The Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF) in New York City, announced its lineup for its 6th year, which will take place online and with select in-person drive-in screenings from October 15-20, 2020.
NIFF will kick off on October 15th at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in New York with a special drive-in screening for the Scandinavian-produced A24 horror film MIDSOMMAR, starring Florence Pugh. The following evening, the festival will present a drive-in screening event for A24’s THE KILL TEAM, starring Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård.
Among the features being presented, the festival will showcase 3 World Premieres (OSLO COPENHAGEN, NOVEMBEROSLO, A REPORT ON THE PARTY AND THE GUESTS), 1 North American Premiere (EVERYTHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN), 2 US Premieres (FORCE OF HABIT, PETRA AND PETER), and 1 New York Premiere (WHERE MAN RETURNS).
As a part of the festival’s overall mandate, 50% of the NIFF’s online ticket sales will be donated to organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We’re thrilled that in current times we’re all faced with, we’re able to showcase films from the Nordic regions and with Nordic talent, with climate-consciousness in mind. We’re very proud of THE LINEUP this year, thankful to A24 and Rooftop Films for their partnership with the drive-in events, and look forward to celebrating with our filmmakers in a virtual setting”, says NIFF Director Johan Matton and Creative Director/Co-Founder Linnea Larsdotter.
2020 Nordic International Film Festival Lineup
Directed by Ari Aster / Out Of Competition
A couple travel to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled midsummer festival, but what begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
THE KILL TEAM (USA)
Directed by Dan Krauss / Out Of Competition
When a young U.S. soldier in Afghanistan witnesses other recruits killing civilians under the direction of a sadistic sergeant, he begins to fear that the men he’s serving with might be the ones to kill him.
ELECTRIC SWAN (FRANCE/GREECE/ARGENTINA)
Directed by Konstantina Kotzamani / Out Of Competition
On Avenida Libertador 2050, a building moves and the ceiling shivers, causing a strange nausea that devours its residents. Those who live on the top are afraid they’ll fall, the ones who live beneath are afraid they’ll drown.
NORDIC NARRATIVE FEATURES
A REPORT ON THE PARTY AND THE GUESTS (ESTONIA / DENMARK)
Directed by Søren Peter Langkjær Bojsen / World Premiere
Europe, 2028. A humanlike creature washes ashore, carrying with him a motionless body he calls his mother. He is on a mission of some kind, reporting on the dwindling human activity in an increasingly automated world.
FORCE OF HABIT (FINLAND)
Directed by Reetta Aalto, Alli Haapasalo, Anna Paavilainen, Kirsikka Saari, Miia Tervo, Elli Toivoniemi, Jeni Toivoniemi / US Premiere
A film by seven directors shows us moments in women’s lives that usually remain hidden. Force of Habit follows the lives of various women throughout one day.
Directed by Gianluca Iumiento / World Premiere
Aurora has invited some of her boyfriend’s social media friends to a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend. They don’t know each other, but you don’t call off the party just because the birthday boy doesn’t show.
OSLO COPENHAGEN (NORWAY)
Directed by Jan Vardøen / World Premiere
Two couples take the ferry from Norway to Denmark and face choices that will change their lives.
EVERYTHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN (NORWAY)
Directed by Trond Kvig Andreassen / North America Premiere
After touring for years, one of Norway’s biggest Pop stars escapes into solitude, trying to find joy in his music again. In the tranquility of Lofoten Islands, bigger questions in life emerges, as he prepares to record his album in Los Angeles.
PETRA & PETER (SWEDEN)
Directed by Johanna Aust / US Premiere
PETRA & PETER is a family drama about consequences of both alcoholism and adoption for two very different siblings. We follow Petra, who is adopted from Guyana, and her Swedish brother Peter parallelly for five years. They are grown up and now living separate lives, dealing with separate struggles. But they have one thing in common – both want life to be something else.
SILICON VALLEY, BABY (FINLAND / US)
Directed by Erika Haavisto
Startup founder Kalle wants to change the life of one billion people. His wife films the everyday struggle: from raising $3 million, to getting accepted to startup incubator Y Combinator, to losing it all, the business and the relationship. Why do so many think that going after your startup dreams in Silicon Valley is worth sacrificing everything?
