U - JULY 22 by director, Erik Poppe praised by the Ecumenical Jury in Berlin




Utøya 22 July is in the main competition in Berlin, where the Ecumenical Jury today considered the competition´s films for their social contribution. Among the 19 international films, Erik Poppe´s film about the attack at Utøya received an honorable mention.


The jury, consisting of academics, journalists, researchers and film promoters, selects films from the different programmes for their ability to stimulate reflection on spiritual, human and social questions and values. In their grounds for awarding Utøya 22 July an honorable mention, the jury highlights how: “The film draws the audience into the fear and despair of the young people on the island and creates the opportunity for caring and hope in the face of the tragedy.”


“This past week has been a very special experience for me and for everyone involved in making the film. And it is also important to note that many people at home in Norway have been following how our interpretation of their trauma has been received in Berlin and by the rest of the world. In that regard, this recognition sends an important message,” said Erik Poppe.


“Among the comments from international critics, I greatly appreciated the view expressed by Indiewire´s David Erlich: that the film can help make us more sensitive to violence, and the experiences of victims of terror and war, in a news reality so filled with violence that we are losing our ability to feel compassion. Now that this jury has reinforced this point, I hope that this is true also for our audience” said Poppe.


“At the same time, I would like to comment on a criticism we have received from some survivors that our film does not come close to describing the atrocity they experienced. We should stop for a moment and think about this: That this story, which so many critics describe as unbearable and painful, nevertheless far from shows the worst traumas experienced on that day,” he continued.


“And we cannot receive an honorable mention from Berlin without emphasizing Andrea Berntzen´s  moving performance and Martin Otterbeck´s intuitive and realistic camera work. And most importantly, those who were on Utøya on 22 July and had the strength to work with us on the film´s authenticity: Ole Martin Juul Syngstadli, Ingrid Marie Vaag Endrerud and Kristoffer Klunk Nyborg,” concluded Poppe.



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.