GEST – Gothenburg English Studio Theatre

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 15th February 2016
  • Nordophile enjoys promoting the arts which come from all Nordic regions and bringing them to our English-speaking audience with a similar passion. So imagine our delight when we stumbled across a theatre group in Sweden which performs in English. This is certainly a must when heading over to Gothenburg for a cultural holiday! GEST – Gothenburg […]




    Nordophile enjoys promoting the arts which come from all Nordic regions and bringing them to our English-speaking audience with a similar passion. So imagine our delight when we stumbled across a theatre group in Sweden which performs in English. This is certainly a must when heading over to Gothenburg for a cultural holiday!

    GEST – Gothenburg English Studio Theatre is an award-winning English-speaking theatre located in Gothenburg, Sweden and is the only professional English-speaking theatre in western Sweden. We bring the very best of British contemporary drama in its original language to Sweden.

    GEST is run by Executive Artistic Director Kristina Brändén Whitaker and Co-Artistic Director Gary Whitaker. Actors are recruited in Britain before every production whilst a superb Swedish production team takes care of set and light design, music and administration.

     

    (Photo Lina Ikse taken from 2015 play YEN)

     

    It was founded in 2005 with the aim of providing quality, contemporary and award-winning theatre in the English language.

    GEST works with professional actors and directors from Britain and Sweden and aims to produce theatre of the highest standard, which is accessible to everyone. As well as performing in Sweden, GEST also performs internationally and are always keen to collaborate with theatres abroad. We also collaborate closely with schools, colleges and universities, offering specially reduced student prices, workshops and after-show discussions with the actors. (See Teachers’ page)

    Gothenburg has a large English-speaking population and is the home to a variety of nationalities where English is the second language. GEST also seeks to cater for these people, who may long for an enjoyable night at the theatre.

    At present nearly all the great English-speaking plays that are performed in Gothenburg are translated into Swedish. GEST are proud to be able to show the plays in the language that they were originally written.

     

    What’s on

     

    The Events

    Gothenburg English Studio Theatre presents the Swedish premiere of the award-winning and critically acclaimed play  The Events by David Greig. Music by John Browne. Directed by Gary Whitaker.

    8 April- 30 April at Gothenburg English Studio Theatre

    4 May – 14 May at Kulturhuset, Stadsteatern Stockholm

    (Photo: Lina Ikse)

     

    Featuring local choirs, The Events tells a story of obsession, grief and forgiveness

    Claire, a liberal church minister, runs a community choir in a small seaside town.
    “…a choir that brought together vulnerable people, old people, asylum seekers, immigrant men, young mums and so on – it was a – the idea was – you can imagine. ”

     Claire, a liberal church minister, runs a community choir in a small seaside town.
    ”…a choir that brought together vulnerable people, old people, asylum seekers, immigrant men, young mums and so on – it was a – the idea was – you can imagine.”

    One day a boy with a gun walks in during a choir rehearsal resulting in devastating consequences. Claire becomes obsessed with the boy and the reasons for his actions. She looks for answers among the politicians that the boy associates himself with, his father, old classmates and, in the end, the boy himself. It’s a journey that takes her to the edge of reason, science, politics and faith.

    The Events has a strong relevance to today’s development of far right extremism in Sweden and Europe whilst also exploring how far forgiveness can stretch in the face of brutality. Different local community choirs will join the cast on stage for each performance in this rare, daring and beautiful new play.

    To find out more about GEST and upcoming theatre productions head to GEST.se

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    ‘What’s On’ SATC NYC

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 1st October 2015
  • Nordophile has been keeping in touch with our friends at the Scandinavian American Theater Company based in New York and wanted to share with you some very important upcoming events which are very much keeping Nordic theatre alive!   Kwasi Osei and Zenzele Cooper from SATC’s Off-Broadway production “Bastards of Strindberg”, photographer Kait Ebinger   […]




    Nordophile has been keeping in touch with our friends at the Scandinavian American Theater Company based in New York and wanted to share with you some very important upcoming events which are very much keeping Nordic theatre alive!

     

    Kwasi Osei and Zenzele Cooper from SATC’s Off-Broadway production “Bastards of Strindberg”, photographer Kait Ebinger

     

    Firstly, we spoke with one of the actors, Christiane Seidel (from Boardwalk Empire) and found out from her what it is like to be part of not only SATC in New York but the Nordic community as well.

     

    Photo credit Christopher St. George.

     

    How did you first become involved with SATC?

    As a half-Dane, I had excitedly been following SATC for a while and was quite impressed with their consistent body of work, especially since the company had only been around for a couple of years. While I was shooting Boardwalk Empire, our casting director Meredith Tucker had asked me if I could recommend any Norwegian men for a role she was casting. I reached out to Albert Bendix, SATC’s Co-Artistic Director and a fellow Dane, to see if he had any suggestions and we ended up meeting for coffee. We hit it off, kept in touch and this spring SATC reached out to me if I was interested in possibly becoming a member. Because this company doesn’t mess around, I even had to come in for an interview (a very nice one with coffee and Scandinavian cookies) with the entire company. Albert even skyped in from Denmark as he was on tour. Somehow I was able to prove myself worthy and now I’m responsible for Audience and Press Coordination.

     

    Have you seen an equal interest by both the Nordic and New York audience?

    Absolutely. SATC has a large audience following our productions, our SATContemporary Reading Series, and on our social media. For example, we have approximately 80-100 audience members per reading and that includes all ages of Scandinavians, Americans with Scandinavian roots, and Americans with an interest in new Nordic theater and contemporary culture.

     

    Rikke Lylloff and Albert Bendix from SATC’s Off-Broadway production “Bastards of Strindberg”, photographer Kait Ebinger

     

    Nordic eateries are popping up all over New York and the attendance to exhibitions by Nordic artists is high. Do you feel Nordic drama productions is on the same level of acceptance?

