Country Focus: Norway
Norway’s Sørfond supports five projects from developing countries
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who has three times been awarded at Cannes, most recently taking the Palme d’Or for his Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives [+see also:
film profile] (2010), was one of the recipients when Norway’s Sørfond yesterday allocated €250,000 for five film projects from developing countries, where – for political or financial reasons – they could be difficult to produce.
Funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, and managed by the Norwegian Film Institute and the Films from the South Foundation (which organises the annual Films from the South Festival in Oslo), Weerasethakul was supported for his new feature, Cemetery of Kings, which he scripted, and which will be produced by Kick the Machine with Norway’s Eric Vogel and Ingunn Sundelin (Tordenfilm).
While Cemetery of Kings is set in “a mythical and political universe,” Ethiophian director Yared Zeleke’s Lamb explores how a young boy deals with the loss of home and family. Slum Kid Films will be producing with Norway’s Alan R Milligan (Films Farms). Ghanaian director Akosua Adoma Owusu’s portrait of an African hairdresser with an albino daughter in Black Sunshine will be staged by Mexico’s Piano, with Norway’s Ingrid Lill Høgtun (Barentsfilm).
Rwandan director Niyongabo Yves Montand will focus on Giti, the only village in the country, which stood up against the 1994 genocide and protected its 450,000 population. The documentary, Giti – Paradise in Hell, will be produced by Almond Three Films Rwanda and Barentsfilm’s Høgtun. Haitian director Raoul Peck’sMurder in Pacot, which follows a married couple trying to cope with the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, will be produced by Velvet Film and Norway’s Rune Thorkildsen (Ape&Bjørn).
“With a bigger fund and more money, we could easily have supported more projects, but these five scripts stand out with vision, originality and creativity, and in different ways have an urgency and importance,” said the jury of Saudi Arabian director Haifa Al-Mansour, Norwegian director Dag Johan Haugerud and actress Tone Johnsen, who considered 63 applications.