Forum Projects 2023
Projects Selected for Pitch
Architecture as Invention
Star Architect Daniel Libeskind is striving for a final masterpiece: A Sacred House. He has created high profile projects like the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Ground Zero in New York. So where do you go next? Has Libeskind reached the end of both his career and creativity? Or will he accomplish a final masterpiece, a project resonating all his previous projects and his life story.
Born to Fight / Wildcard Denmark
In this coming-of-age story, Nawres, a rebellious and confident 22-year-old Tunisian woman, dreams of becoming the next international kickboxing star. In a time of political turmoil, she navigates through questions of identity, unemployment, and immigration, dreaming of a life in France. Despite great resistance, Nawres does not give up.
A cinematic exploration of a real-life drama and three people trying to process the worst incident in their lives. At the age of ten Nicoline witnessed her father assault her mother in the living room. Nicoline’s mother wanted a divorce and her father reacted violently. Nicoline had to intervene. 26 years later she revisits this traumatic family event and invites her parents to join.
Fire, Water, Earth, Air
The film is a poetic portrait of climate change in the Global North, weaving together four stories of everyday life in small communities in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Faroe Islands and scientific findings to show how we live with the unprecedented environmental changes and prepare for them.
Grand Master Meng
Since Leong Wai Meng set foot in Greenland, taekwondo & mystic stories about him, spread to all corners of the country. Through the people who cross paths with the Taekwondo master, we explore his imprint on the country & its people. From prime- & finance ministers with black belts, business empires & to the new generation of Asian emigrants who, just as Meng, see Greenland’s great opportunities.
Burnt Earth is a character-driven, visually powerful documentary film about a group of firefighting professionals combating the devastating consequences of climate change. Taking place from the wintry forest of the North to the height of the fire season in Portugal, the film highlights the importance of uniting across borders and cultures to combat the climate emergency that threatens us all.
Days of Wonder / Wildcard Finland
Without anyone knowing, Markku has been creating art for the last 34 years in his house. In the director’s childhood they lived wall to wall and were close, but then Markku moved away disappearing from her life. Through this posthumous dialogue, we find, piece by piece, a free spirit searching to be true to himself and inspiring us to do the same.
Fog of War Over the Baltic Sea
The interests of different great powers and rulers have clashed in the Baltic Sea for centuries. Hundreds of ships have sunk or have been sunk there, not to mention the tens of thousands of human lives lost into the depths during the two great wars of 20th century. The six stories in Fog of War Over the Baltic Sea aim to bring the stories of these silent witnesses from the fog of war to the screen.
Omid – Hope
The film is about the Finnish Ellen Vuosalo (90) and her eventful life in Iran.
Ellen is a pioneer of nature conservation, she is a biologist and passionate cultural researcher.
The story of almost a hundred years gives us a unique perspective of the collision of different cultures and religions, the status of women, fate and the relationship between people and nature.
The Arctic Circle of Lust
The relationships and self-image of family men in remote northern regions are thrown into a crisis when a man is caught having an affair with another man.
It is a warm-hearted family film about ordinary Finnish men who face an unnamed sexual desire, bisexuality and need to decide either to keep their secrets or “come out of the closet” regardless of the pressure of conformity created by society.
A Deal With Chaos
This film dives into the 30-year legacy of late Icelandic film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. It explores the roots of his distinctive voice in connection with deep-impacting life events, a chaotic creative process, and fertile collaborations. Furthermore, it seeks answers to why and how a college dropout from the dead boring 80’s Reykjavík ventured from his local art scene into Hollywood stardom.
Amateurs Paradise / Wildcard Iceland
For the last 80 years Icelandic amateurs have filmed every city council meeting and Costa del Sol trips only to store it on YouTube for no one to see. At first glance the material seems mundane and even absurd, but it reveals deep desires and sorrows. A retired CEO, a prison officer and an acapella band guide us through the emotions and practicalities of staged life.
Three men are expecting their first child. Kristopher, David and Sindre, all in their early thirties, are living in a steady polyamorous relationship. While David and Sindre identify as homosexual cis men, Kristopher was born as a woman and today identifies as a homosexual man. Kristopher will be the birth father.
