Norway supports seven new films from developing countries
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Films from the South and the NFI are providing top financing for projects from Mexico, Venezuela, the Philippines, India, Thailand, Ukraine and Tunisia
Besides organising Oslo’s annual Films from the South Festival – the upcoming 25th edition of which unspools between 8 and 18 October – Norway’s Films from the South Foundation is managing, together with the Norwegian Film Institute, the Films from the South production fund, supporting projects from developing countries with Norwegian co-producers.
Financed by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the fund had this year received applications for 64 productions, “generally of very high quality”, according to the jury, comprising Amra Bakšić Čamo (Bosnia), Bård Breien and Kalle Løchen (Norway), which awarded a total of €0.4 million in top financing for seven projects:
Mexican director Amat Escalante will film The Untamed [+see also:
film profile], from Gibrán Portela’s script, about a woman with two children, who wants to liberate herself from a male chauvinistic, homophobic society that is hostile to women. Mantarraya Producciones will produce, with Norway’s Mer Film (Maria Ekerhovd).
Venezuelan writer-director Gustavo Rondón is preparing La Familia, about a father and his son: in self-defence, the son kills a member of a gang, and the father decides that they must flee the city. It is produced by La Pandilla Producciones, with Norway’s Dag Hoel Filmproduksjon.
In the documentary Cemetery Life, Filipino writer-director Barbara Politsch will film a group of people who have chosen to live in a large Catholic cemetery in Manila. Southern Lantern Studios and Norway’s Merkur Filmproduksjon (Petter Vennerød) will produce.
Indian director Pankaj Johar will focus on forced labour in India, depicting a group of young girls who have to work as housekeepers, in his documentary Selling Humans, produced by Pennywise Films and Norway’s Lightsource Film (Arne Dahr).
A woman who wants out of her relationship with a man affiliated with a religious sect is the theme of Thai writer-director Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Samui Song, from Bluering Company and Norway’s Tenk.tv (Frode Søbstad).
Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy has scripted Luxembourg, a jealousy-themed drama about a policeman who works as a watchman in the exclusion zone after the Chernobyl disaster – an area the size of Luxembourg – which Garmata Film will stage with Norway’s DuoFilm (Linda Bolstad and Marie Fuglestein).
Finally, Tunisian writer-director Kaouther Ben Hania will follow a woman who has been raped as she makes her way to hospital and the police, where she is met with resistance, suspicion and arrogance, in I Hate My Life, produced by Cinetelefilms and Norway’s Integralfilm (Jørgen and Nefise Özkal Lorentzen).