Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s Thelma, which opened last month’s Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund to receive the Norwegian Film Critics Prize, was September 5th named Norway’s official submission for the Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Feature.
The Norwegian Oscar committee chose Trier’s fourth feature – which is on the way to the international fim festivals in Toronto (7-17 September) and New York (28-October-15 September) - from a shortlist of candidates, which also included Norwegian directors Izer Aliu’s Hunting Flies (Fluefangeren) and Jorunn Myklebust Syversen’s The Tree Feller (Hoggeren).
The film is directed by Joachim Trier from a script by Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier. Producer is Thomas Robsahm for Motlys AS. Amercian distributor is The Orchard, which plans a November 10th release in the US.
Starring Eili Harboe, Thelma portrays Thelma, a young student in Oslo. When she is drawn to another woman, she is overwhelmed by emotions she does not dare acknowledge - and frightening and inexplicable powers are forcing themselves into the open.
The supernatural thriller is also Trier’s fourth feature co-scripted with Eskil Vogt, produced by Thomas Robsahm for Oslo’s Motlys. SF Norge will release the film domestically on 15 September, while Paris-based Memento Films International handles international sales.
All-embraced, ambitious and personal drama
“Thelma confirms that Trier is a unique and style-safe film artist of a broad and international format,” explained the Norwegian Oscar committee – “based on his special and character-exploring universe, the film has become an all-embraced, ambitious and personal drama about a young woman's awakening and detachment.
“It is a film that fascinates, touches and revolts, and starting with the thriller Trier creates a much larger Nordic, in particular Norwegian story in a universal framework that anyone can recognise.
Unique film vision
“Pronounced use of dramaturgical instruments, film-historical references and architecture makes Thelma stand out as an impressive innovation in Norwegian cinema. Not least, the lead actress Eili Harboe promises to make a unique film vision,” the committee concluded its recommendation.
“Thelma is a film that touches the viewer on several levels, both emotionally and intellectually - it is visually striking, modern in its expression, at the same time with clear references to film classics. With this film Trier, Vogt and their regular group of assistants have delivered a story that will reach a wide audience, and which we strongly believe in as our Oscar candidate,” added chairman of the Oscar committee, managing director Sindre Guldvog, of the Norwegian Film Institute.
Nominations announced in january
The five Oscar nominations for Best Foreign-Language Feature will be announced on 23 January, 2018, while the Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 4 March, 2018. Previous Norwegian nominees for the prize include Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning-Espen Sandberg’s Kon-Tiki (2012), Petter Næss’ Elling (2001), Berit Nesheim’s The Other Side of Sunday (Søndagsengler/1996), Nils Gaup’s Pathfinder (Veiviseren/Ofelas/1987) and Arne Skouen’s Nine Lives (Ni liv/1957).