Scandinavian Film Festival LA, enters its final weekend and the following are the films that you can watch o-line between January 21th to 24th.
MY FAVORITE WAR (Oscar submission – animated feature)
(Norway/Latvia), 2020, 80 minutes, Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen
This is the personal story of the director, Ilze, growing up in Cold-War Latvia, USSR. It’s a coming of age story, a personal escape route from the mighty authoritarian regime’s brainwashing. An antiwar film, emphasizing the importance of an individual’s freedom being a democratic society’s fundamental right.
Life After Death (Oscar submission – feature)
Livet efter döden’ (Finland), 2020, 80 minutes, Klaus Härö
Nisses wife Leila has just died, but he has mourned enough, with only some practical arrangements left to do. After deciding it’s going to be a small funeral — no fuss —Nisse soon finds himself overrun by sons, mothers, and friends, when all he wants is for everyone to do is leave him alone and stop the lamentation, to be alone with what remains: sorrow. But despite these wishes, he begins to understand that he’s not the only one with the right to say goodbye. A tragicomic film about an older man who manages to push the people around him away when he would need them the most, the film is also humorous in tone as the characters’ find difficulty in understanding one another. Life After Death is the first autobiographical film by Klaus Härö, and his first comedy.
Short Films: Nordic and Baltic Oscar Contenders
SCREEN ALL SHORT FILMS WITH ONE TICKET
Featuring Nordic and Baltic Short Films that are eligible for Best Short and Best Short Documentary Academy Award.
THE WEIGHT OF ALL THE BEAUTY
Süda Sõrve Sääres (Estonia, 2019; dir. Eeva Mägi). 24 min. In Estonian and English with English subtitles
For the men living in the Põdra village between sea and forest, the only one to play with is a bottle demon: Vodka Spirit. Villi, the only survivor of his group of friends (Urmas, Kalju, Heints and Väints), tells their stories and how they ended up being tricked by that spirit, taking us on a journey through his village, where the houses of his friends and protective old trees live on as if nothing had happened. And if everyone else is dead, how is Villi still alive? The Weight of All the Beauty is a poetical documentary about men who are full of beauty, love and vitality but also loneliness. Winner of the Best Estonian Documentary, Pärnu International Documentary Film Festival 2019; Young Filmmaker Award for Eeva Mägi, DocPoint Tallinn 2019; and Qualifying Abercrombine & Kent award for Best Documentary, Melbourne International Film Festival 2020.
(Norway, 2019; dir. Christina Lande). 18 min. In Norwegian with English subtitles
Sixty-four year-old Iben lives alone with her dog Ivo in the small coastal community of Lofoten, where she works as a schoolteacher. When a well-meant gesture leads a student to claim that he has been bitten by her dog, she faces a difficult decision when the other villagers demand that Ivo be put down. Winner of the Grand Prize Live Action Short, Rhode Island Film Festival 2020; nominated for The Gold Chair, Norwegian Short Film Festival 2019 & The Tromsø Palm, Tromsø International Film Festival 2020.
Atkūrimas (Lithuania, 2020; dir. Laurynas Bareiša). 13 min. In Lithuanian with English subtitles
Using a faceless doll, a criminal reenacts a brutal crime that took place in the woods. But surprisingly, he is not the one being judged — and there seems to be an odd person out in the investigative group. Winner of the Grand Prize, Festival REGARD Saguenay; Best Narrative Film, Palm Spring Short Film Festival; and more.
Njuokčamat(Norway 2019; dir. Marja Bål Nango and Ingir Ane Bål Nango). 15 min. In Sami with English subtitles
When a Sami woman is attacked by a man during a blizzard on the tundra while she is herding reindeer, her sister senses that something is wrong, and sets off in search for her. Wrapped in fear and confusion, both women will unite in their fight for revenge. Winner of Best International Short Film at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, and Best Director at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Njuokčamat is a strong visual and exploratory film story that deals with the taboo theme of abuse of women in indigenous communities in Northern Norway.
THE KICKSLED CHOIR
Sparkekoret (Norway 2020; dir. Torfinn Iversen). 18 min. In Norwegian with English subtitles
Ten-year-old Gabriel loves to sing and has one desire: to sing in the local choir, which rides kick-sleds through the snowy landscape of Northern Norway, and is known for their kindness and charity towards the village refugees. But when Gabriel’s father gets into a fight with one of the local refugees, Gabriel’s quest to join The Kicksled Choir becomes challenging. Winner of the 2020 TIFF Junior — Tromsø International Children’s Film Festival Audience Award; the 2020 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival Professional Jury’s Prize for Best Live-Action Short, and other awards.
MY DEAR CORPSES
Mu kallid laibad (Estonia, 2020; dir. German Golub). 34 min. In Estonian and Russian with English subtitles.
Unexpectedly evicted from his house, Erki faces a rather difficult task to take care of his lonely mother: becoming a corpse carrier. But the situation is about to get a whole lot worse, as Erki meets a new colleague who sees the job as just another day in the field. Made by Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School students, My Dear Corpses was a gold medal winner at the Student Academy Awards.