. august made its international premiere at the film festival four years ago and won rave reviews. He said his grandfather, Erik Løchen, also participated with his first film Jakten (The Hunt) at Cannes in 1960.
Trier’s film, his first to be made in English with non-Norwegian actors, was shot in New York and stars Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg and Deven Druid. The family drama will be up against films by such acclaimed directors as Gus Van Sant and Paolo Sorrentino. Trier claimed the most important thing for him “is that we’ve been allowed to take part in this, for me that’s more than enough.”
His breakthrough at the Cannes Film Festival comes shortly after another Norwegian film director, Morten Tyldum, was nominated for an Academy Award for his internationally successful film The Imitation Game, and is the latest evidence of how Norway’s film industry has been flourishing in recent years.