The 16th Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. (SFFLA) continues on January 24, 25 from across North Atlantic and Baltic waters offering its annual cargo of the representative “latest and best” of Nordic film with offerings from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden along with “Baltic Film Expo at SFFLA” adding films from Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia to the program of its annual “cinema cultural exchange” from the top of Europe at the Writers Guild Theater 135 S. Doheny in Beverly Hills,
“Call it a cargo of culture, commerce, and collaboration,” says festival founder/director James Koenig. “And we have an exciting program that follows old routes to new worlds and around the North Atlantic/Baltic neighborhood.”
On January 24 the second week commences with a journey into Baltic history — first with an Estonian short IVANIPAEV from Ivan Pavliutskov at 10:30, followed by Estonian Director Martti Helde’s feature IN THE CROSSWIND and the moving story of an Estonian woman and her young daughter’s struggle to find their way home after being deported to Siberia by Soviet occupiers in 1941.
At 3:30 it’s on to Finland’s Oscar offering, Pirjo Honkasalo’s CONCRETE NIGHT— a dream-like odyssey through beautiful Helsinki for a 14 year old and his older brother who must start a prison sentence on the following day.
At 5 p.m. Director Ruben Ostlund’s FORCE MAJEURE, (Sweden’s Oscar entry) takes us on a ski vacation into the aftermath of an avalanche when a family dynamic is shaken to the core after the father “runs for his life” to save himself.
The evening festivities and films include the presentation of the SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association) film grant with recipient Caroline Ingvarsson’s short “The Dog Walker” at 7:30 followed at 8 p.m. by an adaptation of Strindberg’s play MISS JULIE from Director Mikael Berg who sets the classic battle of the sexes in a Gatsby-Downton Abbey-esque 1920’s environment.
The final day (Jan 25) opens with Norwegian Director Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s PIONEER, a suspenseful drama set at the beginning of the 1980’s Norwegian oil boom and centered on a diver whose obsessions with reaching the bottom of the North Sea leads to tragedy.
At 1:15 a Baltic Expo offering with Lithuanian Oscar entry THE GAMBLER from Ignan Jonynas. A paramedic who is a passionate gambler, is forced to make radical decisions to pay his debts.
A Finnish comedy at 3:30 p.m. RASPBERRY BOAT REFUGEE from Director Leif Lindblom offers the tale of a Swede trapped in the body of a Finn— who attempts to swap identities with a disillusioned Swedish psychologist and become an authentic Swede.
Then at 5:30 it’s the return of the Skarsgard family to SFFLA with Petter Moland’s Norwegian thriller IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE. After being named “Citizen of the Year,” Nils (Stellan Skarsgard) is caught in the crossfire of two rival drug cartels as he attempts to avenge the death of his son who was their victim..
The festival closes with ITSI BITSI at 7:30 p.m. when Danish director Ole Christian Madsen (Superclassico) takes us into the Danish rock scene circa 1962 and the evolution of legendary band Steppeulvene.
Parent organization of SFFLA is The American Scandinavian Foundation of Los Angeles. The festival receives support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America),SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association), as well as assistance from Nordic Consulates and Embassies, Baltic Consulates and Embassies, and national film institutes, as well as individual and corporate donors. Complete schedule and online ticket ordering information available at http://www.sffla.net. Telephone box office for pre-sales open from Jan 12 at 323 661 4273.Hi