2017 Scandinavian Film Festival
July 11-August 2
We are currently in the fourth season of the year in Sydney, which is mild compared to the harsh haunting wintertide that seems to be at home in Nordic countries, so a bit of escapism aka an escape from the chill to the confines of a warm, dark cinema, where you can watch movies from places even colder than here seems like a great proposition.
Returning to Palace Cinemas in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart, the 2017 incarnation of the Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival showcases the a curated selection of Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic cinema, from award-winning dramas to esoteric comedies and the very best of Nordic Noir.
The proceedings in Sydney were opened by special guest Charlotte Sieling (1960, Denmark), an award-winning actress and filmmaker, most prominently and widely known for having worked on multiple successful TV series, including Unit One (2000) starring Mads Mikkelsen and The Killing (2007). Charlotte was the conceptual director on the first four episodes of the Danish/Swedish crime series The Bridge, for which she caught the attention of international audiences, including a nomination in London for the BAFTA TV Award for Best International Series.
The Scandinaivan Film hosted her Australian premiere of her second feature film The Man, which is meant to be part of a trilogy and follows a father-son rivalry set amid Copenhagen’s trendy arts scene. A world with which Sieling is intimately familiar, having grown up in an artistic family herself. The film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, was a personal favourite of Göteborg Film Festival Artistic Director Jonas Holmgren and was nominated in the New Directors competition at Seattle International Film Festival.
Charlotte Sieling presented the Finnish comedy / drama The Other Side of Hope, which is pervaded by Aki Kaurismäki’s (Drifting Clouds, Le Havre) deadpan humour and humanistic perspective depicting a current hot topic, i.e. illegal immigration. This joyous new film drolly reflects the modern day experience of one immigrant in Finland, wanting to change his life.
The Other Side of Hope is both sublime and entertaining - a statement providing a melancholic yet optimistic, compassionate vision of a troubled world.
Another highlight of the festival is the biographical Tom of Finland by director Dome Karukoski, one of Finland’s acclaimed directors, Dome Karukoski (Heart of a Lion, Scandi FF 2014).
Karukoski sheds light on the life of the man behind the iconic signature ‘Tom of Finland’, which became a notorious emblem of an entire generation of men, and a globally identified symbol of their freedom and sexual liberation.
A humane, visually well-executed homage to one of Finland's most unorthodox international heroes, this striking and compelling production is an essential portrait of artistic defiance and rebellion. Turbonegro rejoice.
The opening night of the 2017 Scandinavian Film Festival was rounded out and framed by an after-party with Unza, Swing and Balkan Gypsi beats courtesy of Romani ensemble Lovo Lovina, sparkling Elderberry cocktails and smørrebrød proferred by Fika Swedish Kitchen.
The festival in Sydney will continue until 02 August.
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