    There is definitely a surge in interest in all things Nordic. Especially, since Scandinavian tv shows like The Killing, The Bridge, or Borgen as well as Scandinavian literature have become widely popular (in their original or their US remakes) and Scandinavian actors like Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Kinnaman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Birgitte Hjort Sørensen are being cast on American tv shows and films. We can feel that this definitely has an effect on the interest in what Scandinavian storytelling looks like on stage. Especially, when we’re inviting some of these actors to join us for readings. However, contemporary Scandinavian plays and playwrights are still relatively unknown stateside. So with SATC we’re in an exciting position to be able to bring these plays to New York for the first time. In a sense we’re educating the New York audiences about their existence while filling that increasing interest in Scandinavian culture. There are so many edgy, interesting, and widely different plays that are a cultural representation of what Scandinavia is today. I might be biased, but I definitely feel that we’re approaching the same level of acceptance very fast.

     

    Finally, you are performing a couple of  readings for SATC, can you tell us a bit about what we can expect.

    Our audience is definitely in for a fun (and free!) evening. We’ll have wine, guest actors and we’ll have up-and-coming playwright Marius Leknes Snekkevåg flying in from Norway. Our readings always take place at the beautiful Scandinavia House on Park Avenue. We’ll be presenting two short plays from Marius – one dramatic and one comedic. There’ll be a short Q&A with everyone and usually, we go out for drinks at a nearby bar, which is fun as we get a chance to chat with our audience. Personally, I’m extra excited as this will be my first time performing for SATC.

     

    Readings by

    Marius Leknes Snekkevåg (playwright, reading #1 on Oct 5, Norwegian plays)

    Courtesy of SATC

    Christiane Seidel (actress, reading #1 on Oct 5, Norwegian plays). www.christianeseidel.com

     

    Tomas Lagermand Lundme (playwright, reading #2 on Nov 9, Danish play “The Sauna”).

    Courtesy of SATC

    What’s On

    We’ll be kicking off our upcoming season with a new concept called “Shows in Development”. Here we invite audiences to follow and experience our process of creating an off-Broadway production at an early stage to give our audience the opportunity to ask questions and bring their thoughts to the table. The first show in development is titled “The Remember Me Project” and our first audience interaction will be on Sept 21, 2015 at 7:30pm with a pre-reception at 7:00pm. The play we’re working on is titled “Remember Me” (original title “Muista minut”) by Finnish writer Minna Nurmelin.

    We’re also continuing with our popular SATContemporary Reading Series. This is the sixth season of the series where we present five staged readings – one from each of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The readings are one-night-only events, free to the public.

    The first reading will be on Oct 5, 2015 presenting two plays by the Norwegian playwright Marius Leknes Snekkevåg: “I Love You, Let Me Go” and “We Are The Voice of Our People”.

    The second reading will be on Nov 9, 2015 introducing Danish playwright Tomas Lagermand Lundme and his play “The Sauna”. For this reading, we’ll also have a guest star (TBA) joining us.

    The dates for the remaining readings are Jan 25, 2016, Feb 29, 2016, and May 2, 2016. We’re currently in the process of deciding on the individual plays.

    All our readings and “Show in Development” projects take place at Scandinavia House (http://www.scandinaviahouse.org/ at 58 Park Avenue, 10016 NYC) at 7:30pm with a 7:00pm pre-reception.

    In 2016, we’ll present the US-premiere of Norwegian playwright Arne Lygre’s play “Then Silence” as an Off-Broadway production.

    Head over to satcnyc.org to find out more
    Featured image Full cast from SATC’s Off-Broadway production “Bastards of Strindberg”, photographer Kait Ebinger
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    Nordic Film Days Lübeck

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 15th September 2015
  • Nordic Film Days Lübeck, first presented by the Lübeck Film Club in 1956 and taken over by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in 1971, has one of the longest traditions of any film festival worldwide. It is the only festival in Germany, and the only one in Europe, which is entirely devoted to the presentation […]




    Nordic Film Days Lübeck, first presented by the Lübeck Film Club in 1956 and taken over by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in 1971, has one of the longest traditions of any film festival worldwide. It is the only festival in Germany, and the only one in Europe, which is entirely devoted to the presentation of films from the North and Northeast of Europe.

    Feature films, documentaries and short films from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden are presented at this five-day event every year at the beginning of November. In addition, there is an extensive children’s and youth film programme and a retrospective devoted to important eras, specific genres or famous persons of film history. The section Filmforum presents films from North Germany. Accompanying the film programme are seminars, discussions, roundtable talks, concerts and readings.

     

     

    The Nordic Film Days Lübeck is both an audience festival and an important meeting place for the film industry in Germany and northern Europe. Many directors whose debut works were presented in Lübeck have gone on to earn fame around the world – such as Bille August, Lasse Hallström, Aki Kaurismäki or Fridrik Thór Fridriksson.

    The film festival is put on by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in cooperation with the Scandinavian film institutes and foundations as well as the corresponding film institutions in the Baltic countries. Patrons of the festival are the ambassadors of the Nordic countries in Germany. Honorary President is the Norwegian actress and film director Liv Ullmann. Media partners are the television and radio broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and daily newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten.

    The 2015 official programme will be released early October, but here are some of the previous years winners for you to find some Nordic Films to keep you going until then!

     

    Previous Winners

    The NDR Film Prize for Best Feature Film.

    Endowed with 12,500 euros this prize has been awarded annually since 1990 for a “feature film of special artistic quality.” The film should “reflect society in an independent creative language and open up new perspectives in terms of content and aesthetics.”

    Straße der Hoffnung / Vonarstræti / Life in A Fishbowl
    Baldvin Z (Zophoníasson), Iceland 2014

     

     

     

    Lübecker Nachrichten.

    The oldest festival prize, was founded in 1979 by the newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten. Since 1993, it includes prize money amounting to the current value of 5,000 euros. The prize is awarded to the winning feature film in competition on the basis of an audience ballot.

    2014
    HalloHallo / HallåHallå / HelloHello
    Maria Blom, Sweden 2013

     

     

     

    Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic Feature Film.

    In 1991, filmmakers from the Baltic States created a film prize for an outstanding feature film from the Nordic countries.

    2014
    Schwedenbastard / Svenskjævel / Underdog
    Ronnie Sandahl, Sweden 2014

     

    Photo: © Ita ZbroneicZajt

     

    Documentary Film Prize.

