Norway and Sweden in Un Certain Regard
by Annika Pham
Bent Hamer, one of Norway’s most celebrated filmmakers on the international festival circuit, has been selected for Un Certain Regard with his film O’Horten [+see also:
film profile], while Sweden (which had Roy Andersson’s You, the Living [+see also:
interview: Pernilla Sandström
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile] in the official section last year) will be represented this year by Ruben Östlund’s Involuntary (De ofrivilliga).
This will be screenwriter-director-producer Hamer’s fourth time in Cannes. Three of his previous films screened at the Directors Fortnight: his feature debut Eggs (1995), Kitchen Stories (2003) and the English-language Factotum [+see also:
film profile] (2005).
Just like Eggs and Kitchen Stories, O’Horten is a dark comedy about the elderly. The story follows train conductor O’Horten (Bård Owe) on his last trip before retirement, from Oslo to Bergen.
The €2.5m film was produced by Hamer’s BulBul Film in co-production with long-time partner Pandora Film in Germany. It was co-financed by Arte, Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Scanbox (in pre-sales for distribution in the Nordic countries), with support from the Norwegian Film Fund and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. International sales are handled by The Match Factory. The film was released in Norway last December and just won Best Film from the Norway’s Film Critics Association.
Östlund had his breakthrough with his feature debut Guitar Mongoloid, winner of a FIPRESCI Award at the 2005 Moscow International Film Festival. His new film Involuntary is a tragicomedy about the influence of groups on individuals, depicted through five separate stories.
The script was written by Östlund and Erik Hemmendorff, his partner in Plattform Produktion. Maria Lundqvist plays one of the lead roles. The film is produced by Plattform Produktion, with co-financing from Film i Väst, Swedish broadcaster SVT, and support from the Swedish Film Institute. International sales are handled by The Co-production Office. SF will handle domestic distribution in the fall.
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