Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. (SFFLA) is a yearly showcase of films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The purposely non-competitive festival constitues an “annual residency of Nordic film in the film capital of the world” giving Los Angeles audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in the representative “best” of Nordic film making in any given year. In the Los Angeles winter “film season” build up to many awards including the Academy Awards, the festival pivots around screenings of “Oscar” submissions and current feature films along with selected shorts and documentaries.
The thirteenth annual Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. comes to the Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills, and spans two weekends: January 7-8, 14-15, 2012. The yearly showcase of Nordic films and filmmakers, launched in 2000, screens the year’s Scandinavian films submitted to the Academy as nominees for Best Foreign-Language Film as well as other current feature, documentary, and short films. All screenings will be held at Writers Guild Theater – 135 South Doheny – Beverly Hills.
Saturday January 7
THE LAST NORWEGIAN TROLL
In the old days, Norway used to be a safe haven for Trolls, but not anymore. One day three young goats decide to get rid of an old Troll who lives under a bridge. Little do they know that he is the last survivor of his species, the very last Troll of Norway…
Hundreds of years ago in Lapland a great story was born…
LABRADOR/ OUT OF BOUNDS
A desolate, windswept island. Stella and Oskar, a young couple, visit her father Nathan, who lives a lone life in the company of his labrador dog. Stella is pregnant and looking forward to the birth of her baby, but Oskar appears to be in doubt. When Oskar falls prey to Nathan’s provocations and feels bewildered by the relationship between father and daughter, a clash between the two men is inevitable and Stella is caught in between.
A vital musical film about being who you are and loving who ever you want
Gender Me is a road-movie about Mansour’s voyage into the world of Islam. It is a personal voyage in a world of taboos, full of contradictory images. He searches the question of faith and gender in Islam and he wants to collect the unusual stories of Muslim gays. Mansour is a homosexual Iranian refuge and pharmacist; he has been living in Oslo for 18 years. Now he wants to travel back to Istanbul, where he lived two years before he got asylum in Norway.
Anne Sewitsky’s Happy, Happy is Norway’s Selection for the 2012 Best Foreign Movie Oscar. In Happy, Happy, family is the most important thing in the world to Kaja. She is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys, and who refuses to have sex with her because she “isn’t particularly attractive” anymore. Whatever—that’s life! But when “the perfect couple” moves in next door, Kaja struggles to keep her emotions in check. Not only do these successful, beautiful, exciting people sing in a choir; they have also adopted a child—from Ethiopia! These new neighbors open a new world to Kaja, with consequences for everyone involved. And when Christmas comes around, it becomes evident that nothing will ever be like before, even if Kaja tries her very best.
One morning just before Christmas, Leena, 34, receives a phone call from a hospital in her childhood hometown telling her that her mother is dying. This news takes her on a journey to face her mother for the first time in her adult life. Leena has fought all her life to let go of her grief over her lost and dark childhood. She is now forced to deal with her past before she can move on. This Swedish Oscar entry is Pernilla August’s directorial debut and stars among others Noomi Rapace who garnered attention for her work as The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo, in the Millennium Trilogy.
Sunday. January 8
Sweden, 2010, 29 Minute Running Time
Two brothers living on the streets in Kurdistan hatch a daring plan to get to America—which they are pretty sure lies just across the border.
DIRECTOR: Karzan Kader
Producer: Glenn Lund
Winner of Cinema Without Borders’ Best International Short Film at 2011 Palm Springs Shortfest.
A BALLOON FOR ALLAH
Norwegian-Turkish filmmaker Nefise decides to send a balloon letter to Allah in order to change the role of women in the Muslim cultures.
Following her grandmother’s Sufi path, she goes on a quest to find grandma’s Islam. The film shuttles between her actual journey and her dreams. She experiences the diversity of Cairo, Istanbul and Oslo by meeting Nawal El Saadawi, Gamal Al Banna and Asma Barlas. As she strolls through this maze, the link between the three Abrahamic religions and the oppression of women becomes clear to her.
When Hannes retires from his job as a janitor the big, empty time span that is the rest of his life begins. He is estranged from his family, has hardly any friends and the relationship to his wife has faded. Through drastic events, Hannes realises that he has to adjust his life in order to help someone he loves. Volcano is a love story of someone who has to deal with the choices of the past and the difficulties of the present in order to embrace the future.
5 DAYS OF WAR
Special screening, presented by Cinema Without Borders and Scandinavian Film Festival, LA. Director Renny Harlin will be present for Q & A and receiving Cinema Without Borders’ Bridging The Borders Award.
5 Days of War is inspired by the real events of the swift-but-devastating, five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. An American journalist (Rupert Friend) and his cameraman (Richard Coyle), have been caught in the combat zone during the first Russian airstrikes against Georgia. Rescuing Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a young Georgian schoolteacher from the attack, the two reporters agree to help reunite her with her family in exchange for her services as their interpreter. As the three attempt to escape to safety, they witness—and document—the devastation from the full-scale crossfire to the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians.
They desperately attempt to broadcast the footage they’ve captured while under attack from the Russian soldiers and local mercenaries, but are met with resistance from American and international networks either shorthanded from covering the Beijing Olympics or simply fatigued by war news. The trio realizes their survival is paramount, so they can live to broadcast the truth.
Finland’s Oscar Entry
In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight.
Anna has moved to Buenos Aires to live out her dream of being a sports agent and ends up falling for Argentina’s biggest football star. Instead of mailing the divorce papers, her husband Christian flies out with his teenage son to deliver them in person, all the while secretly hoping to win back his wife and his life …
Parent organization of Scandinavian Film Festival is the American Scandinavian Foundation of Los Angeles. Support for the festival includes individuals, organizations, and corporate sponsorship, with the assistance of The Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Finnish Film Foundation, and the Icelandic Film Centre. The festival is proud to partner with ELMA—European Languages and Movies in America, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, SWEA (Swedish WomenÊ¼s Educational Association), the Royal Norwegian Consulate, and the Finnish Consulate, with help from the local honorary Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic Consulates in the concerted effort to bring Nordic film culture to the Los Angeles/Hollywood cultural scene.
For further information, and a complete schedule of all films and events, and information on becoming a donor or purchasing tickets, log on to www.sffla.net or www.scandinavianfilmfestivalla.com or call 323-661-4273