    The Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) awards a film prize for a “socially and politically committed film” from the festival’s documentary film programme. The award carries a cash prize of 2,500 euros. In previous years, the prize was awarded by the Lübeck Trade unions.

    2014
    Früher träumte ich vom Leben / Näin Unta Elämästä / Once I dreamed of Life
    Jukka Kärkkäinen and Sini Liimatainen, Finland 2014

     

     

    Children’s & Youth Film Prize.

    This prize, created in 1983 by the Nordic Film Institutes, has been awarded to the best Scandinavian children’s or youth film since 1993. A genre which has been an important component of the Nordic Film Days since 1979. From 2008 on this prize is endowed with 5,000 euros, donated by the charitable foundation Gemeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung zu Lübeck.

    2014
    Der Lehrjunge / Oppipoika / The Disciple
    Ulrika Bengts, Finland 2013

     


    57. NORDIC FILM DAYS LÜBECK – Festival opens with “Rams” – Retrospective goes on northerly journeys – INTERFILM honourable membership for Linde Fröhlich.

     

     

    Linde Fröhlich announced the first high point of this year’s festival with the opening night film, “Rams” (Hrútar) by director Grímur Hákonarson, an Icelandic-Danish production that won the Un Certain Regard Prize at this year’s Cannes film festival. The NFL is pleased to welcome the Icelandic director and his two leads, Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Theodór Júlíusson as guests at the NFL opening night celebration on November 4, 2015 in Lübeck (the film will be released in Germany in autumn 2015 by Arsenal Filmverleih).

    “The Icelanders are powerful storytellers and Grímur Hákonarson’s “Rams” is the best example of this.  The film is a human drama, filled with empathy for the protagonists, as well as odd situations and comic moments, all set in a spectacular landscape,” said Linde Fröhlich.

    Curator and director of the Retrospective, Jörg Schöning, presented this year’s look back, dedicated to “Northern journeys. Travelogues & Road Movies”. Audiences will be “transported” back in time with a screening of the silent Swedish outdoor drama “The Strongest” (1929), shown with musical accompaniment in cooperation with the Lübeck Academy of Music under the direction of professor Franz Danksagmüller, as well as by maritime documentation by shipboard photographer Richard Fleischhut (1881 – 1951) and film treasures from the National Library of Norway. On top of that, selected road movies will take audiences on sometimes comic, sometimes melancholy, but always adventurous paths to far-flung locales in the Scandinavian film landscape. The series will include films by Ingmar Bergman, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Mika and Aki Kaurismäki, as well as directors Karin Ottarssdóttir and Auli Mantila. The Retrospective will open with the world premiere of “Hit the Road Gunnar” by young director Nicolas Ehret.

    For more information about this years event and other features head over to www.luebeck.de

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    Screen City Festival – Stavanger, Norway

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 10th September 2015
  • Screen City festival 15th-18th October “an expanded cinematic experience about Labour in Norway” will be dedicated to presenting the moving image in public spaces and to exploring the relationship between moving image, sound, and architecture. The festival’s format expands the borders of cinematic experience – reflecting upon the line between the filmatic and the non-filmatic.     […]




    Screen City festival 15th-18th October “an expanded cinematic experience about Labour in Norway” will be dedicated to presenting the moving image in public spaces and to exploring the relationship between moving image, sound, and architecture. The festival’s format expands the borders of cinematic experience – reflecting upon the line between the filmatic and the non-filmatic.

     

     

    Screen City – Moving Image Festival Stavanger presents: Labour & The City In-between. Artists Harun Farocki, Antje Ehmann, Rosa Barba, and an extended list of Czech and Nordic video artists takes over the city, October 15-18th 2015: exploring the temporal, motional and spatial qualities of labour in our current post-industrial climate.

     

    Stavanger, Norway

     

    Curated by Daniela Arriado (CL/NO).

    The point of departure for this year’s program is the post-industrial climate we meet in Europe today. This climate has left us with fluctuating definitions of labour, exploitation of labour, and an unknown economic future. How do these industrial changes affect a city`s architectonic and social rooms? Through the streets of Stavanger, from the Concert Hall to the old industrial port, you will find artworks activating the buildings’ facades. Every building tells a story, and these stories form our city. With the aim of transforming buildings from objects into subjects, we have invited artists – who explore the temporal, motional and spatial qualities of labour in our current post-industrial climate – to present their works in the public spaces of Stavanger.

     

     

    la•bor

    to perform labor; work.
    to strive, as toward a goal; work hard
    productive activity, esp. for the sake of economic gain.
    physical or mental work, esp. of a hard or fatiguing kind.

    The point of departure for this year’s program is the post-industrial climate we meet in Europe today. This climate has left us with fluxuating definitions of labour, exploitation of labour, and an unknown economic future. How do these industrial changes affect a city`s architectonic and social rooms? Through the streets of Stavanger, from the Concert Hall to the old industrial port, you will find artworks activating the buildings’ facades. Every building tells a story, and these stories form our city. With the aim of transforming buildings from objects into subjects, we have invited artists – who explore the temporal, motional and spatial qualities of labour in our current post-industrial climate – to present their works in the public spaces of Stavanger.

     

     

    Old industrial port where  several of the works will be presented

     

    Featured Artists

    Ane Hjort Guttu (NO)

    ARTIST TALK & PREVIEW SCREENING: TIME PASSES
    FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER, 2-4PM
    ROGALAND KUNSTSENTER

    Ane Hjort Guttu presents her recent film related to her investigation into issues of power, freedom and the role of art and artists within political systems. Time Passes (2013) is a 45 min film produced for the 2015 Festival Exhibition in Bergen. Time Passes portrays the art student Damla and her ongoing performative project – begging in the streets of Bergen. Ane Hjort Guttu is an artist, writer and curator based in Oslo. Through video works, picture collections, sculpture and photography her recent work has focused on the issues of power and freedom in the Scandinavian post-welfare state. She also writes analytical as well as poetical texts, and several of her projects discuss art and architectural history.

