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Awards presented at the 47th Norwegian International Film Festival

Guro Brusgaard received the Eurimages Lab Award.
Photo: Grethe Nygaard


Tonight, we annouced the winners of eight awards during our closing ceremony of The 47th Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund.  

The Norwegian Film Critics’ Award

 The jury awarded the Norwegian Film Critics’ Award to Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

The jury’s verdict:

This is a work, which excels in its audio-visual storytelling. Channelled through a strong female voice, it is at once narratively compelling and aesthetically striking.  The film transports us to an age even more firmly in the grip of men than our own, to tell the tale of a handful of women. We follow their fascinating and deeply moving story, as they find intimacy and succour in one another, and a way to live out their dreams of freedom and fulfilment, to satisfy the longing to be a complete human being.  In keeping with the best of period drama, our winner speaks to timeless human themes in a rich and stylistically self-assured visual register.  With elegance, sophistication and courage, the film explores how love and vitality can – at least momentarily – throw off the shackles of an oppressive social order.  Exquisite acting performances and cinematography, combined with a soupcon of mythological symbolism, add up to a work of serious artistic merit. 

Chosen by a jury appointed by the Norwegian Film Critics’ Association. The jury has consisted of Le Nguyen from Filmmagasinet, film critic Kristin Aalen and film critic Peter Stuart Robinson. The prize consists of an artwork by artist Christian Messel.


The winner of the audience award goes to Ballon, directed by Michael Herbig.

The jury says that, the touching story is well portrayed both in the scriptwriting and the acting. In addition, the visual aspect and music gives the film an authentic feel and depth. It is a film suitable for all viewers, which is why we have chosen movie as this years’ winner.

The Audience award is given by the Norwegian International Film Festival. The jury is appointed by TV-Haugaland, and consists of Karl Inge Olaussen, Marianne H. Stokker, John Kristian Stenersen, Anne Lill Wenneck Aas, Ingrid Nilsenhe. The prize is a print by Ivar Rudi.

Andreas Award

The 2019 Ecumenical Award goes to In Safe Hands, directed by Jeanne Herry.

The jury’s statement:

This year’s award winner deals with an existential basis for mankind in general and, specifically, the little child – the need for love and safety. The social-realistic drama focuses on a newborn child, from where it is abandoned by its biological mother and until it can rest in a safe haven. The award winner stands out with high credibility and several impressive acting performances. Without melodrama it tells a little, yet big, story about the vulnerability in children’s and potential parents’ life – and all the good forces who are working alongside them. For unto us a child is born, and it always need safe hands to be carried on.

The Andreas Award is an ecumenical film award which is a co-operative effort between the Norwegian International Film Festival, Film&Kino and the newspaper Vårt Land. The jury consisted of Rune Steensnæs Engedal, Eli Røthe, Kristin Aalen and Jury President Alf Kjetil Walgermo.

The award is a graphic print by Eli Hovdenak.

The Ray of Sunshine

This year’s Ray of Sunshine award goes to the British film Fisherman’s Friends, directed by Chris Foggin and distributed by Norsk Filmdistribusjon.

The Ray of Sunshine award goes to a film that spreads enthusiasm and joy,and should have a potential to reach a broad audience in the Norwegian cinemas.

The jury says the following about the winning film:

This year’s Ray of Sunshine is a heart-warming film that thrills and pleases on many levels, the film har great spirit, irresistible charm and energy. This is British, high-spirited feel-good at its best, and we would love to linger a while in idyllic Cornwall alongside shanty-singing fishermen. The encounter between a solid portion of big city arrogance and the melancholy of the countryside provides us with situations that amuse us, and at the same time gives us something to think about. The film is down to earth and vivid, while it also ironizes our ignorance towards foreign environments, and puts human worth in focus. Of course, we also find huge amounts of love in this film.

This film deserves the biggest screens and a long life at the cinema!

A jury consisting of members of the “Norwegian Cinema managers association” has considered the films in the main program of this years festival. This year’s jurymembers are Ida Katrine Balto, Aurora Kino, Bjørn Helge Jahnsen, Sandefjord Kino, Clarissa Bergh, Lillehammer Kino, Ann Katrin Atterås, Voss Kino and Christin Berg, Nordisk Film Kino. 


The FIPRESCI Award went to Before the Frost, directed by Danish Michael Noer.

– We found the selection of films this year to be of a very high standard. Our short list contained films which all presented deep ethical and particularly moral challenges. Our final winner was not only a powerful morality play, it was thrillingly told, with excellent craft, and also presented an exotic milieu with a modern urgency. It also features a towering performance for a mature actor, said the jury in their statement.

This award goes to the best Nordic film, from a jury appointed by the international film critic’s association FIPRESCI. The jury has consisted of film critic CJ Johnson from Australia, film critic Tadeusz Szczepanski from Poland and film critic Ida Madsen Hestman from Norway.

Best Project Award

The winner is Let the River Flow, directed by Ole Giæver and produced by Maria Ekerhovd, Mer Film.

The award goes to the best project in the Nordic Co-production Market. As voted by the participants, the winner is granted participation at the Producers Network in Cannes.

Scandinavian Debut Award
The Scandinavian Debut is hosted by the talent programs FilmLab Norway, Producing People, STHLM Debut, the organizations Mediefabrikken, Film i Skåne, Filmbaen and Film Capital Stockholm. The winner receives a development or production grant of NOK 125 000 from Dagslys. The jury consisted of film critic Kalle Løchen, Programme Manager at EAVE Satu Elu and distributor at Folkets Bio Rose Mari Strand.

The jury says:

The project is a modern take on a very well-known fairytale, a metaphorical story that deals with a serious discussion on the chase of beauty ideals, inventing the genre “beauty horror”. The pitchers were confident in their presentation and capable of communicating their intension and vision.

Eurimages Lab Project Award

The award goes to the most promising cutting-edge film among the six nominated presented as work in progress. The award encourages a film that is experimental in form or content, made on the side of traditional filmmaking framework and showing international collaboration. The jury consists of Director of Programming at Nordisk Film Kino Christin Berg, the former head of film funding at the Swedish Film Institute Kristina Borjeson, curator of HAIFA Industry Events, producer and writer Rut Lev Ari and special consultant for Scandinavian films Stephen Locke.