BIFF 2020: 23. september - 1. oktober

Norwegian documentaries in competition

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This years norwegian programme is a strong combination of premieres in competition and films that have already made their mark in festivals both domestic and abroad.

The winner of the competition programme will be awarded with a 25 000 NOK prize by NRK (the norwegian broadcaster).

Here are the films competing for the award for Best norwegian documentary:

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In the magnificent DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM The Arctic Philharmonic ascend the Ryten mountain in Lofoten, to perform music by Philip Glass inspired by the very nature they find themselves in.

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Norway is known to have the world’s most humane correctional system, but the reality is that several open prisons are closing down. Every year at Bastøy, a beautiful island in the Oslo fjord with no walls or barbed wire, 120 prisoners serve the last part of their sentence. ISLAND OF LOST BOYS follows two inmates who hope that open prison will give them a chance to get their life back on track.

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The last remaining all-male orchestra in Norway, Kampen Janitsjarorkester, has an average age of 60, and is in desperate need of new members to keep their legacy alive. But with a lack of young male musicians, and women want to become members, they are forced to take a long, hard look at the price of maintaining old traditions.

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Per and Anders are two young men from a wealthy part of Oslo. When they move into a collective in a multicultural neighbourhood, they meet Nora whose Arab family wants to marry her off to a man she has never met before. Nora is torn between the desire for independence and the love of her family, and Per and Anders do their best to support her struggle with a culture they do not understand.



The funny and heartwarming TRANSPORTATION DANCE is a film about movement and family relations, and how dance creates compassion. Dancer and actor Martin Slaatto has devoted his career to making people more aware and playful in their everyday movements, and has created a special deck of cards where each card is designed to challenge our movements in unique ways.



Through a thought-provoking and visually stunning black and white film, we see a group of international geo-scientists in Lofoten explore the Arctic landscape, to find out why the site is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes.

David Courier, senior programmer, Sundance Film Festival
Terje Dale, NRK Eksternredaksjonen
Anita Norfolk, documentary and animation producer