WHERE MAN RETURNS (NORWAY)
Directed by Egil Håskjold Larsen / NY Premiere
WHERE MAN RETURNS is a contemplative portrayal of man’s relationship with nature. 75-year old Steinar has chosen a life close to nature. Alone with his dog, in an isolated icy universe on the tip of Europe, he finds his freedom, but living with nature seems at times both lonely and overwhelming. A beautiful cinematic experience of man and nature.
ANNA (US / UKRAINE)
Directed by Dekel Berenson / NY Premiere
Living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine, Anna is an aging single mother who is desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love.
L’ORO DI FAMIGLIA (ITALY)
Directed by Emanuele Pisano / East Coast Premiere
A young petty thief and a male robbery. Among the stolen goods, an object captures his attention: not gold, not silver and not ancient memorabilia, but something much more precious than the worth returning.
TIN LUCK (UNITED KINGDOM)
Directed by Beatrix Blaise / North America Premiere
Drowned out by the claustrophobic noise and buzz of the block. Tray searches for clarity amongst his confusion. Amidst the chaos, one voice struggles to find an identity.
BUMBLEBEE PRESCHOOL (SWEDEN)
Directed by Rasmus Kinnander / North America Premiere
A young substitute hurries out from the preschool after a meeting. Meanwhile, on social media, rumours are being spread and taken for truth.
DADDY’S GIRL (NORWAY)
Directed by Julia Lindström / North America Premiere
Lo is fourteen and lives alone with her father at his farm. While he is busy working, Lo is bored and frustrated. She spends her days spying on the hot seasonal workers, exploring her sexuality. One day her father discovers something that totally changes their relationship. Daddy’s Girl is a film about lust, shame and parenthood.
I, JULIA (SWEDEN)
Directed by Arvin Kananian / NY Premiere
14-year-old Julia records spirited videos from home, but behind the scenes life is overshadowed by the threat of her violent father.
INCIDENT AT SCHOOL (DENMARK)
Directed by Jacob Thomas Pilgaard / US Premiere
University student Eva fights for her life as chaos ensues around her during a school shooting. For 23 minutes we witness Eva’s struggle, not only with the shooter, but also her own personal struggle.
OMMAN (FAROE ISLANDS)
Directed by Julia í Kálvalíð / US Premiere
Two brothers head up to the mountains to pick up their alcoholic grandmother who has gone on a drinking spree in her tent. Upon arrival, they realise that the grandmother has drunk herself to death. Ahead of them lies a disturbing journey home.
OPEN DOORS (SWEDEN)
Directed by Agnes Skonare Karlsson / US Premiere
A middle-aged woman unhappy with her self-image finds her vacation turned upside down when her son brings along his young, new girlfriend. Years ago, Anita made the choice to be a stay-at-home mum. The choice felt right at the time, but now when the kids are moved out, she feels trapped in a stereotyped mother role without enjoying its benefits. When Anita’s youngest son David brings along his new girlfriend Cornelia to the family country house, things start to crumble. Cornelia has a different, more contemporary view of what a woman should be in a family setting, ultimately making Anita feel diminished. She’s no longer the only woman in the house, and she’s suddenly reminded of all the things she’s had to sacrifice over the years, to obtain a status she no longer has. The story explores an uncomfortable situation following Anita’s mid-life-crisis, exposing feelings of shame and family loyalty.
WALLS OF CONCRETE (DENMARK)
Directed by Nicolai G.H. Johansen / North America Premiere
WALLS OF CONCRETE is a story of love and loneliness, and follows private investigator Jørgen, who after many years of investigating fraud and infidelity has grown tired of the world. He lives a lonely existence and has no real human connections. One day he meets his new neighbor Nadine, who might be many years his junior, but who he finds great chemistry with. They strike up a relationship, but Jørgen’s many years alone makes it hard for him to truly connect, and their relationship is soon challenged by this.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MS LONGSTOCKING (SWEDEN)
Directed by Jimmy Olsson / US Premiere
Investigating journalist Jimmy Olsson wants to find out what happened to Pippi Longstocking after we left her in her childhood. How was her teens and what happened to her relationship with Tommy and Annika? How is she doing today?
