Say g'day to the best of Nordic cinema with this year's Scandinavian Film Festival (SFF) being presented again by Palace Cinemas.
Elysia Zeccola is the Director of the festival and says that audiences can look forward to a carefully curated selection of films from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland.
“This year it's a really diverse mix and there's a couple of films with themes like integration and immigration,” Elysia says.
“So those themes of prejudice and assimilation are recurring themes but they're also universal themes and very topical subjects that get talked about worldwide so I think these are very relevant films.”
Last year's festival showcased the richly detailed and dark world of Nordic noir films with 20 of the region's best crime thrillers. This year, the programme has grown only slightly to 21 films, but Elysia says they are 21 films of the highest quality and concept.
“I think I've got almost everything I wanted, so I'm pretty pleased,” she says.
“It's a compact line-up compared to other film festivals; it's not 50 films like the French [Film Festival] or 30 films like the Italian [Film Festival], but I just honestly believe that it's 21 extremely high quality films. It's compact but very good quality.”
Among these films viewers will find those that delight the senses, those that enthral the imagination and others that wander into the realm of the supernatural.
Perhaps one of the most important films to be shown is 'U-July 22' from director Erik Poppe whose film 'The King's Choice' featured at last year's SFF. 'U-July 22' is a fictionalised recount of the horror of the 2011 massacre on the Norwegian island of Utøya perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik that left 77 people dead and 319 injured.
“This is a gripping piece of cinema and it's a one-take shot of his re-enactment of the whole harrowing event,” Elysia explains. “It's very fascinating, it;s daring and you won't breathe a breath as you watch this film, it's just a really intense but wonderfully made film.
“I have read a few things about it that some people have called it manipulative but I think [Erik's] using his ability as a filmmaker in an effective way to create that moment of fear, and it is effective and it is shocking. It was a shocking moment and it's an intense film to watch but I think he's doing it for the right reasons and I think the film has an anti-gun message.”
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, SFF will be screening 'Bergman Revisited', a curated selection of six short films inspired by Bergman’s universe and made by some of Sweden’s most prominent directors.
“It's the 100th anniversary of one of Sweden's most well-known directors so we thought it was an interesting way to commemorate the centenary by having a compilation of the six films from these famous Swedish directors, the most well-known is probably Tomas Alfredson who did 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'.
Scandinavian Film Festival Dates
10-29 July – Sydney11-29 July – Canberra12-29 July – Melbourne18 July-5 August – Adelaide19-25 July – Hobart19 July-1 August – Perth19 July-5 August – Brisbane