Frost Without Snow and Ice
Asgeir has filmed the 18-year-old polar bear Frost for ten years and has seen her cubs come into the world and die by humans. On Svalbard, the fastest warming place on earth, Frost has taught him what it means to be a mother, feel joy and loss, grow older and fight for life. Together they have experienced the Arctic in all its contrasts. Magnificent and wild. Exploited and vulnerable.
Hooked / Wildcard Norway
We meet seven different characters who have experienced psychological violence in relationships. We see how manipulation, verbal abuse, gaslighting, being isolated have affected their self-worth.
The characters reconstruct scenes containing psychological violence together with actors. As a group they get a chance to go “back in time” and reconstruct what they wished they would have done earlier
Keviselie: Circle of Life
We all have a fire burning within, that keeps us alive through our darkest hours. This film hopes to capture the fire within one of Sápmi’s most revolutionary artist. Among curators and historians, Keviselie is a superstar. His most iconic image is the first-ever map of Sápmi with only Sámi place names and no national boundaries. Many celebrate it, but few know much about the vision behind it.
The Other Side of Silence
Gerd Fleischer, 80, born to a German occupation soldier and Sami-Norwegian mother during WW2 has experienced trauma for being an enemy child.
She decides to travel to post-conflict societies collecting experiences and knowledge from children born of war-rapes. Gerd’s goal is to offer their testimonies to the Ukrainian government, hoping to protect the children born of Russian war-rapes when peace comes.
Confidential Story Project
UNDISCLOSED PROJECT – more information upon request.
In a correctional center for girls, teens are kept safe from the society and themselves, getting reprogrammed to become good female citizens. They ought to behave, to fear God, fight abortion and follow the Catholic church’s rules. At the correctional center the girls are to undergo a behavioral reprogramming so that they may become good girls again. But what is a good girl in today’s Poland?
Stripped / Wildcard Sweden
Emmanuel Sydney is one of America’s biggest male strippers. Women love to throw thousands of dollars at his masculine alter ego “Philly Knight Rider”.
But behind the muscles and tattoos, Emmanuel struggles to understand who he really is and what happened that day when he was 13 years old.
With warmth and humour, we get to know, a woman who harbours a longing to be reconciled with her dead father. This leads to a series of absurd events during a bus trip through the Finnish countryside, with the ultimate goal of bringing home the father’s pistol.
The Standard Man
A factory outside Hamburg produces the world’s best-selling anatomical skeleton: Stan -the Standard Man. All the copies are made from the same human remains. The skeleton of an unknown man stored in the basement of the factory.
The trail leads to a notorious Gestapo prison during the Nazi dictatorship. Who was this young man who continues to haunt our classrooms and hospitals today?
Brothers in the Hunt
A light and humorous story about three criminals and their friendship. Released after a longterm sentence, Victor and his cell mates create a debt collection agency. The team takes cases when the police and legal system are helpless. They charge 50% of regained funds and use methods God only knows to get things done…
International Adoption, a Global Scandal
Today, these practices are coming to light, largely due to pressure from adopted children who have grown into adults. Many begin to search for their biological parents. We follow investigative journalists, activists or researchers in South Korea, Sweden, France, Chile, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. How did this colossal, lucrative market manage to prosper? And why does it live on today?
Projects Selected for Observer+
Confidential Hansen & Pedersen Project
Milkweed follows a group of polyamorous people in Berlin experiencing profound changes as they begin to transition genders through the use of hormones. Documenting the watershed moments of early change and the struggles to be transformed, Milkweed captures new bodies on screen like no other film in an intimate exploration of the seasons of becoming that move underneath the seasons of the year.
by Marco Stoltze, Mario Macedo, Enotea / Morph, Maximilian Mayrshofer
Take the Money and Run
When a museum commissions artist Jens Haaning to reproduce two of his earlier pieces in which he represents the annual wages of Austria and Danish workers by framing piles of kroner and Euro bills, he delivers two blank canvases to the museum and runs away with DKK 532.549 he has received on loan from the museum. The artworks makes headlines worldwide and creates a chain of events.
by Ole Juncker / Plus Pictures ApS, Mette Heide
Secret Reading Club of Kabul
In Afghanistan where violent extremism denies women’s rights and opportunities, a group of young women gather secretly to read forbidden books, including the diary of a young girl hiding from Nazis in the 1940’s.
