The Norwegian drama is the second film backed by Fund, selected at the 69th Berlinale's main competition programme, together with Lone Scherfig’s opening film The Kindness of Strangers.  

Veteran Norwegian director will attend the main competition section for the fourth time. His first Golden Bear entry was The Beautiful Country (2004), followed by A Somewhat Gentle Man (2010) and In Order of Disappearance (2014), both interpreted by Stellan Skarsgård. 

Out Stealing Horses is based on Per Petterson’s eponymous best-selling novel, translated into 50 languages. Set in 1999, the story focuses on Trond (67) who has moved to a remote house in the forest where he can grieve the death of his wife. The countryside idyll is disturbed however, by a chance encounter with a neighbour whom he knew when he was young, in the summer 1948. That summer his father disappeared from his life for good. The same summer for the first time he felt close to a woman, the same woman who disappeared with his father. 

Other cast members include Jon Ranes, Bjørn Floberg, Tobias Santelmann, Pål Sverre Hagen, Gard B. Eidsvold and Danica Curcic. 

Moland said Out Stealing Horses was “a work of maddening passion from a great group of people, a delirious attempt to capture the mesmerizing tone in a story full of tactile observations and life-altering dramatic events. It's simply great to be able to share the film with the audience in Berlin and in Norway”.

The film was produced by by Håkon Øverås and Turid Øversveen for 4 ½ Fiksjon, in co-production with Zentropa Entertainments5, Zentropa Sweden, Helgeland Film, Film i Väst and Nordisk Film, with support from The Norwegian Film Institute, The Danish Film Institute and The Swedish Film Institute, in cooperation with NRK, DR and SVT. TrustNordisk handles world sales. The domestic release is set for March 8, 2019. 

Stine Helgeland, Head of Communication, Insight and International Relations at the Norwegian Film Institute stressed the ‘good timing’ of Out Stealing Horses selection in Berlin since Norway is this year’s Country in Focus, with its own Norway House opposite the European Film Market. 

The 69th Berlinale will unspool February 7-17, 2019.

Nordisk Film & TV Fond will be represented as well in Berlin with the Finnish film Stupid Young Heart by Selma Vilhunen, screening at the Generation 14Plus section.