THE EMIGRANTS set to open TIFF 2022

The epic film directed by Erik Poppe, based on Vilhelm Mobergs novel will be the opening film at Tromsø International Film Festival on January 17th!

Publisert 16.11.2021 — John-Kristian Dalseth

Still from the THE EMIGRANTS Photo: SF Studios Norge

Published more than 70 years ago in 1949, Mobergs novel «The Emigrants» is still highly relevant to this day. The story evolves around Swedish Kristina and Karl Oskar who bring their young children on a dangerous crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and into the North American wilderness. Here the family face enormous challenges where survival for some comes at the expence of others. Gustaf Skarsgård and Lisa Carlehed play the roles of Karl Oskar and Kristina. Other well-known faces you’ll see onscreen include Tove Lo and Sofia Helin. Screenplay is written by Anna Bache-Wiig and Siv Rajendram Eliassen. The pair also wrote the screenplay for Poppe’s «Utøya: 22 July» (2018) based on the Norwegian terrorist mass murder in 2011. Executive producer is Fredrik Wikström.

TIFF festival director Lisa Hoen is thrilled to finally announce the upcoming festival's opening film.
- «The Emigrants» is a grand and historical film. While telling a story still relevant today it is interesting to see the film from a new perspective, focusing more on the female narrative. By following main character Kristina’s journey we also follow the journey of many others whom have emigrated from their homeland in the years since, Hoen says.

The film's screenwriters Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Anna Bache-Wiig attended the festival's annual kick-off at Verdensteatret on Tuesday night, where the opening film was first announced. Having worked with director Erik Poppe before there was no doubt in their mind that they wanted to collaborate again on a new film.
- Already when the request came from Erik there was a prerequisite that the film would tell Kristina's story. That for us was an opportunity to write a strong and interesting female character, placed in an important era of history that we share with Sweden. It is a story that is ever so relevant and important today with people migrating all across the world, and how we welcome those whom seek a better place to call home, Eliassen says.

Siv og Anna
Screenwriters Siv Rajendram Eliassen (left) and Anna Bache-Wiig were guests at the festival kick-off where the opening film was announced. Photo: Mats Gangvik

- Erik wanted a female perspective on an epic tale, we simply couldn't turn this opportunity down and immedieatly dropped what we were working and started working on the screenplay with great awe. Only later did we actually realise how scary it is to launch yourself head first into a Swedish national epic, which Mobergs books happen to be, Bache-Wiig says.

Director Erik Poppe is one of Norways most recognised and critically acclaimed filmmakers. Since his debut «Schpaaa» in 1998 he has directed numorous of award winning films gaining international attention. Some of them being «Hawaii, Oslo» (2004), «Troubled Water» (2008) and «The King’s Choice» (2016). His documentary picture «Siste resept» on Per Fugelli was the festivals opening film in 2018.

Erik Poppe TIFF 2018
Director Erik Poppe at TIFF 2018. Photo: Mats Gangvik

- Erik Poppe is one of Norway’s most talented and fearless directors, who never hesitates when facing difficult challenges in his filmmaking. Jan Troell’s version from 1971 is an iconic film, especially in Sweden. Hence I am sure it has been demanding to make a new film based on this history of emmigration to America, which also is an important chapter in Norwegian history.

«The Emigrants» will open the 32nd edition of Tromsø International Film Festival Monday January 17th. The film is distributed by SF Norway and will premiere in Norwegian cinemas January 28th.

See the film's teaser trailer here:

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