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BUSAN 2016 Nordic countries

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The Giant and Olli Mäki heading for the Busan Film Festival

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- Five Nordic films – all with Swedish involvement – have been selected for the South Korean showcase that includes 300 entries from 69 countries

The Giant and Olli Mäki heading for the Busan Film Festival
The Giant by Johannes Nyholm

Swedish director Johannes Nyholm’s first feature, The Giant [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Johannes Nyholm
film profile
]
, which won the Special Jury Prize at the recent San Sebastián International Film Festival, and Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s feature debut, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
, which received the Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes, will spearhead the five-title Nordic selection for the Busan International Film Festival, which takes place from 6-15 October. They will both screen in the Flash Forward section at the South Korean showcase, which will this year show 300 films from 69 countries, including five Nordic entries, which are all Swedish productions or co-productions.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)Cine Iberoamericano Int

Also scripted by Nyholm, The Giant stars Christian Andrén as autistic, 30-year-old Rikard, who lives in a home for disabled people. To deal with life's trials and tribulations, he escapes into a fantasy world, where he is a 50-metre-tall giant. Produced by Maria Dahlin for Garagefilm International, it will be released domestically on 14 October by Triart Film; Paris’ Indie Sales handles the international distribution. 

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki garnered Kuosmanen the Best Director Award and, together with cinematographer J-P Passi, the Achievement of the Year Award when the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy and the Finnish Film and TV Producers’ Association presented their annual prizes to the Finnish film industry last week (22 September – read the news). The film was co-produced by Stockholm’s Tre Vänner and Swedish regional film centre Film Väst.

Swedish director Anna Eborn and Colombian filmmaker Oscar Ruiz Navia have made Epifanía, a documentary feature that will have its world premiere at Busan. A co-production by Sweden’s Plattform Produktion, Colombia’s Contravia Films and Denmark’s CPH:DOX, it follows a young woman who is affected by the death of her mother. During her period of grief, she dreams about her mum coming back to life. 

Also screening in Flash Forward, Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat's feature debut, Wolf and Sheep [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
film profile
]
,was a Danish entry in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. “She's one of the first Afghan woman directors ever, and she wanted to depict another Afghanistan to the one we see in the media,” said Danish-German producer Katja Adomeit, who staged the movie for her Copenhagen-based outfit Adomeit Film, with Zentropa International Sweden and Film Väst, among others. 

Swedish director Jacob Bak Ley’s feature debut, Get Santa!, will screen in the Cinekids sidebar. A Linu Stöhr Thorell production for Denmark’s Copenhagen Bombay Rights and CB Sweden, it follows 11-year-old Julius, a bit of an outsider, who lives at an orphanage. When he is about to lose his belief in Santa Claus (maybe he is just the headmaster dressing up), something strange happens, and he finds himself in a magical world. The local opening is set for 25 December.

Incidentally, while not strictly a Nordic film, Polish director Tomasz Wasilewski’s drama United States of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Tomasz Wasilewski
film profile
]
, which has been selected for Busan’s World Cinema programme, also has a Swedish connection, as it was co-produced by Film Väst.

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