Secret Reading Club of Kabul tells this story through the eyes of a female student in Kabul, and an Afghan female journalist in Helsinki who has twice experienced the rise of the Taliban.
by Shakiba Adil, Elina Hirvonen / Donkey Hotel Oy, Sami Jahnukainen
Sense and Sensibility
After years of alcoholism, mother and daughter have built a close relationship. Both work at a crematorium and live on cemetery grounds. But life is changing; Carita’s retirement is nearing and she has to move. Her daughter Christa struggles with the thought, leaning on her mom and battling with showing emotions without alcohol. At work she has to turn off her feelings while dealing with mourners.
by Hanna Nordenswan / Zone2 Pictures Oy, Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen
The Art of Reindeer Racing
Catlyn (13) gets to know her neighbour Sari (51), the champion of a past year’s Reindeer Cup. Sari starts to coach Catlyn. The film shows what it’s like to grow up in a small village where nature, solitude and silence are the dominating forces. Finding one’s own “thing” can change the course of everything. It is a growth story in which through her new hobby Catlyn finds confidence to be herself.
by Mervi Junkkonen / Illume Ltd., Jouko Aaltonen
A documentary about fake news; the way Bulgaria and the Balkans are used to destabilize Europe. We will follow an investigative journalist, Genka Shikerova, on her way to discover who is behind the fake news distribution and the hybrid war that is taking place at the moment. As the spine of the narration we’ll have her work concerning the 2024 EU elections in the Balkans.
by Tonislav Hristov / Making Movies Oy, Kaarle Aho
Vesa was nine when he last saw his father and three half-siblings. Father started drinking and Vesa didn’t see them for twenty years. Vesa’s mother only told him they didn’t want to see him anymore. She lied. The film is a poetic journey to the main character and director’s deepest fears but also a very concrete story about family members trying to reconnect after years of not speaking.
by Vesa Kuosmanen / Mouka Filmi Oy, Juha Löppönen
Grandma Rock, the pioneering first female DJ on Icelandic radio, illuminates female popular music and champions gay art. With a remarkable 50-year career, she remains an iconic figure, spinning records at a local rock bar on weekends and refusing to retire. Embarking on a 24-hour journey, we delve into her daily routine, exploring how rock and roll simultaneously shaped her life and society.
by Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir / Glimrandi, Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir
Autumn of the Patriarch
A film about survival strategies of people who live inside the modern Russian dictatorship. With personal experiences of deep fear, loss of integrity and freedom, they choose very different approaches that lead to vastly different lives.
by Anna Shishova-Bogoliubova / Piraya Film AS, Torstein Grude
Despite their disabilities, two young girls with Down syndrome strive to achieve their dreams. Mariam in Iraq dreams of attending school, but culture and prejudice stands in her way. In Norway, Thea dreams of playing in a big concert, but her health takes a sudden and possibly fatal turn.
by Karrar Al-Azzawi / High & Low AS, Anton Johannes Nyman
After nearly five traumatic years in an Australian immigration camp, young Iranian refugee Ali Dorani won freedom when his cartoons – under the pen name EatenFish – went viral. As he wrestles with the scars of trauma in the safe haven of Norway, past and present painfully and humorously converge as we follow Ali’s inventive efforts to come to terms with his experiences by bringing his art to life.
by Daniel Nils Roberts / Final Cut for Real Norway, Anne Köhncke
The 30-year-old dad, boyfriend, MMA-fighter, and winner of “Norway’s toughest” dives into the ocean and hits the ocean floor headfirst. His name is Geir Kåre and is told to expect a life in a wheelchair. What happens to a person’s life, mind, dreams and relationships? Is it possible to rediscover the value of life when your whole identity is tied to a functioning body?
