Kon-Tiki to dock at Haugesund before premiere in all Norway cinemas
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
22/02/2012 - Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning’s €12.3 million Kon-Tiki [trailer] will open the 40th Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund on August 18 – and the following Friday, Norway’s so-far most expensive feature will be premiered in all Norway’s cinemas (around 185 of them) through Nordisk Film Distribusjon AS.
”Couldn’t have imagined a more suitable opening myself,” said Festival Director Gunnar Johan Løvvik, who's also celebrating the festival’s and his own 30 years as chief in Haugesund, where it settled after ten years' tourism. ”There has never been a Norwegian film with such expectations.”
Scripted by Peter Skavlan, Kon-Tiki is produced by Norwegian Aage Aaberge for Danish major Nordisk Film & TV AS (NO) and UK producer Jeremy Thomas, of the UK’s Recorded Picture Company, following Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and five fellow scientists on their 101-day voyage from South America to the Polynesian Islands on their wooden raft, the Kon-Tiki.
The replica vessel used for the film is currently docking in Malta, where the production was lensing for eight weeks – three at sea, one on locations and three in a large water tank. However, it will relocate to Haugesund for the festival between August 17-23, also hosting the local Oscars.
After filming for 20 weeks in six countries, Kon-Tiki – starring Sverre Valheim, Odd-Magnus Wiliamson, Tobias Santelmann, Anders Baasmi Christiansen, Jakob Oftebro, Agnes Kittelsen and Swedish actor Gustaf Skarsgård – is in digital post, while the UK’s Hanway Films is about to start international sales.
”We have made two versions back-to-back, one in Norwegian-Swedish-and whatever language is spoken, with subtitles, another with an English dialogue,” explained Aaberge. ”In the first, Valheim’s English is pretty bad, because Heyerdahl’s English was pretty bad, while in the second it is perfect.”
Nordisk holds the Scandinavian rights, otherwise the film has been licensed to Germany (DCM). Heyerdahl’s 1950 documentary of the voyage became Norway’s so far only full-length film to win an Oscar (which eventually went to the Swedish producer). He himself worked on a feature till his death in 2002.