     

    Photo credit; Ane Hjort

     

    Nils Henrik Asheim (NO)

    ORGELNATT
    FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER, 9-11PM
    STAVANGER CONCERT HALL

    Composer Nils Henrik Asheim (b.1960) combines his career as a performer with regular artist collaborations on projects integrating spatial and theatrical elements. Asheim started out as a pupil of Olav Anton Thommessen and made his début as a composer at the early age of fifteen. Since 1991 Asheim has lived in Stavanger where he is active as a composer, performer and organizer, and not least as the principal initiator of the founding of Tou Scene, an alternative centre for contemporary arts. From September 2012, Asheim has been the organist at Stavanger Concert Hall. Orgelnatt – Organ Night – is a concept where Nils Henrik Asheim invites guest musicians to create a concert event around the organ, exploiting the instrument’s ability to create vast soundscapes. With the help of time and space, we invite the audience to submerge themselves in sound. Orgelnatt has since 2013 been hosted by Stavanger Konserthus. During Screen City Festival, Nils Henrik will perform together with Slovakian artists Pjoni (SK) and Ján Šicko (SK), transforming the concert hall and the organ into an electro-acoustic landscape utilizing mechanical midi management of the organ, and processing sounds from this. The production is part of the Orgel Night program, presenting Norwegian sound artists and musicians like Kjetil Brandsdal and Susanna Wallumrød. The evening will melt into a club program curated by Tou Scene: Electro Motives, presenting live DJ sets by André Bratten (NO) and Jennifer Cardini (FR)

     

    Photo credit; Nils Henrik Asheim

     

    Knut Åsdam (NO)

    MOBIL EGRESS
    DAILY, 6PM-MIDNIGHT
    LORRY, RYFYLKEGATA/MATHALLEN

    Mobil Egress is a touring lorry; an architectural art/film/cinema installation with the film Egress built inside the back compartment. It functions as a mobile cinema and is built up from installation elements to create an architectonic environment. The piece merges art and film distributed in an unusual way. It looks at contemporary Norway and its psychology through themes of work, class, oil and the material world. Egress is a narrative set in a gas station in the edge-lands of Oslo. The main characters work at the bottom of the oil company hierarchy and are engulfed in the everyday and the dark economic and psychological shadows of their society. Egress is the story of a young woman who deals with her everyday work situation with independence and stubbornness in her work and life in the periphery of the city. The film shows relationships between control and independence, about labour, class and work, but it is also a poetic film about a socially insecure edge-land of the city—and about a psychological flip side or cost of the everyday, somewhere near the bottom of the huge economic ladder of the oil industry which secures Norway’s stability. Knut Åsdam lives and works in Oslo, Norway.

     

    Photo credit; Knut Asdam

     

    Beathe C Rønning (NO)

    MEDITATIONS ON WORK III
    DAILY, 6PM-MIDNIGHT
    ROGALAND KUNSTSENTER

    For the past eight Beathe C Rønning has been filming manual and mechanical work processes. What interests her in these Meditations is the choreography that comes straight from the body, and from the routine operation of machines. Or that doesn’t. In practical terms, Meditations on Work is a three-channel video piece with a specially composed soundtrack, a soundless video composition showing sequences of people at work overlaid with scrolling text (II), and a booklet with stills and text. Each sequence is prosaic and commonplace, rooted in the here and now. The steady pulse of work that goes on around us all the time. For Rønning, it is here we find the greatest poetic potential, because here the beauty is subtle yet accessible. “Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so.” (Bertrand Russell) An artist’s work falls between the manual and the abstract. Rønning neither give nor follow orders. She observes, films and reflects, refining impressions through the rhythm of composition, the pulse of the soundtrack, the focus of the text. “Copenhagen, Kvinesdal, Torp, Oslo, Berlin, Lier, Drammen, Sande: I must thank everyone who has allowed me to film them, and for all the goodwill I have met with.” (Beathe C. Rønning) During the Screen City Festival, Beathe will present Meditations on Work – edition 3, with a newly composed text. The work is presented on the Rogaland Kunstsenter facade window. (Credits: Peter Cribbs.no)

     

    Photo credit; Beate C Ronning

    For more information about other events taking place at #Screencity and the full range of artists appearing or taking part please head to 2015.screencity.no

    We would also like to thank Screen city for their text and photos.

    Featured image credited to Mirjam Struppek 

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    The Nordic Council Film Prize 2015

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 31st August 2015
  • The Nordic Council Film Prize nominations for 2015 are out. The purpose of The Nordic Council Film Prize is to support the production of Nordic films in order to strengthen the Nordic film industry, thereby in the long term contributing to the strengthening of Nordic films internationally.     The winner will be a feature […]




    The Nordic Council Film Prize nominations for 2015 are out.

    The purpose of The Nordic Council Film Prize is to support the production of Nordic films in order to strengthen the Nordic film industry, thereby in the long term contributing to the strengthening of Nordic films internationally.

     

     

    The winner will be a feature film that is rooted in Nordic culture, is of high artistic quality and stands out through its artistic originality to form a harmonious work. Innovation within the film genre will also be given positive consideration when comparing the nominated films. The films nominated must primarily be recorded in a Nordic language to be considered for the Film Prize.

    The prize was awarded for the first time on a trial basis in 2002 in connection with the Nordic Council’s 50th anniversary. It became permanent in 2005 and has since been awarded along with the Nordic Council’s other prizes for music, literature, and nature and the environment.

     

    image_16_9_bigger (12)

    The Nordic Council Film Prize 2009 was awarded to the Danish film director and scriptwriter Lars von Trier and producer Meta Louise Foldager for the film ANTICHRIST.

     

    A member of the jury from every Nordic country

    Each Nordic country appoints one jury member and a substitute. These people are film connoisseurs but must be independent of the film industry in their home country and have no personal financial interest in the nominated films.

     

    Nordic Jury appoints the prize winner

    The national jury members form a Nordic Adjudication Committee. The national jury member proposes the nominations from his/her own country. The film nominations are made public at the beginning of September. After that it is the combined Nordic adjudication committee which decides which of the nominated films – one from each Nordic country – will win the prize.

