Painter & The Thief crowned Best Film, Ninjababy takes 4 at Amandas

By Annika Pham



In a vintage year for documentaries, Benjamin Ree’s The Painter and the Thief brought home the first Amanda Best Film in nearly two decades, alongside Best Documentary and Editing.

Produced by Medieoperatørene, the documentary about the special bond between Czech artist Barbara Kysilkova and Karl-Bertil Nordlandarrested for stealing two of her workshas racked up numerous international awards since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2020 where it picked up a Special Jury Prize for Creative Storytelling.

Thank you for allowing me to live in a community where it is possible to get up again and start again, said Karl-Bertil Nordland, from the stage of the Festiviteten in Haugesund, where the 21st Amanda film awards were handed out on Saturday evening.

The film released domestically by Euforia sold more than 30,000 tickets.

The Amanda favourite Ninjababy, turned 4 of its 11 nominations into awards including Best Director for Yngvild Sve Flikke who also shares a Best Script award with main writer Johan Fasting and Inga H. Sætre, author and illustrator of the original graphic novel Fallteknikk.

Rising talent Kristine Kuljath Thorp, cast as the vibrant Rakel who is definitely not ready for motherhood, picked up Best Actress, while her co-star Nader Khademi won Best Supporting Actor.

Ninjababy was produced by production house Motlys, regular creator of outstanding arthouse movies, such as last year’s Amanda-Best Film winner Beware of Chidren.

Eirik Svensson’s WW2 drama Betrayed was the third heaviest winner, with a Best Actor award to Jakob Oftebro, Best Supporting Actress to Pia Halvorsen and Best Production Design to Ulrika Axén and Tobias Eiving. The Holocaust drama about the Braude Jewish family’s arrest and deportation to Auschwitz via the German cargo ship 'SS Donau", was produced by Fantefilm.

Elsewhere the festival and critic documentary hit Gunda by Victor Kossakovsky (Sant & Usant) made history as the first black-and-white film ever to scoop Best Cinematography, while Thomas Dybdahl was the first composer to win an Amanda for Original Score twice and for two Arild Østin Ommundsen films-this year’s Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers (co-directed with Silje Salomonsen, which also picked up Best Children’s Film) and 2010 Rat Nights.

The Audience award went to the empowering Generation Utøya by Sigve Endresen and Aslaug Holm, featuring four young women’s hopeful journey to transform their post July 22, 2011 trauma into strength and political activism.

The Best Foreign Film Amanda was bestowed to Thomas Vinterberg’s Oscar-winner Another Round, which has sold more than 71,000 tickets in Norwegian cinemas via Arthaus, despite the pandemic.

The Norwegian/Dutch family film Dragon Girl by Katarina Launing (Battle) won Best Visual Effects.

The esteemed writer/director/producer Oddvar Bull Tuhus behind the films Fifty-Fifty, Hockey Fever and Blücher, was handed out an Honorary Amanda.

Nordisk Film & TV Fond is associated to 9 Amanda awards for Ninjababy, Betrayed, Generation Utøya and Dragon Girl.

Full list of Amanda Awards 2021

  • Best Film: The Painter and the Thief (directed by Benjamin Ree, produced by Ingvil Giske)
  • Best Director: Yngvild Sve Flikke for Ninjababy
  • Best Screenplay: Johan Fasting, co-writers; Yngvild Sve Flikke and Inga H. Sætre for Ninjababy
  • Best Actress: Kristine Kujath Thorp for Ninjababy
  • Best Actor: Jakob Oftebro for Betrayed
  • Best Supporting Actress: Pia Halvorsen for Betrayed
  • Best Supporting Actor: Nader Khademi for Ninjababy
  • Best Documentary: The Painter and the Thief (directed by Benjamin Ree, produced by Ingvil Giske)
  • Best Children’s Film: Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers (directed by Silje Salomonsen and Arild Østin Ommundsen, produced by Gary Cranner)
  • Best Cinematography: Egil Håskjold Larsen and Victor Kossakovsky for Gunda
  • Best Editing: Robert Stengård for The Painter and the Thief
  • Best Sound Design: Alexander Dudarev for Gunda
  • Best Original Score: Thomas Dybdahl for Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers
  • Best Costume: Ingjerd Meland, Marianne Stranger, Itonje Søimer Guttormsen,
  • Birgitte Larsen and Nina Buer Brun for Grit
  • Best Make-up: Maria Bjørnnes Hermansen and Fie Baro for Prosjekt Z
  • Best Production Design: Ulrika Axén and Tobias Eiving for Betrayed
  • Best Visual Effects: Dennis Kleyn and Peer Lemmers for Dragon Girl
  • Best Short Film: What is a Woman (directed and produced by Marin Håskjold)
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg
  • People’s Amanda: Generasjon Utøya
  • Honorary Amanda: Oddvar Bull Tuhus