12 000 KM (SWEDEN / RUSSIA / JAPAN)
Directed by Erik Nylander / NY Premiere
The prevailing climate threat has made a bunch of Swedish extreme skiers and snowboarders travel with trains and ferries from Stockholm all the way to Japan, in search of deep powder and the adventure of a lifetime. Along the world’s longest train ride, they make various stops in Siberia’s remote forests, exploring untouched mountains and experiencing the special Russian culture from the interior. When arriving in Japan 12 000 km later, the crew continue to road trip in RV’s through the land of the rising sun. A great amount of humor, hectic meetings and world-class riding sums up this epic journey.
KARLA AND NORDAHL (NORWAY)
Directed by Elisabeth Aspelin / NY Premiere
Karla is 6 years old and has a big brother named Nordahl. Why does she consider him both as a big- and a little brother? We get an insight into Karla’s world and how she deals with having a big brother with learning difficulties. The director followed her own children through a winter showing their everyday life, including both demanding situations and heartfelt love.
NASIR AND THE OTHERS (TURKEY / MOGADISHU)
Directed by Zeynep Gulru Keçeciler
The story of addicted children living in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia that has been struggling with civil war and terrorism for years… Having lost his mother when he was seven years old and been living on the streets since then, Nasır is only one of the young people victimized by clashes in Somalia. Nasır and his friends strive to survive on the protocol road called “KM4” located between the buildings of Presidency and Prime Ministry of Somalia. The documentary questions whether Nasır and his friends, who have been engaged in numerous crimes like purse snatching, injuring, pickpocketing in addition to substance addiction under the difficult conditions of the street, will be able to find a way out of this life full of hardships.
Directed by Trond Kvig Andreassen / US Premiere
A woman is found dead in her apartment in the middle of Oslo. She’s been dead for more than a month. No next of kin, friends, or family. How do you remember someone no one knew? The film explores how an anonymous life still leaves an imprint, even if it’s led without much contact with other people in the middle of a city. How do her neighbours remember her? As the story unfolds, little mysteries to which we never may get the full explanation, appear.
THE HOME WITHIN ME (ARUBA / DENMARK / SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINE / UNITED KINGDOM)
Directed by Sine Vadstrup Brooker / US Premiere
THE HOME WITHIN ME is a personal father-daughter portrait about emotional, genetic and geographical belonging. The film weaves between director Sine Brooker’s idyllic upbringing Samsø, a Danish island, and her father’s memories about the Caribbean island he grew up in before his family had to immigrate. What starts of as Sine wanting go get to know her father better, turns into a joined journey for the two. About roots, about longing and dreaming and about understanding one self.
UNNUR (ICELAND / US)
Directed by Chris Burkard / NY Premiere
Elli Thor is an Icelandic photographer, surfer, and former kayaker. A decade ago Elli nearly drowned under a waterfall while kayaking a challenging Icelandic river. The near death experience became a catalyst for personal growth and his professional career. After walking away from kayaking, a newfound passion for surfing and the birth of his daughter Unnur gave him a new perspective worth living for.
Directed by Daniel Milton / US Premiere
Värmland is an inland Swedish province. An influential Stockholm professor of economics describes it as a place with no shopping, no entertainment, and no universities, offering nothing of value – a wasteland. What is the future for the young people who live there? A snapshot of life distant from the city. But the young people that live there, what’s rural life to them? Do they see a future? This contemporary document depicts life in the country by offering a glimpse into the world of a few young adults and their life choices. A film that can also be viewed as a political, non-ideological contribution to the debate about the urban-rural divide.
AURORA BOREALIS – IN COLLABORATION WITH FILM I VÄST
Directed by Nicolas Kolovos / North America Premiere
Dana is on the run with his family. The boat that will smuggle them to Europe is ready for departure but his son, Alan, refuses to leave the truck. Dana discovers that Alan is stuck with his index finger in the truck body. The panic rises at Dana and in his desperation he is faced with a terrible choice.