    Films from the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland are outside the countries quota of one film each. Nominated films from these countries must be submitted to the Nordic Adjudication Committee. When a Faroese, Greenlandic or Ålandic film has to be judged a jury member from that country is co-opted onto the committee.

     

     

    Film prize divided between three main functions

    The Nordic Council Film Prize is administered by the Nordic Film and TV Fund and is worth DKK 350,000 (approx. €47,000), and thus has the same value as the literature, nature and the environment, and music prizes. The prize money is to be shared between the scriptwriter, the director and the producer, which underlines that film as an art form is the result of close co-operation between these three main functions.

    The Film Prize is usually awarded with the other Nordic prizes for literature, music and nature and the environment during the Nordic Council’s Ordinary Session in the autumn at a special ceremony.

    Previous winners of the Film Prize include Danish Per Fly’s film ‘Drabet’ (‘Manslaughter’) and the film ‘Zozo’ by Josef Fares from Sweden.

     

    The Nordic Council Film Prize Nominations 2015

     

    film-331553_640

     

    Stille hjerte (Silent Heart) – Denmark

     

    Masterfully crafted and played to perfection, director Bille August and screenwriter Christian Torpe tell a warm-hearted story about an unforgettable weekend where a family has to deal with a mother’s wish to die. In the typically Nordic tradition of exorcising all skeletons from the closet, the film dissects one of the most difficult challenges a family can face – saying goodbye to a loved one.

     

    He ovat paenneet (They Have Escaped) – Finland

     

    A gripping coming-of-age drama, a thrilling road movie, a drug-induced fantasy and then some! Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää’s They Have Escaped flirts with genre characteristics only to rise above their respective dynamics and to metamorphose into an expressionistic, no holds barred adult fairytale. The exquisite cinematography combined with a thoughtful, multifaceted soundtrack adds to film’s strong, dreamlike ambiance.

     

    Fúsi (Virgin Mountain) – Iceland

     

    With a delicate touch, director Dagur Kári´s Virgin Mountain is a moving coming-of-age portrait of a gentle giant. In a skilfully nuanced way this humanistic film conveys both inner torment and offbeat charm, while its symbolic interaction of items big and small conveys such universal themes as goodness, giving and grace.

     

    Mot naturen (Out of Nature) – Norway

     

    In Out of Nature, Ole Giæver portrays a self-reflection of our modern lives and today’s Nordic man. A personal yet forthright narrative conveys a collage of mental imagery to express memories, hopes, dreams, and emotive atmospheres, yet all in a good humour that addresses embarrassment, shame and pain.

     

    Gentlemen- Sweden

     

    Gentlemen takes us on a winding journey of a story in which time perspectives and identities are as fluid as the boundary between dreams and fantasy. The attention to detail in the film’s various expressions culminates in a uniquely personal, playful and self-reflective work.

    Photos & text credited to Norden.org

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    Short film – Happy Thoughts

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 28th July 2015
  • 10842218_1594978707412800_1924650185458717261_o

    Nordophile heard about the short film – Happy Thoughts which was shot in Sala, Sweden. It has no spoken dialogue, only music and the actors ability to convey the story through motion.     We spoke with the American writer of Happy Thoughts, Kimberly Durley and she not only spoke with passion about her film but […]




    Nordophile heard about the short film – Happy Thoughts which was shot in Sala, Sweden. It has no spoken dialogue, only music and the actors ability to convey the story through motion.

     

    10842218_1594978707412800_1924650185458717261_o

     

    We spoke with the American writer of Happy Thoughts, Kimberly Durley and she not only spoke with passion about her film but also gave great praise for all of her Nordic team who have made this short film one to watch. From her Swedish Director of Photography Jonas Nyren, who is a 23 year old filmmaker/writer/director/actor from Vittninge, Sweden, to the gaffer and lighting tech Nataniel Matias from Gothenburg who is currently attending film school at Tarna Folkhogskola.

     

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    Happy Thoughts was filmed entirely at the train station in Sala, Sweden. You may have heard of Sala before if you have heard of the TV Nordic Supernatural drama “Jordskott”. Jordskott was also filmed in Sala and Kimberly worked on the show as part of the scenography team for most of last year.

     

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    Music is extremely important to the film and adds to the telling of the story. Both music and sound were done by Daniel Johnsson, a Swedish troubadour and Gustaf Grefberg a Swedish sound engineer and musician. Kimberly explained  “The film has no dialogue, so the majority of its feel landed on these guys”. Gustaf was a pretty big part of the evolution of synth music in Sweden and he was one of the original members of Starbreeze Studios. He now works for Hazelight with Josef Fares making video games.  Daniel is the founder of Aardia, a music group from Sundsvall Sweden, and he’s a well sought-after troubadour as well.

     

     

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    Synopsis:

    Stan has never felt so lonely or so hopeless. Life has landed him in the worst position he could ever imagine and now it is all he can do to keep himself from drowning in his bitterness at the world. That is, until Joy comes along and shines a little ray of sunlight into his dreary existence by giving him hot coffee on a cold morning, in a hand colored mug. This small act of kindness kindles a unique relationship between them which just might bring Stan to a greater understanding of how love, compassion and even joy can be found even in the most unexpected circumstances.

     

    Actors

     

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    Kristofer is a musician and filmmaker who goes by the name of Kristofer “Waxblend” Hedström is 31 and lives in the South of Sweden. He grew up in Sala where the short film “Happy Thoughts” was filmed. When he’s not acting/producing he makes hip-hop music under the Waxblend moniker. He is also studying business economy. He has  a passion for creating stuff, whether it’s music, film or just writing something.

    Magdalena Eriksson studied method acting at Folkuniversitetet, Stockholm. In 2007 she started working in the film industry as a makeup artist and did that for many years. Later on she wanted to try acting, got an education in method acting and loved it. So Magdalena quit doing makeup and started acting instead. The part as Joy in Happy thoughts was a real challenge though because there are no actual lines, the acting depends only on body language and facial expressions, hard but fun and educating. She enjoyed every minute of being Joy and being a part of bringing Kimberly’s beautiful story to life. Upcoming projects: A Web series, Timewars ll. Shooting starts in the autumn of 2015, and a feature, 1%- the voice within, shooting starts 2016.

