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Norway pirouetting all the way to the IDFA

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- Three out of the four Norwegian entries in the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (18-29 November) focus on dance

Norway pirouetting all the way to the IDFA
Maiko – Dancing Child by Åse Svenheim Drivenes

Norway will set the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam dancing: three out of the four Norwegian entries in the IDFA – the world’s largest showcase for documentaries, which runs from 18-29 November – focus on dance, whereas there are very few dance moves featured in the three Finnish contributions to the programme.

Unspooling in the Panorama section, Norwegian director Åse Svenheim DrivenesMaiko – Dancing Child tracks the career of a Japanese dancer, who is now 32 and a Norwegian National Ballet prima ballerina.

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In Kids & Docs, Russian director Victor Kossakovsky will screen his Varicella (produced by Norway’s Anita Rehoff Larsen and Tone Grøttjord-Glenne), about two sisters who are seven and 12 years old, and who dream of becoming ballet soloists.

Norwegian director Erlend E Moe’s Dancing for You, also in Kids & Docs, follows 12-year-old Vilde in Gransherad, Telemark, who has a talent for the physically demanding Norwegian solo dance called Halling.

In the DOC U competition, Norwegian filmmaker Kari Anne Moe’s Rebels portrays four school dropouts with no jobs, otherwise destined for a life on welfare, who are given a chance to get back on track. 

Finland will be represented in the Best of Fests selection by Mika Taanila and Jussi Eerola’s Return of the Atom, “a black comedy of errors that transpired when a remote Finnish island was chosen for the site of the first nuclear power plant in the West after the Chernobyl disaster”. 

In Paradocs, “which goes beyond the frame of traditional documentary filmmaking”, Finnish director Maarit Suomi-Väänänen will show Log Head: her main character is a half-metre birch log skiing in the forest with a lumberjack on its head.

Finally, Finnish filmmaker Kati JuurusFor Kibera! has been picked for the mid-length documentary competition. In the film, radio journalist Boy Dallas examines whether the money earmarked for development work actually ends up at the right address. Will poverty ever come to an end in the urban slums of Kibera, Nairobi?

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