by Sunniva Sundby / A5 Film, Mari Bakke Riise
I Follow Rivers
Mariann Sæther is one of the best white water kayakers in the world. When she becomes a mother, she is determined she can both have a family and be an extreme sports athlete. Despite pushback from her boyfriend and friends, she sets her eyes on paddling the notorious Aldejyarfoss on Icleand, that she has dreamt of for 20 years. Is the life on the river really worth the risk?
by Barbora Hollan / Field Productions AS, Filip Christensen
Playing Adam’s Game
Emma grew up playing football in Norway, “the land of equality.” But the principles of equality didn’t apply to football. The inequalities were justified by “the market argument.” But does the argument hold up? We will dive into history and try to figure out why the markets for women’s and men’s football ended up being so different. The explanation might not be as “natural” as typically assumed.
by Emma Jøsok / BERRE Film og TV AS, Håvard Wettland Gossé
Embarking on a transcontinental quest for inspiration, a young filmmaker encounters visionary women directors across Europe and Asia, documenting their creative struggles and triumphs. As Coco delves deeper into their stories, she must learn to embrace her own roots and find empowerment in her personal journey of self-discovery.
by Coco Wouters / We Have a Plan, Kerstin Übelacker
Man and His Daughters – 6000 Km by bicycle
In December 2017, in Greenland, we the Strandberg Family, discovered that our 7-year-old daughter, Eva, was suddenly blind. Medicine made her see again, but maybe for only a short time. I decided that moment that my mission in life, was to show her and her sister the world. By bicycle. Before it is too late. After 4600 km of cycling, we are now going to Africa. Eva’s dream is to see the honey badger!
by Mikael Strandberg / Mikael Strandberg, Explorer Mikael Strandberg
Masterminded for Success
We follow Techno legend and music producer Mark Reeder in a car ride through the Berlin night with his newfound friends Jenny and Torje. Mark tells the story of his dangerous life in East Berlin of the 80’s into the pulsating techno life of the united city of the 90’s in a story of friendship, music and betrayal.
by Carl Javér / Vilda Bomben Film AB, Fredrik Lange
MyNa and Farah are childhood friends who grew up together in Oskarshamn, a small Swedish town. Through Mahoyo, they use art to explore their mixed cultural backgrounds. In the backdrop of the rapid growth of right wing politics in Sweden, we follow their inward and outward journeys, across borders, to find and connect with others also using creativity to resist, dream up and enact better worlds.
by MyNa Do & Farah Yusuf / Pråmfilm AB, Mónica Hernández Rejón
Four days after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine applies for EU-membership. Olha Stefanishyna, a young minister, is charged with a speedy integration into EU and NATO. The obstacles are enormous: rampant corruption, a war-torn society, a huge agricultural sector. The smallest misjudgment could cause a conflict within EU – risking the victory, Ukraine’s accession – and EU as we know it.
by Viktor Nordenskiöld / Freetownfilms AB, Viktor Nordenskiöld & Malcolm Dixelius; 2Brave Productions, Olha Beskhmelnytsina; Tag Film, Christian Popp; Domino Productions, Sergio Ghizzardi
After 3 years of captivity, a young girl manages to flee ISIS. She learns that her father has been murdered and her siblings are still held captive by ISIS. According to a promise she made to her father, now she must act to save her siblings, but the proposal of marriage from her old love puts her at a crossroads whether to pursue her own happiness or fulfill the promise she made to her father.
by Zahavi Sanjavi /AVB Production AB, Zahavi Sanjavi
To the North
Seven year old Samaa from Syria and Iris from Albania met at a refugee shelter in Sweden. They were inseparable until their families had to move to different cities. Eight years later they are still in contact, but growing up in a new country has brought different challenges for them.
by Jasmijn Kooijman / Pråmfilm AB, Mónica Hernández Rejón
Pas De Trois
A kaleidoscopic story of escapist devotion to ballet, a conversation between the worlds of a child, a young professional and a mature teacher. Their individuality and life philosophy emerges from the suppression of discipline, making room for mistakes, self expression and pleasure. Why are they causing so much pain to their bodies and what does that do to the soul?
by Laura Liventaal / Kartuliõis OÜ, Tiina Savi