     

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    Find out more  Facebook/Happythoughts/shortfilm &  whitebridges.se

     

     

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    Bastøy – The Movie

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 2nd July 2015
  • Bastoy 001

    Nordophile came across Bastøy the Movie whilst reviewing ‘King of Devil’s island’. ‘ King of Devil’s island’ is an emotionally driven story of a boys home on the island of Bastøy, Norway. Set in the early 20th century the film follows the boys who have been sent to the island via the courts for various […]




    Nordophile came across Bastøy the Movie whilst reviewing ‘King of Devil’s island’. ‘ King of Devil’s island’ is an emotionally driven story of a boys home on the island of Bastøy, Norway. Set in the early 20th century the film follows the boys who have been sent to the island via the courts for various crimes. The film explores the way they are treated by the staff, the boys personal struggles and how it affects their relationships with each other and the bitter struggle to try and escape the horrors, both mentally and physically. The movie came from 10 years of research which was condensed but not diminished, into 48 hours of filming.

     

    Bastoy 001

    So when we discovered Bastøy, a film by Michel Kapteijns, we wanted to know more about this documentary film which follows the inmates on Bastøy today. The setting is the same to the fictitious movie but in this film we can see Bastøy through a more positive lense. The rehibilitation, the build up of self worth and the effort to open up emotions are all very apparent to see. Just how much of a difference would this of made to the boys on Bastøy all those years ago.

    Nordophile recommends watching this film by Michel Kapteijns against “King of Devil’s Island’ and compare for yourself.

     

     

    Prison Island Bastøy

    “Compared to a closed prison, this is Heaven. Compared to freedom, this is still Hell.”

     

    The island lies in Oslofjord, Norway. 115 men are imprisoned there: bank robbers, drug dealers, sex criminals, Hell’s Angels, frauds, gang leaders and murderers.
    Mostly serving long terms. On the island there are no cells, no cameras, no fences.
    The guards don’t carry weapons while the prisoners work with chainsaws and kitchen knives.
    It’s only a two-hour swim to the mainland and yet no one goes for it.

     

    heli bastoy 1

    The men who live on Bastøy are all serving the last part of their sentence. Often they have forgotten what it means to care for themselves, or each other.

    They have stopped making plans for the future. On the island the men live in a halfway house, between prison and society.

    Each prisoner has a task.

     

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    Tom works with the cows, cleans out the cowshed and is fully responsible for the animals. He’s been imprisoned for violent crimes and is the youngest prisoner on the island.
    Tom is teaching himself to play the guitar that the priest lent him.

    Runar the horse whisperer is also assistant verger at the church. He got a three-year sentence for fraud.
    Runar has lived on Bastøy for two years. “It’s good here, I have a special contact with the horses, they understand exactly how my heart feels.”

    Michael, 19, received a three-year sentence for attempting murder and works in the carpentry shop.
    He is a fierce kid with decided opinions on paedophiles and rapists. “If this was a closed prison, they’d all be dead now,” he says.
    If he sees a car belonging to the guards, he feels the urge to “borrow it” and race through the woods. The temptation is too great.

    Per Inge is a calm and intelligent man in his 40s who has been dealing drugs for twenty years; he has been in jail before.
    He expects to be released soon, but he has no idea what he should think and do when he returns to the real world after 14 years in detention; he has lost his family in the meantime and is all alone.

     

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    “Bastøy is an arena for the development of responsibility” the website of the prison promotes.
    On Bastøy, they don’t believe that criminals become better people if you punish them long and hard. What can someone do if they find themselves back on the streets, coming straight from the cell?
    If you give people responsibility and mutual respect in steps there might be a bigger chance that they will pick up their life again.

     

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    The approach seems to work: in Western Europe, an average of 60–70% former prisoners relapse and return to their bad ways. On Bastøy, that is only 30%.

     

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    www.bastoythemovie.com

    Festivals:
    Utrecht (comp.), IDFA selection, Prague, Pärnu, Gdansk (PL)

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    Scandinavia House – ASF

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 23rd June 2015
  • lookofkiller

    Scandinavia House in New York, houses the American-Scandinavian foundation who is the leading cultural and educational link between the U.S and Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. An American non-profit organization, the ASF works to build international understanding with extensive programs. Here are some of it’s events for July.   A Portrait of Creativity: Edvard […]




    Scandinavia House in New York, houses the American-Scandinavian foundation who is the leading cultural and educational link between the U.S and Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. An American non-profit organization, the ASF works to build international understanding with extensive programs.

    Here are some of it’s events for July.

     

    A Portrait of Creativity: Edvard Munch on Film Wednesday, July 1, 7 pm $10 ($7 ASF Members)

    A methodical expressionist print-maker and painter, Edvard Munch’s impact and influence on art span both the ages and artistic mediums. In a companion program to the Prize Prints exhibition, two films examine Munch’s often arduous artistic processes and enduring influence.

     

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    Photo credit The Norwegian film Institute.

     

    The Sun/Solen

    Directed by Stein-Roger Bull (Norway, 2013). Originally broadcast on NRK (Norwegian public broadcasting) in 2013, The Sun is a film about two inimitable artists’ – artist Edvard Munch and composer Edvard Grieg – life-long struggle to create the ultimate work of art.

    The 11 oil paintings that cover the walls of the University of Oslo’s Aula – built for the University’s centennial in 1911 – are the only decorations by Munch that can still be viewed in their original context. Munch and the University’s mural, The Sun (1909), radiates out to audiences from the wall behind the assembly hall’s podium, giving life to those who perform. Yet it took many years and numerous sketches and preparation before Munch reached the final result. The artist’s own photographs and hand-held film sequences, together with archival stills of Munch working, cast a portrait on the creative process and the mural’s theme.

    Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A-minor, Op. 16 (1868) is inspired by and draws musical themes from Norwegian cultural heritage and folk music and gives it a symphonic form. The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, with soloist Håvard Gimse, conveys the themes of Grieg’s musical score, to which he made over 3,000 corrections over the course of 40 years – the last of which was just three weeks before his death.

