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Haugesund’s Eurimages Lab Project Award goes to Norwegian project Burning Man


- Itonje Søimer Guttormsen’s forthcoming feature debut was among the recipients of prizes at Haugesund’s 2018 New Nordic Films

Haugesund’s Eurimages Lab Project Award goes to Norwegian project Burning Man
Director Itonje Søimer Guttormsen (centre) with her Eurimages Lab Project Award

On Thursday evening, the Eurimages Lab Project Award of €50,000 was handed out for the fourth time in Haugesund. The recipient was Burning Man by director Itonje Søimer Guttormsen, who is also co-producing it with Marie Ekerhovd.

The intention of the Eurimages Lab Project Award is to reward the most promising “cutting edge” film in the works-in-progress part of New Nordic Films. The award is given to a film that is experimental, either in form or content, or which edges outside of the traditional film-production framework. It should also be a result of international co-operation. The films presented as works in progress are either in production or post-production. The award is intended to contribute to the completion of the film.

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An enthusiastic jury – consisting of Romanian director Csaba Bereczki, international programme coordinator for the Thessaloniki International Film Festival Ilse Acevedo, Norwegian film consultant and film critic Kalle Løchen, and Danish producer Marianne Slot – stated the following regarding Burning Man: “Elements of this project that caught the jury’s attention in particular included the clear authorial direction, the good use of rhythm and the original cinematographic exploration of the main character’s road trip whilst she confronts some extreme situations.”

The film is a loose sequel to Itonje Søimer Guttormsen’s award-winning 2016 short Retrett, centring on Gritt, a struggling movement artist. Burning Man, which will also be Guttormsen’s feature debut, invites us to follow Gritt’s new adventures a year after the events of Retrett.

A Eurimages Lab Project Special Mention was also given to the film Ridge [+see also:
film review
film profile
 by John Skoog, “for its visual aesthetics”. 

The industry awards presented at the 2018 edition of New Nordic Films in Haugesund on Thursday also included the Next Nordic Generation Award, given to the best film from the Nordic film schools, which this year was deemed to be The 99 Steps Left from the Square, directed by Sevgi Eker from Aalto University, Finland. The Best Project Award, for the best project in the Nordic Co-Production Market, went to One-off Incident (X10) by director Kirsikka Saari and producer Elli Toivoniemi, for Tuffi Films.

The Nordic Script Pitch Award for the best script pitch went to Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir for the project Vergo. Finally, the Scandinavian Debut Award went to the Norwegian project Wolf, Wolf by director Jon Vatne

Here is the complete list of winners: 

Eurimages Lab Project Award
Burning Man – Itonje Søimer Guttormsen (Norway)

Special Mention
Ridge [+see also:
film review
film profile
 – John Skoog (Sweden)

Next Nordic Generation Award
The 99 Steps Left from the Square – Sevgi Eker (Finland) 

Best Project Award
One-off Incident (X10) – Kirsikka Saari (Finland) 

Nordic Script Pitch
Vergo – Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir (Iceland)

Scandinavian Debut Award
Wolf, Wolf – Jon Vatne (Norway)

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