Petri Kemppinen, head of the Fund and initiator of the development scheme said: “The response to the second edition of Nordic Genre Boost has been tremendous and we have decided to continue the set-up for another year. A third Call for Projects will be announced later in the autumn - you could call it the Final Return of Nordic Genre Boost, and we are thrilled to be able to expand the NGB community even further."

First launched late 2014 to boost the development of Nordic genre films and TV dramas in the Nordic and international market, the initiative has proven a resounding success. 

Bodom, the Finnish slasher film that was among the first of seven projects to receive NOK 200,000 in development support - on top of tutoring at two residential workshops and online mentoring - is currently playing at number four on Finnish screens. 

The seven new projects pitched at New Nordic Films Co-production Market in Haugesund, attracted interest from industry delegates such as Ryan Wickers, Director of Development at EuropaCorp Films USA: “I was impressed mostly by the commercially-oriented high concepts. Usually European films are dramas, so being able to see pitches of horror, action, thriller, sci-fi was very refreshing,” he told

Commenting on his experience as part of Nordic Genre Boost, Iceland’s Þórður Pálsson (Nordic Talent winner 2015) who pitched The Damned said: “I think this is a fantastic initiative for filmmakers with a passion for genre-based films. The whole thing is structured in a way so the participants can develop their idea with industry professionals that give in-depth and pinpointed notes on the material. Not only are the tutor’s helpful but the other participants also. I have never been part of a scheme that creates such a creative and rewarding atmosphere.”

Finland’s Saara Saarela behind Memory of Water said: “We tend to forget that even in the Nordic countries, we have a tradition for horror and fantasy film, that realistic drama has kind of overshadowed. Now that new technologies give way to wider means of expression, I think we should exploit them, and thanks to such initiatives, make Nordic film more diverse again. “

Experienced Icelandic director Olaf de Fleur (The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela) and his producer Kristin Andrea Thordardottir who pitched East by Eleven in Haugesund said: 

“The Nordic Genre Boost has been a truly inspiring and positive experience. It was a good feeling being up there with our genre boost participants on the pitch day at the Nordic Co-production market, all of us rooting for each other. The meetings that we had with industry people were promising and we will be following up pretty soon.“

Here under is a summary of the projects pitched in Haugesund:

  • Bente and the Mutant Scouts by Tor Fruergaard, produced by Goodco (Denmark). The animated project for 8-12 years old will use the same technique as Fruergaard’s short Growing Pains. “I want to create a silly universe but also make people laugh, surprise them and touch their heart with how you see the world through the eyes of the main character [12 year-old clumsy and overweight Bente]” said the director. 
  • Birds of a Feather directed by Hanna Bergholm, produced by Silva Mysterium (Finland). Set in modern day, the horror drama about 12 year-old Tinja who hatches a bird-like creature out of an egg to carry out her hidden impulses is described by the director as a fable for adults targeting Let the Right One In audience’. 
  • The Damned by Þórður Pálsson, co-produced by FilmBros Productions (Norway), Elation Pictures (UK) and ZikZak Filmworks (Iceland). Set in 1874, in a remote Icelandic fishing village, the film tells of a community victim of a curse as they choose not to rescue the survivors of a shipwreck. “The Damned will be a distinctive horror film with depth’ said Pálsson. 
  • Deep Down by Izer Aliu produced by Fantefilm (Norway). The €2,5-3 million classic sci-fi tells of a crew aboard a deep water base outside of Oslo whose mission turns into a nightmare. “With our experience of making high-end genre films like The Wave, and Izer Aliu’s background in drama, we believe we have a great combination for this project,” said producer Mikael Diseth. 
  • East by Eleven by Olaf de Fleur, produced by Poppoli Pictures (Iceland) In a near future, where memories can materialize into objects, a ‘memory’ detective uncovers a massive conspiracy as he investigates the death of his sister. “I want to make a high concept European sci-fi movie, said Olaf de Fleur. 
  • Memory of Water by Saara Saarela, produced by Bufo (Finland). The dystopian ecological drama featuring a young woman trying to save a world destroyed by Oil Wars is based on Emmi Itäranta’s eponymous best-selling novel adapted by Ilja Rautsi. 
  • The Substitute by Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, produced by Paradox (Norway). Set in a near future, the sci-fi movie based on a script by Jan Trygve Røneland (The King’s Choice) features a world of human clones, where people are given a second chance in life. The hero of the story discovers a malfunction in the technology which could threaten all human kind. “I loved the idea, both original and complex, the moral themes and the chance to create a futuristic universe”, said Dahlsbakken. 

For further details about Nordic Genre Boost, CLICK HERE.

Photo caption:
From left to right (back): Emilie Jouffroy, Jan Trygve Røyneland, Henrik M. Dahlsbakken, Tor Fruergaard, Valeria Richter, Mika Ritalahti, Thordur Palsson, Petri Kemppinen, Misha Jaari

From left to right (front): Olaf de Fleur, Kamilla Hodøl, Magnus Aspli, Hanna Bergholm, Mikael Diseth, Claudia Saginario, Ilja Rautsi, Saara Saarela, Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen, Kristin Andrea Thordardottir, Ryan Wickers (tutor)