    30 min. | In Norwegian with English subtitles.

     

    About the director

    Stein-Roger Bull, producer and director, develops cultural projects for NordicStories in Norway and abroad, including the opening of the library in Alexandria, Peer Gynt at the Sphinx in Cairo, Egypt, the opera Fidelio on Robben Island, South Africa, and a major European concert in Malta, among others.

    Bull joined NordicStories from Nordisk Film AS, which in the course of his 12 years as CEO became Norway’s largest production company for film and television. Bull previously worked as Station Manager, as well as cultural and Entertainment Manager at NRK.

     

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    Photo courtesy; Dheeraj Akolkar

     

    Let The Scream Be Heard/La skrik bli hørt

    Directed by Dheeraj Akolkar (Norway, 2013). Let The Scream Be Heard is an artistic investigation to reveal and celebrate the essence behind Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s timeless and universal artistry, his iconic painting, and more than 40,000 works of art, spanning over 62 years.

     

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    In a world where 15 minutes – or even seconds – of fame are the deeply satisfying and much sought-after rewards, director Dheeraj Akolkar explores why, after more than 150 years, the artist Edvard Munch is still celebrated today. Originally premiering in 2013, which marked the 150th anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth, the documentary journeys into Munch’s mind and creative processes, closely examining and gaining insight from the artist’s words, values, and philosophies, witnessing the tests of his survival, and understanding what artistic integrity eventually amounts to in an ever-changing scheme of existence.

    Through interviews with renowned contemporary artists and respected Munch experts – including Marina Abramovic, Patricia G. Berman, Ketil Bjørnstad, Tracy Emin, Magne Furuholmen, Liv Ullmann, and Gerd Woll, among others – Akolkar creates an audio-visual collage on celluloid that enables audiences to discern and appreciate Munch’s continual relevance.

    58 min. | In English.

     

    About the director

    After graduating with a Gold Medal in architecture from Pune University, India, Dheeraj Akolkar worked extensively in the Indian film industry on various films such as Lagaan (Academy Award Nominee, 2001), Devdas (Cannes Showcase, 2002; BAFTA nominated, 2003), Charas – A Joint Effort, Sala Bandar (official selection Rotterdam, 2004; nominated Best Short Film Edinburgh, 2004), and Black (Time magazine’s 5th Best Film of the Year, 2006).

    As a writer, director, cinematographer, and producer, his own work includes the short films Jyotirgamaya/Lead Me to the Light (IDPA Awards for Excellence, 2005: Best Script and Best Editing), Whatever! (ICE 2006 2nd Best Film of the Festival), Sold My Soul (Official Selection Clermont Ferrand, 2007), and Asylum (Official Selection Rotterdam, 2010). He currently works between the U.K., India, and Scandinavia on a slate of five films under his London-based production company, Vardo Films. Akolkar is the associate director of an independent film festival in London called Bombay Mix and founder of a charity called Grassroots Stories, which specializes in making films that can inspire social change.

    Film showings

    Nordic Noir: Look of a Killer/Tappajan näköinen mies
    July 8 through 30, 2015 Wednesdays @ 7 pm & Thursdays @ 3 pm $10 ($7 ASF Members)

    Directed by Lauri Nurkse & adapted from the novels by Matti Rönkä (Finland, 2011). Private investigator Viktor Kärppä (Samuli Edelmann) is a former KGB agent haunted by his past. When he settles in Finland, the country of his , it is his attempt to create an orderly and tranquil life with his new girlfriend Marja Takala (Maria Ylipää), an independent-minded academic who prefers to keep her life simple. But when a kindly antiques dealer approaches him for help in finding his Estonian wife, Kärppä soon finds himself in a descent into the international criminal underworld – complete with drugs, KGB operatives, and lowlifes – as the uncomplicated life he had with Marja begins to slip away. Kärppä is not a killer, even if he looks like one, but can a man change his identity – or shed his loyalties – merely by crossing a border?

    Look of a Killer is a gripping thriller based on the novels by acclaimed Finnish author Matti Rönkä – known for their strong political and social focus and the grim realism of their Finnish, Russian, and Baltic settings.

    Each installment is 90 min. and in Finnish with English subtitles.

     

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    Photo credit; MHz Networks

     

    The Man from Across the Border/Mies rajan takaa July 8 & 9

    Private investigator Viktor Kärppä is assigned the task of finding a missing woman. Simultaneously, a robber makes off with hundreds of thousands worth of goods. Both cases bear the mark of a well-known Estonian criminal.

    Meanwhile, Kärppä enlists the help of an old friend to solve a double murder and receives an offer he cannot refuse without causing harm to his girlfriend Marja Takala.

     

    Good Brother, Bad Brother/Hyvä veli, paha veli July 15 & 16

    When synthetic heroin begins to kill young people in Helsinki, Viktor Kärppä is suspected as the importer of the drugs. With his refusal to protect the heroin shipments, Kärppä must go head to head with the Russian mafia.

     

    Far Away Friends/Ystävät kaukana July 22 & 23

    Viktor Kärppä is confronted by two men demanding he hand over his business assets. Tensions escalate quickly after Kärppä refuses to be extorted.

    As a result, hehas no choice but to illegally cross the border into Russia in order to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend Marja. Fortunately, he has Teppo Korhonen (Martti Suosalo) at his side to aide him.

     

    The Father, The Son, and The Unholy Spirit/Isä, poika ja paha henki July 29 & 30

    The husband of Viktor Kärppä’s estranged cousin has gone missing while working illegally in Finland. Kärppä discovers a connection with one of his tenant’s criminal operations.

    After intercepting a drug shipment bound for Helsinki, the private investigator finds himself under threat from a Russian gangster. So Kärppä must look for a way out in order to protect his family.

