Norway’s film industry had its best year in four decades

Roughly three million people saw Norwegian movies in 2016, giving the domestic film industry its best year in more than four decades.

Norway's film industry had its best year in four decades
'Kongens Nei' was the year's most-seen film. Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix
“Over the past ten years, Norwegian films drew between two and 2.5 million [per year]. One has to go back to 1975, the year when ‘Flåklypa Grand Prix’ [the animated hit ‘The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, ed.] premiered to find figures like this year,” Guttorm Petterson, the head of the cinema association Film & Kino told business daily Dagens Næringsliv. 
The Oscar shortlisted ‘Kongens nei’ (English title: The King’s Choice) was the year’s biggest draw in the nation’s cinemas, with well over 700,000 tickets sold. The family Christmas film ’Snekker Andersen og Julenissen’ and action film ‘Børning 2’ were also well attended, and all three topped several big Hollywood productions like ‘Me Before You’, ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’. 
The most popular film over the Christmas period has been the animated film adaptation of Thorbjørn Egner's classic ‘Dyrene i Hakkebakkeskogen’, which has drawn nearly 120,000 moviegoers since December 25th. 

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Utøya film makes shortlist for Norway’s Oscar entry

U – July 22, this year’s film about Anders Breivik’s 2011 massacre, is one of three contenders to be put forward for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Utøya film makes shortlist for Norway's Oscar entry
A still from the film U – July 22. Photo: U – July 22
The Norwegian Oscar Committee on Wednesday announced a shortlist of three films, ahead of picking its final candidate next Tuesday. 
U – July 22, directed by Erik Poppe, is vying against What Will People Say, by the Norwegian-Pakistani director Iram Haq, and Blind Spot, a film directed by the Swedish-Czech actress Tuva Novotny. 
In its announcement, the committee said that Poppe's film had brought the tragedy to life. 
“A large number of facts from AUF’s summer camp on July 22 2011 have already been published,” it said. “But few of us know a lot about the unimaginable panic and confusion that occurred or the impossible choices the victims were faced with.” 
But the film faces stiff competition from What Will People Say, with Haq’s previous film I Am Yours put forward as Norway’s entry in 2013. 
Her new film follows a Norwegian-Pakistani girl precariously balancing her life as a normal teenager with a traditional Pakistani family existence at home. When her father catches her in bed with her Norwegian boyfriend, he has her kidnapped and sent home to Pakistan, where she discovers her parents’ culture in a new way. 
Finally, Blind Spot is the directoral debut for Novotny, who played Mariana Simionescu, the Wimbledon tennis champion who married Björn Borg, in the film Borg vs McEnroe.  The film is a story about the grey zones in mental illness. 
From October 1, the  Foreign Language Committee at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will begin assessing countries' submissions, reducing them to a shortlist of six. Three other films will then be added by an executive committee. 
Two further committees, one of the US East Coast and one on the US West Coast, will then select the five best to be nominated for the Oscar. 
The nominations will be announced on Tuesday 22 January, and the 2019 winner will be announced on Sunday, February 24.