Nordic Film Festival is a bold initiative in Romania’s festival spectrum which wants to bring into the spotlight and inform the audience about a less known area: the Nordic stories. The first edition includes 14 Norwegian feature films from the last 10 years and an atypical digital photo exposition. If we made you curious and you want to discover more about the festival and what the organizers have prepared for us, read below. Roxana Stoica answered all our questions:
How did Nordic Film Festival started? Who had the idea and why?
Nordic Film Festival started due to the love towards the European film and to the desire of bringing the Nordic stories in front of the Bucharest’s audience. The project was started by Vlad Rotaru, a passionate filmmaker who also works as a projectionist at Elvire Popescu Cinema (French Institute of Bucharest). The main reason he started this project is the lack of Nordic films in the Romanian cinemas. This festival is the first one in Bucharest which brings films from all the five Nordic countries. We hope that the film lovers will be interested in discovering this cultural space that is less explored in Romania.
What should the audience expect from the first edition of Nordic Film Festival?
For the first edition, we want to make the public curious about the Nordic film and to provoke them to see beyond the cultural stereotypes, to discover new concepts, traditions, and ways of seeing the world. This type of film represents an atypical and heterogeneous field of the European cinematography; this edition will be only a short journey in the Nordic film. The film selection includes 14 of the most diverse feature films from the last decade of Nordic cinematography – films which were awarded at important film festivals such as Berlin, Sundance, Toronto, as well as art films which won the hearts of our curators. We will also bring on the festival’s big screen an unconventional photo exposition of several Romanian photographers, who shot spectacular landscapes in the Nordic countries. We hope that his exposition will make this journey towards the North more interesting for the Bucharest cinephiles.
What are the first edition’s highlights?
The idea of inclusive diversity is one of the things that make Nordic Film Festival different from other European film festivals in Bucharest. This year, for example, 5 out of the 14 films (which means one third of them) are directed by women. We believe that having various perspectives is important in order to discover a new culture; this diversity isn’t reflected just by the film’s genre or type, but also by the people that are behind the scenes. The following films are among this year’s highlights: Brothers, the documentary made by the Norwegian director Aslaug Holm, which won the Best Documentary Award at Hot Docs, Sparrows, made by the Icelandic filmmaker Rúnar Rúnarsson (which won the Best Directing Award at Chicago IFF and the Jury’s Prize at this year’s edition of Transilvania IFF), and an unusual Christmas comedy directed by Helena Bergström called Holy Mess.
What are the future plans regarding this festival?
In the future we would like to invite to Bucharest some Nordic filmmakers, so they could attend the film projections. In such manner, we would give the audience the opportunity to discover more about the Nordic cinematography directly from the source.
an article by Romina Banu
English translation by Andreea Andrei