The jury has consisted of actor and playwright Marianne Meløy, literary scholar and author Frode Saugestad and film critic and journalist Einar Guldvog Staalesen.
From the jury’s decision:
We rated 13 movies in the «New Directors Program». Seven of the directors are women. Six are men. The gender distribution is quite remarkable for an international film festival.
The selected movies are special for several reasons. All the movies address real problems, and are not only exquisite cinematographic works. None of the nominated directors are afraid of dealing with difficult issues, and they tackle political, religious, cultural, and especially abuse of power and repression head on. Most films deal with our present, while others raise more enduring issues.
The 13 films comes from ten different countries and four continents, a huge geographical spread which ensures diversity and nuance. The world becomes more exciting when we experience it through movies from various countries and cultures.
We would like to mention a few of the movies that were all in contention until the final vote:
«Sami Blood» by Swedish Amanda Kernell. A strong tale of how the major community forces and suppresses the Sami language and culture.
«Little Wing» – by Finnish Selma Vilhunen’s simple, but multifaceted film about 12-year old Varpu’s search for her father whom she doesn’t know.
«In Between» – by Israeli Maysaloun Hamoud. Three young women, two muslim and one Christian share an apartment. Surrounding them are extended family and several norms.
«24 Weeks» – German film about a celebrity couple expecting a child with down syndrome and serious cardiac problem directed by Anne Zohra Berrached
«The World of Us» – South Korea. Pupils in third grade tease, exclude, fight and bully each other. Is this evil that must be contained? Young girls faces packed with content. Directed by Yoon Ga-Eun.
The selection from this years program has been done with no regard to the directors gender. But – all are women.
Director Maysaloun Hamoud has made an engaging film with three credible characters, all of them crushed between themselves and their herd. Breaking away from your hear and its traditions always comes with great costs, something this movie demonstrates in an excellent way. However they create their own flock, where all of them sacrifice something for each other. This is redemptive both for themselves and for the movie. The acting and the portrayal of the milieu are so convincing that we really trust the unconventional storyline. Wise choices challenge our preconceived attitudes and create a bond to Salma, Layla and Nour, characters that make us proud and whom we come to care for.
The Winner is «In Between» an Israeli movie with a French co-producer.