A strong line up of 11 Nordic feature films and documentaries - half of them directed by women - have been selected for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. All Nordic territories are represented in Toronto, a favoured launching pad in North America for producers, distributors and sales agents.
Among the 21 titles from 47 countries selected for the World Contemporary Cinema programme are five Nordic films.
The Danish entry Resin (Harpiks) world premiering in Toronto is directed by Daniel Joseph Borgman for Adomeit Film and Zentropa. The psychological thriller centres on a family who has decided to escape modern life to live as hermits on a remote island. But it slowly becomes clear that nature is not the only reason why they have chosen to live in isolation. In the title roles are Peter Plauborg, Sofie Gråbøl and newcomer Vivelill Søgaard Holm. The film will be released on December 25, 2019. TrustNordisk handles sales.
Finland’s Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (Koirat eivät käytä housuja) by J-P Valkeapää which world premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, will have its North American premiere in Toronto. Pekka Strang plays a grieving widower who turns to a dominatrix (Krista Kosonen) to find solace. The Helsinki filmi production co-produced by Latvia’s Tasse Film opens November 1st in Finland. Yellow Affair handles sales.
Maria’s Paradise (Marian paratiisi) has its world premiere in Toronto where Finnish director Zaida Bergroth was invited twice earlier with The Good Son and Miami. Based on a true story that occurred in 1920s Finland, the drama tells of the complex relationship between the fragile orphan girl Salome (Satu Tuuli Karhu) and the charismatic cult leader Maria Åkerblom (Pihla Viitala). The period drama opens domestically October 4. LevelK handles sales.
Iceland is represented with the anticipated sophomore film from RAMS’ director Grímur Hákonarson. The County (Héraðið) which just opened in Iceland. Arndis Hrönn Egilsdóttir plays Inga, a widowed farmer who starts a new life and stands up against corruption and injustice in her community. The film is produced by Netop Films with Denmark’s Profile Pictures, France’s Haut et Court and Germany’s One Two Films. World sales are handled by New Europe Film Sales.
Meanwhile Hlynur Pálmason who attended Toronto’s Discovery section in 2017 with his debut Winter Brothers, is back this year with A White, White Day (Hvítur, Hvítur Dagur) for which Ingvar Sigurdsson picked up an acting award at Cannes’ Critics Week. The film produced by Iceland’s Join Motion Pictures, Denmark’s Snowglobe and Sweden’s Hob AB is scheduled to open in Iceland on September 6. New Europe Film Sales handles sales.
The Discovery section has three Nordic films by female directors, making their world premiere. Disco by Norway’s up-and-coming director Jorunn Myklebust Syversen stars Skam actress Josefine Frida as a teenage champion disco dancer, poster girl for and evangelical movement, who gradually turns to an even more radical congregation. Frida will also attend Toronto’s prestigious Rising Stars platform. The film opens in Norway October 4. New Europe Film Sales handles sales.
Hope (Håp) by Norway’s renowned director Maria Sødahl stars Stellan Skarsgård and Andrea Bræin Hovig as a couple whose relationship is put to test when the woman is diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer. The Motlys Film production opens November 22 in Norway. TrustNordisk handles sales.
My Life as a Comedian (En komikers uppväxt) by Swedish director Rojda Sekersöz is adapted from Jonas Gardell’s best-selling novel about growing up in 1970s Sweden and dealing with peer pressure. The film produced by Anagram Sweden with Belgium’s Belga Film, stars Johan Rheborg, Loke Hellberg, Jakob Eklund and Klara Zimmergren. The Swedish release is set for October 11. Yellow Affair handles sales.
Swedish master Roy Andersson will come back to Toronto with About Endlessness, set to screen at the Masters line-up, straight after its world premiere in competition in Venice. His latest reflection on human existence is produced by Roy Andersson Filmproduktion, in co-production with 4 ½ Fiksjon, Essential Films and Parisienne de Production. Coproduction Office handles sales. The film opens November 15 in Sweden.
Meanwhile TIFF’s Documentary section has two Danish films making their world premiere.
The Cave by Last Men in Aleppo’s Feras Fayyad is selected as the opening film. The director returns to his native Syria to follow a dedicated team of female doctors who risk their lives to treat casualties in an underground field hospital. The film produced by Danish Documentary has been picked up for US distribution by National Geographic who will steer the film towards Fayyad’s possible second Oscar nomination.
Danish Documentary is also behind Love Child by The Good Life’s director Eva Mulvad. The film focuses on a family’s difficult journey from Iran towards safety in the West. Autlook Film Sales handles world sales.
Nordisk Film & TV Fond has supported the films About Endlessness, The County, A White, White Day, Hope, Love Child and My Life as a Comedian.