Officially scheduled to unspool August 18-21 in Haugesund, parallel to the 48th Norwegian International Film Festival (August 14-21), the New Nordic Films industry event is already working on online alternatives, while waiting for the Norwegian government’s new Covid-19 related announcements early May.

Speaking yesterday to, programme director Gyda Velvin Myklebust explained why she expects New Nordic Films to be seriously disrupted. “It seems there will still be travel restrictions in the fall and it will be difficult to have participants taking part physically from Europe and the rest of the world, even though the restrictions might be loosened a bit between the Nordic countries."

She continues: “We are therefore looking into transforming parts of New Nordic Films into a digital event where works in progress of upcoming Nordic feature films and our co-production market can be done in a closed platform with meetings and networking done through digital meetings."

“We are still in the process of exploring possibilities, but we believe that the industry needs to continue to collaborate and move forward with films and projects, so we would like to find the best options to facilitate a good networking market for the film industry,” says Myklebust, adding that final decisions will be made after consultation with the five Nordic film institutes and international sales agents.

More than 300 international delegates attend the Nordic film market each year in the picturesque harbour city of Haugesund. Last year, 20 Nordic films were selected for the popular works in progress session, 17 projects for the Co-production Market and 17 fresh films were screened at the mini-market.

Meanwhile the fate of the Norwegian International Film Festival, which acts as a launch pad for Norwegian and international films ahead of their Norwegian release and as a meeting place for the local film industry, is also unclear, according to festival director Tonje Hardersen. “If cinemas in Norway remain closed through the fall, there would be little point to go through with the main festival, aimed at the Norwegian film industry and exhibitors,” she points out, before adding: “We do our programming in close collaboration with the Norwegian distributors and of course the Norwegian premiere is linked to the international premiere, so it is still early to say how our festival will be affected. It is only certain that it will be affected in one way or another,” concedes Hardersen.