Powerful northern voices

The Films from the North program for TIFF 2021 features new work from both young and established filmmakers who all present unique and strong films from our region.

Publisert 04.12.2020 — Håvard Stangnes

SONATA by Swedish director Jonas Selberg Augustsén is part of the official FFN opening night.. Photo: Anders Bohman

Films from the North is TIFF’s largest sidebar program featuring shorts, documentaries and feature films from the Barents region and other circumpolar areas.

- This year’s program contains 37 films, including everything from exciting short films, documentaries, experimental films, as well as features and a film concert, says John-Kristian Dalseth, the program director for Films from the North.

Among these are three films that make out this year’s Opening Night presentation: The School by the Sea by Solveig Melkeraaen, Seven Miles by Eilif Bremer Landsend and Sonata by Jonas Selberg Augustsén. All these filmmakers have been involved in earlier editions of TIFF. Melkeraaen’s previous film Tongue Cutters was the opening film at TIFF 2017, while Landsend and Augustsen have both had short films in previous editions of the Films from the North program. Augustsen is one of Scandinavia’s most exciting new filmmakers, and he won the Tromsø Palm award for his short film Midsummer Night at TIFF 2017.

In other words, this is a strong trio of filmmakers that deliver films of high quality and themes that look to both entertain and engage.

8010 MARINA APARTMENT by director Thor Brenne is one of the short films in competition.

Tromsø Palm Award

22 of the films will be screened in competition thereby being eligible for said Tromsø Palm Award, which is presented to the best short or documentary film under 60 minutes. The selected films in the program represent countries from the entire region, including Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Russia and Canda.

– The program offers great range in both genre and themes, with films produced everywhere from Tromsø to Arkhangelsk to Greenland. In addition to the films in competition there is, as always, a separate program with films from film students and other promising young filmmakers, says Dalseth.

World premieres and Covid-19 films

For its third year running the Films from the North program also includes feature films and documentaries. This year in particular offers a wide range of strong documentaries, including the world premiere of Jeanne d’Arc of the North by Fredrik Horn Akselsen. The program also offers quality documentaries from Iceland, Finland and Canada plus one fiction feature film The Longest Day, directed by the beforementioned Jonas Selberg Augustsén who has two films in this year’s Films from the North program.

Another program to be a part of Films from the North is the previously announced project Lockdown. Here, three filmmakers plus one band from the North of Norway have been tasked by TIFF, with support from Samfunnsløftet Sparebank1 Nord-Norge, to document the pandemic as seen from their standpoints in the north.

– These are Elle Marja Eira from Kautokeino, Carl Christian Lein Størmer from Tromsø and Inge Wegge from Kabelvåg in Lofoten. In addition, the band Iran Mayen from Tromsø will perform a live concert set to a self-produced feature documentary film. In other words, Films from the North is filled with treats from both near and afar just waiting to be discovered by the film starving festival audience and TIFF can’t wait to present these films at the festival in January, says program director John-Kristian Dalseth.

 JEANNE D'ARC OF THE NORTH is part of the Films from the North Features program.

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