TIFF 2022: the Film du Nord program is ready

Photo: Norsksvenske Silence in Sápmi

When we caught up with 2021 program manager John-Kristian Dalseth in January, he had left behind an unusual festival. He described a cinematic environment that was on its way out of lockdown and promised the festival would come back stronger with hopefully a physical release in 2022.

Today, his successor, Espen Nomedalpublishes the Film from the North program for 2022 in which it promises a series of “striking stories from the Arctic fringe”.

“From unassuming comedies and poetic memoirs to stories about dealing with trauma and loss. In TIFF’s biggest parallel programme, Film fra Nord, you get gripping stories of high artistic quality from the Barents and other northern regions,” he said in a press release.

This year’s Film from the North program includes a total of 42 shorts, documentaries and feature films. There will be up to 15 world premieres of films made in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. Both by new and young directors and established filmmakers.

The opening film “Smile and wave”

The opening film is the Norwegian documentary Smile and greet of Eva Charlotte Nilsen. In the film, Nilsen takes a curious look at his own childhood in eastern Norway in the early 1960s. “The film is an uplifting work that unravels the mysteries of memory and a tribute to the healing power of nature. .” Nilsen is based in Vesterålen and previously ran the North Norwegian Film Center. She has worked as a director, photographer, editor and program secretary at NRK and has made numerous films for museums, public companies, television companies and independent projects.

Nomedal never doubted that this was to be this year’s opening film.

– It’s a pearl! The film consists of Nilsen’s train of thought on life and life. It is cast in an atmospheric coastal nature of northern Norway that is constantly changing and revealing new surprises. Smile and wave is a light in the dark and of course it was to be Film fra Nord’s opening film, he says.

Photo taken from “Koftepolitiet” by Egil Pedersen.

– The films are made by actors from all over the world in front of and behind the camera. This is one of the things that makes the parallel program so exciting and multifaceted. The program has everything from Indigenous perspectives from the Blackfeet Nation in Canada and Inuk to films with a strong Sami affiliation and also multicultural and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. This diversity of artists brought together is one of the main strengths of the Films du Nord program.

With 23 directors on the program this year, there are more than ever. New movie voices like Russian-Swedish Yulia Antonova (spin the bottle) and Norwegian Astrid Ardagh (A forgotten childhood) to established international film names such as Indigenous Filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tail Feathers (The sense of empathy) of Canada and West Track (Our silent struggle) from Finland.

The films of the North program also contain this year documentaries of an entire night. Among them are the Norwegian-Swedish Silence in Sápmirealized by Liselotte Wajstedt and produced by Linn Henriksen. The film, which has its world premiere at TIFF, tries to find the reason why serious issues such as sexual abuse have been hidden for generations within the Sami community. The women who appear in the film have, in their own way, challenged attempts to cover up their abuse.

22 of the films compete to win the Palme de Tromsø at TIFF 2022, the prize is awarded by a jury for the best film in less than 60 minutes.

Alec Dittman

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