Nordic Film Festival


June 4-14, 2015

Click for the screening schedule.

Istanbul Modern Cinema presents a new series of programs bringing together world-renowned, fresh new films from Scandinavia. The series features much talked-about Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic, and Norwegian films that got the thumbs-up from audiences, critics, and festivals alike. The selection for this year’s program features veteran Norwegian director Bent Hamer’s latest film “1001 Grams”; winner of the Golden Lion at Venice “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”, directed by veteran Swedish director Roy Andersson; and Academy Award-winning director Susanne Bier’s “A Second Chance” starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, leading actor in the series “Game of Thrones”.

Program Guest: Hisham Zaman

Hisham Zaman, the director of “Before Snowfall” and “Letter to the King”, will be our guest for the Turkey premiere of his film “Letter to the King”. The director will be answering your questions after the screening of “Letter to the King” on June 4 at 17.00 and after the screening of  “Before Snowfall” on June 6 at 15.00.



1001 GRAMS, 2014

Norway, Germany, France | DCP, Color, 88'| Norwegian, French

Director: Bent Hamer

Cast: Ane Dahl Torp, Peter Hudson, Laurent Stocker

In this recent film, renowned for his extraordinary and distinctive sense of humor, contrary to that of ordinary comedies, Norwegian director Bent Hamer, takes the audience into the world of Marie, an urban scientist. Having dedicated her life to her work at the Norwegian Metrology Service, where her father also works, Marie finds herself at an international calibration conference in Paris when her father becomes ill. The life of the hypercritical woman who participates in the conference for the first time changes when she meets Pi, a suave and philosophical man.



Norway, Germany, Iraq | DCP, Color, 105' |Kurdish

Director:Hisham Zaman

Cast:Abdullah Taher, Suzan Ilır, Bahar Özen

This first feature-length film by director Hisham Zaman conveys a poignant road story that begins in Iraq.  Siyar, the oldest male child of his family, becomes the head of his household after the death of his father and sets forth to find his sister who abandoned her wedding to protect the honour of his family. In Istanbul he meets Evin, who like him is lost in the metropolis and works as a shoe-shiner. They continue travelling west together. Siyar’s search for his sister turns into an inner journey during which he questions himself. A strong performance by the amateur cast and Zaman’s non-judgmental approach come to the fore in the film.  



Norway | DCP, Color, 75´ | Norwegian, Kurdish, Persian, English

Director: Hisham Zaman

Cast: Ali Bag Salimi, Ivan Anderson, Nazmi Kirik, Raouf Saraj, Hassan Demirci

Five refugees who have long been living at a refugee camp in a cold and faraway Norwegian town isolated from society are given the opportunity to go to Oslo for a day. Bored of their monotonous lives at the camp, the group takes kindly to the opportunity and head out. The five characters, each with different stories and of different age groups, are set on using this outing to set their respective plans into motion. The story that ties them all together is that of 83 year-old Mirza, who is dead set on delivering a letter to the King of Norway. We accompany the characters who encounter love, happiness, long-awaited revenge and hope for the future in unfamiliar Oslo districts.


Denmark| DCP, Color, 102’| Danish, Swedish
Director: Susanne Bier
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas

Game of Thrones star Nikolaj-Coster Waldau plays in “A Second Chance” by Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier who describes the film as “an unsettling and personal drama about people encountering situations that arise out with their control”. Experienced policeman Andreas leads a happy life with his beautiful wife Anna and their new-born baby. One day Andreas and his close friend and partner Simon are called out to intervene in a domestic violence report. Tristan, an ex-convict, and his girlfriend Sanne, have a baby daughter called Sofus. Andreas does all he can to save the neglected baby raised in an unhealthy environment but the laws are insufficient for dealing with the situation. The circumstances deeply affect Andreas’s whole life and his view of the concept of justice as he is forced to make a critical decision.