     

    Scandinaviahouse.org

    Only ASF Members may reserve film tickets, by calling 212.847.9746 or by emailing 

     

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    Ingmar Bergman – Bergman Week

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 17th June 2015
  • ingmar-bergman

    Nordophile looks more closely at Ingmar Bergman and the week of celebrations. He was part of most respected and influential directors and writers, that we have seen in recent times. When film was of a golden age, the talents coming from different corners of the world were at magnitude levels. But Ingmar stood out, due to […]




    Nordophile looks more closely at Ingmar Bergman and the week of celebrations. He was part of most respected and influential directors and writers, that we have seen in recent times. When film was of a golden age, the talents coming from different corners of the world were at magnitude levels. But Ingmar stood out, due to his whole involvement in the project. From the conception of writing to the direction and production. And Ingmar’s subjects were always thought provoking because of their realism.

    Ingmar stayed very loyal to his Swedish roots, in particular, filming on the island of Fårö, where he lived. Although he was born in Uppsala, Ingmar eventually settled on Fårö, which to this day celebrates his life’s work.

     

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    We look ahead to the Bergman Week on Fårö, which is the 12th edition of its festival – the Bergman Week – will take place on June 22-28, 2015.

    Located on the island of Fårö, the Bergmancenter is a museum and meeting place that focuses on the life and artistic achievements of legendary director and writer Ingmar Bergman.

    Our current exhibitions are Fårö – Ingmar Bergman’s Cinematic Landscape, a permanent exhibition which will take you through Bergman’s life and work on Fårö, The Drawing Room, inspired by Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander, and Laterna Magica, a video installation produced by the Deutsche Kinemathek.

     

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    Ingrid Bergman’s Centenary: Autumn Sonata in focus

    In this 12th edition Bergman Week turns the spotlight towards another Bergman: Ingrid in the occasion of the centenary of her birth in 1915.

    Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata (1978) was Ingrid’s final performance on the big screen, for which she received her 7th Academy Award nomination. This long-awaited collaboration between Sweden’s most notable Bergmans also received an Academy Award nomination for best script.

    Bergman Week honors Ingrid Bergman’s memory with a special section of the program, “5 X Sonata”, with guests who were involved in the making of the movie and can share their experience first hand with the public, including long collaborator and producer Katinka Faragó and the editor responsible for editing 14 of Ingmar Bergman’s films, from Autumn Sonata to his last one, Saraband, Sylvia Ingemarsdotter.

    Autumn Sonata is also presented as a theatre adaptation with actresses Grynet Molvig and Paula Ternström as directed by Rune Jakobsson.

     

     

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    Experience Bergman’s films in his own private cinema

    Once a year there is a chance to sit on Bergman’s own cinema on Fårö. This year you will have the opportunity to watch the features he shot on the island just a few meters away from the filming locations. Prepare for a magical experience that won’t be easy forget.

    Work-in-progress

    Bergman Week will welcome directors Gellert Tamas and Lawen Mohtadi, who will show extracts and discuss their collaboration in the upcoming documentary depicting author and activist Katarina Taikon’s life and struggle in name of the Romanian civil rights in Sweden during the 60s and 70s.

    Director Lisa Aschan is coming to Fårö to present working material of her upcoming feature The white people. With actress Pernilla August and Vera Vitali, the film portrays six locked up people as they struggle to survive. Adding another aspect to the discussion is the documentary Förvaret, screened and presented by director Anna Persson and Shaon Chakraborty.

    Erik Hemmendorrf who produced the Swedish Oscar nominee for 2015, Ruben Östlund’s Turist will present extracts of his latest production, Epifania, a coproduction between Sweden and Colombia, shot partially on Fårö, by directors Anna Eborn and Oscar Ruiz Navia.

     

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    Music from different corners

    Bergman Week will also be the occasion for the public to enjoy an opera based on Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers (1972), composed by the New York based Brazilian composer João MacDowell.
    Norwegian composer and jazz pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff will present his latest solo album and also pieces composed on Fårö during his time as a resident in one of Bergman’s houses.

    For those who missed the chance to experience the multimedia performance The Magic Flute in August 2014, there will be another chance to see the magic show involving music, dance, acrobatics, animation and puppet theatre.

    Film Premiere

    The Philosopher King by Canadian director Rouzbeh Noori, shot on Fårö in 2014 will have its premiere during Bergman Week. Also in the program is Liv Ullman’s latest work as a director, the Hollywood production Miss Julie, with Colin Farrel and Jessica Chastain in the main roles. Miss Julie is yet to be released in the cinemas in Sweden.

    Visit Bergmancenter.se for more information on the week’s program.

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    Arne Dahl – Series 2

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 5th June 2015
  • arnedahl

    With all the excitement surrounding the Nordicana event this weekend, Nordic Noir fans are looking ahead to all the new series coming our way this year, from some of our most loved Nordic dramas. One such drama which is on everyone’s lips is ‘Arne Dahl ‘ and the much-anticipated season 2.   We’ve been lucky enough […]




    With all the excitement surrounding the Nordicana event this weekend, Nordic Noir fans are looking ahead to all the new series coming our way this year, from some of our most loved Nordic dramas.

    One such drama which is on everyone’s lips is ‘Arne Dahl ‘ and the much-anticipated season 2.

     

    arne-dahl

    We’ve been lucky enough to have some pictures sent over from the man himself, for a sneak peek at what the characters get up to in the next series.

    The second season of the TV series Arne Dahl has already been successful in Sweden with around 1.5 million viewers per episode.

     

    arne dahl

    When I asked him at the end of last year, what fans could expect from the second series, he said “As of yet, I haven’t heard exactly when it will be on the BBC, but it will be broadcast in Sweden in February, so it’s pretty soon. You can expect the same intensity and complexity in ten more episodes, covering the last five books in the Arne Dahl Intercrime series. Kerstin Holm is now the boss of the team, and they get involved in some really heavy crimes. I haven’t seen more than a few fragments yet, but it does look promising.”

    arnedahl

    Arne dahl is the pen name for Jan Arnald, who has just come back from his stay in the States as guest professor of Swedish studies at Bethany College. He gave a speech on Swedish crime writing and subsequently held a workshop.

     

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    But Arne Dahl is now back on Swedish soil, for now! As he heads off to two major crime literary events in Scotland. BloodyScotland and ShetlandNoir

    Photo credit; Johan Paulin

     

     

     

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