Nordic Film Fest 2015, the great North on the big screen

The Scandinavian directors, protagonist of the Nordic Film festival that took place in Rome from April 16th to 19th, have brought to viewers original ideas, such as "Stockolm Stories" and "They have escaped" the first work mentioned - introduced Saturday, April 18th  by Swedish director Karin Fahlén - is a kaleidoscope of tormented characters walking through urban life to find a balance at critical times; the second film, presented on 18th April by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää (director) with Pilvi Peltola Valkeapää (co-screenwriter) transports us along with two youngsters escaped from an institution for minors and for which society seems to only offer marginalization and risk.

Photo credits www.taxidrivers.it

The festival, organized by four Nordic embassies in Italy (Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, with the collaboration of the “Skandinavisk” of Rome and of the Embassy of Iceland in Paris) was launched on Thursday 16th  afternoon with "Life in a Fishbowl” ("Vonarstræti") the work of the Icelandic director Baldwin Z was introduced by Ingo Arnason, Director of the Scandinavian Circle. The evening continued with a double screening of the Danish film "The Keeper of the Lost Causes" ("Kvinden i Buret" directed by Mikkel Nørgaard) which attracted a large audience at the “Casa del Cinema” in Rome, in Villa Borghese.

Friday, April 17th  the panoramic view of the Northern cinema proposed the movie "The Reunion" (Återträffen), by the Swedish director Anne Odell, awarded in Venice, while the producer Mats Långbacka presented the Finnish film "The disciple" ("Lärjungen") of Ulrike Bengts. Then, the audience appreciated the Danish film "The Salvation" directed by Kristian Levring and "Pioneer" by Erik Skjoldbjærg, with the presence of screenwriter Christopher Grøndahl: the Norwegian film, presented in Toronto, is about oil drilling in the sea, an issue nowadays central to the debate in Norway.

The evening of Saturday 18 April, opened by Norway with the updating of Henrik Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the People" ("En Folkefiende") directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg, continued with a Danish movie, "The Hour of the Lynx "("I Lossens Time ") by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen. Finally, the evening of Sunday,  April 19th was opened by Finland, with "The Grump" ("Mielensäpahoittaja") by Dome Karukoski and introduced by Jaana Puskala representing the Finnish Film Foundation, while the Icelandic movie "Of Horses and Men "("Hross ì Hoss ") by Benedikt Erlingsson, was introduced by Ingo Arnason.

Christopher Grøndahl proposed the Norwegian movie "Nokas" directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg, the screening was followed by a special event dedicated to the figure of Anita Ekberg, with a speech by the Ambassador of Sweden Ruth Jacoby and the screening of a short documentary by “Istituto Luce”. Sweden was represented with the movie "Gentlemen" (based on a best-selling Klas Östergren’s novel) introduced by the director Mikael Marcimain, the actress Ruth Vega Fernandez and the producer Johannes Åhlund.

Also this year the Nordic Film Fest hosted, on 16th  and on 18th  April, a screening of "Visual Filmmaking / Video" by the Scandinavian Circle, Ingo Arnason presented short videos and documentaries along with artists in residence Elina Oikari (director, Finland); Magnus Florin (Swedish writer); Petri Nuutinen (photographer, Finland); Lowri Rees (Norwegian director); Lotte Thrane (writer, Denmark).

In the frame of the Nordic Film Fest, the “Casa del Cinema” of Rome hosted the initiative "North Meets South", in collaboration with "Anica" and "Writers Guild Italy", an event open to the film industry and to co-production projects, with the presence of Peter "Piodor " Gustafsson (Film Producer) who has participated in several successful movies such as "Let me in" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Karin Fahlén (director of "Stockholm Stories"); Camilla Ahlgren (who scripted series such as "The Bridge" and "Murder in Sandham") Johannes Åhlund, representing Sweden; Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää and Pilvi Peltola Valkeapää, authors of "They have escaped" ("He ovat paenneet"); Mats Långbacka of Langfilm Productions; Jaana Puskala (representing the Finnish Film Foundation) representing  Finland; Nikolaj Sherfig; Morten Dragsted representing Denmark; Christopher Grøndhal and Jan Eric Holst (executive editor of the "Nordic Film Institute") for Norway; Ingo Arnason, representing Iceland. This initiative was once again a basis for the continuation of a long tradition, that of Italian and Northern European movie co-production.

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