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2021 SCANDINAVIAN FILM FESTIVAL

Palace invites you to go north this midwinter with the Scandinavian Film Festival. The full 2021 programme has been unveiled, a superb showcase of the best new Nordic cinema, and will be screening nationally at Palace Cinemas from 6 July to 4 August 2021.

This year’s specially curated selection encompasses films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, including ten directed by women, with many screening for the first time outside of Europe.  

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, THE EMIGRANTS (Utvandrarna) will close the Festival. The Emigrants follows a struggling farming family in mid-19th Century Sweden who decide to embark on the arduous journey to new hope in America. Starring the late Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, The Emigrants was nominated for five Oscars and won Golden Globe awards for Best Actress (Liv Ullmann) and Best Foreign Film. The Closing Night screenings will feature a celebratory Scandi cocktail in tribute to acting great Max Von Sydow who passed away in March 2020.

The Festival will open with WILDLAND (Kød & Blod). Set in Denmark’s underbelly, Jeanette Nordahl’s striking Scandi-noir follows an impressionable teenage girl who is placed in the care of her estranged aunt (an incredible Sidse Babette Knudsen), the head of a family crime syndicate. 

Sidse Babette Knudsen also stars in THE EXCEPTION (Undtagelsen), alongside Danica Curcic, Amanda Collin and Lena Marie Christensen. The Exception is an electrifying Copenhagen-set psychological thriller about four colleagues at a NGO, who suspect each other after a series of mysterious death threats. 

Stellan Skarsgård and Andrea Bræin Hovig star in HOPE (Håp), a stunningly acted relationship drama about a creative couple by director Maria Sødahl, that was Norway’s official submission to the 2021 Academy Awards.

A luminescent Laura Birn stars in HELENE, a captivating portrait of Finland’s most acclaimed painter of the early twentieth century, Helene Schjerfbeck.

While TOVE is a fascinating depiction of the life and personal relationships of Finnish visual artist and author Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins.

Laura Birn also appears with Swedish star Christian Hillborg (The Last KingdomThe BridgeFleabag) in the GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (Seurapeli). A group of old friends gather at an idyllic Finnish seaside villa to celebrate a surprise birthday, where old feelings and power struggles rise to the surface.

Musical comedy A PIECE OF MY HEART (En del av mitt hjärta) also stars Christian Hillborg opposite Hollywood star Malin Akerman who plays successful businesswoman Isabella. She returns to her hometown where she learns that her teenage love (Hillborg) is getting married in this Swedish box office sensation.

Weddings also feature in films from Denmark and Norway. PERSONA NON GRATA (Hvor kragerne vender) is a black comedy about uncomfortable family relations following a cosmopolitan Copenhagen writer who returns to her rural hometown for her brother’s wedding.

While DIANA’S WEDDING (Dianas bryllup) is a bittersweet tribute to love, telling the story of Norwegians Liv and Terje and the unconventional, stormy marriage they embark on the very same day as Diana Spencer and Prince Charles exchange vows in London. 

This year’s Special Presentation is TIGERS (Tigrar). Crowned Best Nordic Film at the 2021 Göteborg Film Festival, Tigers is the enthralling true story of Swedish football wunderkind Martin Bengtsson, a former Inter Milan player, who lifted the lid on a world where everyone has a price tag. 

Rising Norwegian star Josefine Frida Pettersen (Skam) shines in Jorunn Myklebust Syversen’s provocative new drama DISCO about a young evangelical dance champion whose faith is tested, prompting her to search for radical solutions. 

Also from Norway, BEWARE OF CHILDREN (Barn). This multi award-winning and critically acclaimed drama traces the dramatic aftermath of a tragic event in a middle-class suburb of Oslo, examining society’s reaction when crisis strikes amongst children.

Danish production ANY DAY NOW (Ensilumi) is a celebration of the quietly humane; an Iranian family in Finland await a decision about whether they will be granted an official asylum status in Hamy Ramezan’s personal first feature.

While the deeply moving 2020 Göteborg Film Festival opener  PSYCHOSIS IN STOCKHOLM (Psykos i Stockholm) is a surreal drama about a mother and daughter who embark on a trip to Stockholm, yet their plan is derailed when the mother begins acting strangely.

Also from Sweden is a very different mother-daughter relationship at the heart of CALL MUM! (Ring Mamma!). Niki has just turned 35 and is suddenly forced to come to grips with all her relationships and past choices in life in this charming comedy from the director of She Monkeys, Lisa Aschan.

At the Centrepiece of the Festival is THE COUNTY (Héraðið), Grímur Hákonarson’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to the global hit RamsThe County is a rousing, David-and-Goliath comedy about a dairy farmer’s wife (Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir) who takes on the corrupt local co-op in her remote Icelandic valley.  

Based on his eponymous play, Ragnar Bragason’s THE GARDEN (Gullregn) stars acclaimed actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir (Woman at War), alongside Trapped star Sigrún Edda Björnsdóttir in a dark comedy of self-reflection that delves into xenophobia in Iceland.

Iceland’s entry into the 2021 Academy Awards, AGNES JOY (Hæ, hó Agnes Joy) is a tale of intergenerational struggle in a picturesque setting that was a winner with audiences.

In Iceland’s #1 box office hit comedy of 2020, THE LAST FISHING TRIP (Síðasta veiðiferðin), it’s The Hangover meets  Sideways as six friends depart on their annual fishing trip leaving their wives, work and worries at home!

In GRANDMA HOFI (Amma Hófí) a pair of senior citizens, fed up with the conditions in their retirement home, decide to rob banks so they can afford a small apartment. Stars Icelandic comedy royalty  Edda Björgvinsdóttir (Under the Tree) and Þórhallur ‘Laddi’ Sigurðsson (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty).

The specially curated programme of films and events includes a Dansk Cocktail presented by Copenhagen Distillery Gin, Sparkling Screenings presented by Marimekko plus Carlsberg and Nordic flavours at selected events.

Tickets are now on sale at www.scandinavianfilmfestival.com.  

The 2021 Scandinavian Film Festival will take place nationally from 6 July – 4 August, in the following cities: 

Sydney: 6 – 28 JulyPalace Norton, Palace Central and Chauvel Cinemas

Canberra: 7 – 28 JulyPalace Electric 

Melbourne: 8 – 28 July, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino and Pentridge Cinema

Adelaide: 13 July – 4 August, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas 

Perth: 14 July – 4 August, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX & Palace Raine Square 

Brisbane: 15 July – 4 August, Palace James StPalace Barracks 

Byron Bay: 16 July – 1 August, Palace Byron Bay 



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