Norway has selected Maria Sodhal’s Hope as its submission to the International Feature Film Oscar race. The drama world premiered in the Discovery section of the 2019 Toronto Film Festival and was screened in Panorama at Berlin this year. There, it took the Europa Cinemas Label Award and earlier this week garnered two European Film Awards nominations, for Sodhal in the European Director category and for star Andrea Braein Hovig in European Actress. Stellan Skarsgard also stars.
Hovig plays Anja, a 43-year-old who receives a terminal brain cancer diagnosis the day before Christmas. Together with partner Tomas (Skarsgard), they live in a large combined family, but for years, the couple has grown independent of each other. When Anja is given three months to live, their life breaks down and exposes neglected love.
Says Sødahl, “What a week! Two European Film Awards nominations and the Norwegian Oscar candidate. I’m overjoyed. Together with my brilliant and generous actors Andrea Braein Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård, I sincerely wish Hope will leave a lasting impression on audiences in Europe and the U.S.”
The film premiered in Norway in November 2019 and has been sold to the U.S. and English-speaking Canada (KimStim), Germany (Arsenal), the UK and Ireland (Picture Houses), ex-Yugoslavia (Cinemania Group), Poland (Aurora Films), Estonia (Estin Film), Israel (Shani Films/Lev Cinema), Spain and Andorra (ADSO Films), Benelux (Cineart), Czezh Republic and Slovakia (FOXX NEW MEDIA), Hungary (ADS Service Ltd), South Korea (INOLMEDIA) and Africa (Comart Films) among others.
Hope is produced by Thomas Robsahm for Motlys in co-production with Zentropa Sweden, Film i Väst and Oslo Pictures, with support from the Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Nordic Film and TV Fund, Eurimages, and in cooperation with SF Studios, TrustNordisk, NRK, SVT, Amarcord, Talent Norge and Storyline Studios. International sales are handled by TrustNordisk.
Norway most recently received an Oscar nomination with 2012’s Kon-Tiki; it made the shortlist with 2016’s The King’s Choice, but has never advanced all the way to winning the prize.