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HAUGESUND 2020 New Nordic Films

Haugesund’s New Nordic Films opts for a partial online edition


- The major Nordic industry event is already exploring a digital plan B set to run on its original dates, according to its programme director, Gyda Velvin Myklebust

Haugesund’s New Nordic Films opts for a partial online edition
New Nordic Films’ programme director, Gyda Velvin Myklebust

Running officially from 18-21 August, New Nordic Films, the industry section of the 48th Norwegian International Film Festival, which is set to unspool from 14-21 August in Haugesund, is already considering some online alternatives. The travel restrictions put in place owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the pending new announcements from the Norwegian government, due by next month, will all contribute to the final decision.

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According to an exclusive article published by the Nordisk Film & TV Fond (read it here), Gyda Velvin Myklebust, New Nordic Films’ programme director, gave her insight into the decisions and expectations. According to Myklebust, the travel restrictions that will still be in place in the autumn will prevent many participants from physically getting to Haugesund, whether from Europe or from elsewhere in the world, although it seems that said restrictions might become more relaxed sooner in the Nordic countries. For that reason, she and the team are giving serious consideration to using a closed, online platform to invite possible attendees to both participate in the co-production market and watch the work-in-progress versions of upcoming Nordic feature films.

It should be noted that more than 300 delegates from around the world attend the film market every year. In 2019, 20 Nordic movies were selected for the works-in-progress platform and competed for the Eurimages Lab Project Award, while 17 projects were eligible for the Nordic Co-Production Market Award and 17 new films were screened for industry professionals only.

Myklebust also mentioned that if parts of New Nordic Films go ahead as a digital event, this will still allow the meetings and the online networking to carry on, as the industry still needs to collaborate and move forward. The final decision, though, cannot be taken before brainstorming and discussions with the five Nordic film institutes, the world sales agents and the films’ rights holders.

According to the same article, even the launch of the festival itself is at risk because if the cinemas remain closed until that time, it will be practically impossible to carry on with an event that is aimed at local distributors and audiences. According to festival director Tonje Hardersen, “We do our programming in close collaboration with the Norwegian distributors, and of course, the Norwegian premiere is linked to the international premiere, so it is still too early to say how our festival will be affected. But what is certain is that it will be affected in one way or another.”

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