Sweden, Germany, Norway, France| DCP, Color, 100’ | Swedish, English

Director: Roy Andersson

Cast: Holger Andersson, Nils Westblom, Viktor Gyllenberg

Sam and Jonathan, who sell novelty toys door to door like the modern era Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, take us on a journey to the fate of humanity. The final film of the trilogy “The Living” that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival is a dark and funny film filled with absurdities and rage. Like a pigeon that watches us from atop a tree branch, Roy Andersson reveals the ultimate fragility of humanity as well as the small joys, evils, the humor and tragedy within us and the splendor of life.



Iceland, Denmark | DCP, Color, 94´| Icelandic, English

Director: Dagur Kári

Cast: Gunnar Jónsson, İlmur Kristjánsdóttir, Sigurjón Kjartansson

Dagur Kári, the director of Virgin Mountain, selected to have its world premiere in the Berlinale Special Gala section at the Berlin International Film Festival, returned to cinema six years later with a mountainous film portraying the heart-warming story of a 43 year-old man. The monotonous life of Fusi, who is still living with his mother and hasn’t yet fully adapted to living as an adult, is suddenly and unexpectedly changed when an energetic woman and an eight-year old girl enter his life. The undiscovered potential of our protagonist, sprung to life through Gunnar Johnsson’s impressive and award-winning performance, surfaces when he falls in love. 



Sweden | DCP, Color, 96’ | Swedish

Director:Jens Östberg

Cast: Sverrir Gudnason, Leonard Terfelt, Malin Buska

After returning from Thessaloniki International Film Festival awarded with the “Best Male Performance” in 2014, Sverrir Gudnason plays the part of Kristian, a once talented hockey player. One evening, Kristian drops off his friend Alex at his house but Alex disappears that night. Meanwhile, Kristian starts acting increasingly aggressive and irrational and gets carried away with fixing the lives of Alex’s son Elias and his wife Diana. After finding out about the death of his old friend Alex, with whom he spent most of his life, Kristian begins to take over his friend’s family life as if it is the natural thing to do. The effect of this psychological drama, in which the line between victim and offender becomes blurred, is heightened by the distressing soundtrack.



Sweden | DCP, Color, 90' | Swedish, English

Director: Bitte Andersson

Cast: Lina Kurttila, Peggy Sands, Marıa Wågensjö, Alle Eriksson, Iki Gonzalez

Inspired by John Waters, this first film by Bitte Andersson is a rip-roaring queer comedy. The film features all elements spanning action to sci-fi, and from musical theatre to comedy. Set in 1986, the film portrays the story of an unavailing lesbian rock band as they take to the road to participate in a competition for amateur bands. On the road they encounter various unexpected groups such as Muay Thai fighters, cyborgs, runaway convicts and motorcycle gangs. Produced by dedicated film nerds with a passion for B-films it has already become a cult film even before coming to the theaters.



Finland | DCP, Color, 93’ | Swedish

Director: Ulrika Bengts

Cast: Erik Lönngren, Patrik Kumpulainen, Niklas Groundstroem

Set in the 1930s, the film presents the 13 year-old orphan Karl who is sent to a deserted island to assist the guard of the lighthouse. Dissatisfied with the boy’s young age and fragile appearance, the guard affirms that his own son Gustaf could do everything that Karl was expected to and wants to send him back. Despite their differences, Karl becomes friends with Gustaf and starts proving that he can be of use on the island. This family drama is riveting to the end and was Finland’s submission to the Oscars in 2013. 


Norway | DCP, Color, 83’ | Norwegian
Director: Eirik Svensson
Cast: Samakab Omar, Mohammed Alghoul, Kaan Kozanli

The whole nation celebrates the Norwegian Day of Liberation until the early hours of the morning. Childhood friends Sam and Amir decide to celebrate the night in an unforgettable way. However, the 24 hours that they are going to spend together will cause them both to question their friendship and their relationships with ex-girlfriends. Expressing that people really live when they lose control, the film is the story of rebellious young people on the threshold of adulthood. 

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