TrustNordisk is very proud to announce that Erik Poppe's U - JULY 22 has been selected for Competition at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. The film will be celebrating its international premiere on February 19th at the Berlinale Palast.


On July 22 2011 more than 500 youths at a political summer camp on an island outside Oslo were attacked by an armed, right-wing extremist. Earlier that day he bombed a Government building in Oslo before making his way to Utøya island. In this first fictional movie about the attack we get to know Kaja (18) and her friends. The movie starts when the youngsters, shocked by the bombing in Oslo, are reassuring their relatives that they are far away from the incident. Suddenly, the safe atmosphere is shattered when shots are heard. We then follow Kaja as she tries to survive - minute by minute.


"Being selected for the Competition in Berlin or Cannes is one of the highest honours any movie can get, wherever it comes from", says Stine Helgeland, Head of Department Communications, Strategic Insight and International Relations at the Norwegian Film Institute. "We trusted Erik Poppe's ability to bring this difficult story to the big screen, and we are very proud that the film has now gained recognition for its quality. This is an honour only seven Norwegian features have achieved earlier, since the festival's start in 1951", says Helgeland.


Director Erik Poppe returns to the Berlin Film Festival for the third time. Last year, The Kings Choice was featured in Panorama, as was his first feature Schpaa, while U - JULY 22 has now been selected for Main Competition, the most prestigious section: "This is a recognition I value incredibly highly. But it is not a story I own in any way. The story belongs to the victims and the survivors of this horrendous political terrorist attack. With the presence and help of several of those who were on Utøya that fatal day, we have been able to make as realistic a film as possible. In addition, I want to share the honour with the young actors who put so much outstanding effort and energy into this unusually demanding project."


U - July 22 is written on the basis of testimonies and known facts, but for the sake of the victims and their relatives, characters and individual experiences are fictitious. The movie is produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B. Kvae for Paradox Film 7 AS, as with this is in the running for the Golden Bear for the third time: "Most important for us at this moment is to ensure that those affected by the terror are given the opportunity to see the film before it reaches the press and the general public. Out of respect for them. Then we can look forward to sharing it with the rest of the world, and participating in the Berlinale Competition again."

The screenplay is written by Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Anna Bache-Wiig: "Writing this script was one of the most challenging things we have done. But when Erik called, we did not feel we could say no, because the film is an honest attempt to tell the victims' story. Processing one of our biggest national traumas is important and right, but we have always been aware that it would be challenging. This early recognition is therefore first and foremost a relief."

D.O.P. is Martin Otterbeck. Actors are Andrea Berntzen, Elli Rhihannon Müller Osborne, Jenny Svennevig, Aleksander Holmen, Ingeborg Enes Kjevik, Sorosh Sadat, Brede Fristad, Ada Otilde Eide, Karoline Schau, Solveig Birkeland, Torkel Dommersnes, Daniel Sang Tran, Tamanna Agnihotri, Mariann Gjerdsbakk and Magnus Moen. 


Berlin International Film Festival will take place from 15th to 25th of February, and the film will premiere on February 19th.

Nordisk Film distributes in Scandinavia.

The film has received production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute through the artistic assessment scheme.


Domestic premiere is set for March 9th 2018. 


For more information about U - JULY 22, please click here.