The Fifteenth Anniversary Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. continues at the Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills over thia weekends: January 25-26, 2014. 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.
In 2014 the new BALTIC FILM EXPO @SFFLA brings cinematic offerings from the three Baltic nations – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Festival Program for the first weekend (January 25-26)
Saturday January 25
10:30 THE HOUR OF THE LYNX
I Lossens Time, Denmark, 2013, 92 min., Søren Kragh-Jacobsen
45-year-old priest Helen is approached by scientist Lisbeth with a desperate plea for help. A young man, who has been sent to a psychiatric ward after killing an old couple, has attempted suicide while rambling about God. In a race against time the two women begin a shocking journey deep into the sick mind of a young man’s soul. What they are about to realize will change them forever.
Seenelkäik, Estonia, 2012, 93 min., Toomas Hussar
Estonian Submission for 2013 “Best Foreign Film” Academy Award
Estonian MP Aadu Kägu, fresh off a demeaning but successful appearance on a moronic game show that his young staff orchestrated for him, looks forward to a quiet day in the country picking mushrooms with his wife. But nothing goes according to plan..
2:30 MOTHER I LOVE YOU
Mammu, es tevi limu, Latvia, 2013, 83 min., Janis Nords
Latvian submission for “Best Foreign Film” Academy Award
n this striking coming-of-age drama, 12-year-old Raimonds does what he can to make his strict, single mother proud – he even plays the saxophone in the school band instead of riding his scooter in a skate park. When he tries to cover up a note from his school, it sparks a spiral of lies that soon spins out of control.
4:30 THE DISCIPLE
Lärjungen – Oppipoika, Finland, 2013, 80 min., Ulrika Bengts
Finnish submission for “Best Foreign Film” Academy Award
On an isolated island in the Baltic Sea in the summer of 1939, thirteen-year-old Karl arrives to work as lighthouse master Hasselbond’s assistant. Hasselbond turns Karl down because of his young age. Karl struggles desperately to stay on. Karl and Hasselbond’s oppressed son, Gustaf, make friends but their friendship changes to rivalry and hate when Hasselbond starts to favor Karl over his own son.
SWEA Los Angeles – Film Grant Presentation
6:30 CALL GIRL
Call Girl, Sweden, 2012, 140 minutes, Mikael Marcimain
Stockholm, late 70s. The model utopian society. But under the polished surface, other desires are eager to be fulfilled. Within a stone’s throw of government buildings and juvenile homes lies the seductive, glittery and dirty world of sex clubs, discotheques and apartments used for illicit rendezvous. Call Girl tells the story of how young Iris is recruited from the bottom rung of society, into a ruthless world where power can get you anything.
Frost, Iceland, 2012, 80 minutes, Reynir Lyngdal
Presented in cooperation with Screamfest
A young couple, physiologist Agla and filmmaker Gunnar wake up at a glacier drilling camp only to find the camp mysteriously abandoned and their co-workers gone. When searching for the lost team they realize they’re up against an unknown deadly force.
Förtroligheten, Sweden, 2013, 108 min., William Olsson
In the night after the party, a masked man sneaks unseen into the dark house in the affluent neighborhood. He molests Selinda, a fifteen year old girl while the rest of her family is fast asleep. The family is deeply shocked and the cracks between them open wider.
1:30 CONVERSATIONS ON SERIOUS TOPICS
Pokalbiai rimtomis temomis, Lithuania, 2012, 65 min., Giedrė Beinoriūtė
Lithuanian submission for “Best Foreign Film” Academy Award
A film without exterior action, props, landscapes or special effects. The main characters are children and teenagers with a special ability to describe the surrounding world. Intimate conversations with them reveal the picture of the modern world – at times melancholic, at times comical, at times dramatic. Shot in a minimalist fashion, the film raises questions about loneliness, love, God, the world and human relations. “The world is people.” “Don’t you believe in God? I can teach you how to start believing.”
3:00 THE SHOOTER
Skytten, Denmark, 2013, 94 min., Annette K. Olesen
An environmental thriller about a geophysicist and former Olympic marksman who watches political reporter Mia Moesgaard on TV saying that she, for one, wouldn’t be surprised if citizens will go far to stop the risky oil drillings in Greenland and perhaps even turn to violence in the process. The geophysicist decides to form an alliance with her: You write, I shoot! He gives the Danish politicians an ultimatum: “Stop drilling in the Arctic or I will start taking lives!” Before she realizes it, Mia has become part of his master plan.
5:00 IT’S UP TO YOU
Du velger selv, Norway, 2013, 15 min., Kajsa Næss
An animated documentary about growing up with a father in jail.
5:15 ZWEI LEBEN
Two Lives, Norway/Germany, 2012, 97 min., Georg Maas & Judith Kaufmann
German submission for “Best Foreign Film” Academy Award
n 1990 the Berlin wall has just crumbled: Katrine, raised in East Germany, now living in Norway is a war child: the result of a relationship between a Norwegian woman and a German occupation soldier during World War II. Katrine enjoys a happy family life, with her mother, her husband, daughter and grand-daughter. But when a lawyer asks her and her mother to witness in a trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of the war children, she resists. Gradually, a web of concealment and secrets is unveiled, until Katrine is finally stripped of everything, and her loved ones are forced to take a stand…..
7:30 WE ARE THE BEST
Vi är bäst!, Sweden, 2013, 102 minutes, Lukas Moodysson
Stockholm 1982. A film about Bobo, Klara and Hedvig. Three 13-year old girls who roam the streets. Who are brave and tough and strong and weak and confused and weird. Who have to take care of themselves way too early. Who heat fish fingers in the toaster when mom is at the pub. Who start a punk band without any instruments, even though everybody says that punk is dead.
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