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FESTIVALS Norway

Haugesund shows star muscle

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Bille August, Lauren Bacall, Marianne Faithfull, Maria de Medeiros and Laura Morante are some of the big names expected at this year's 35th Norwegian International Film Festival, which opens tomorrow with Petter Næss's Gone With the Woman and closes on August 23 with Sam Garbarski's Irina Palm [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sam Garbarski
interview: Sébastien Delloye
film profile
]
(see Focus).

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The iconic star of The Big Sleep, who is playing against UK actor Brian Cox in the UK/Norwegian co-production Wide Blue Yonder, currently shooting in Norway's Haugesund region, is this year's Guest of Honour. As such, she will attend tonight's celebration of Norwegian cinema at the Amanda Awards (Norway's top film honours).

The festival's official kick-off will be given tomorrow by Trond Giske, the Norwegian Minister of Culture, before the world premiere of Gone with the Woman by the director of Elling [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. Produced by Olav Øen for Monster Film, it tells the story of a man (Trond Fausa Aursvåg from The Bothersome Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jens Lien
interview: Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
film profile
]
) whose life is somewhat unknowingly invaded by a woman (Marian Saastad Ottesen). The film is described by festival director Gunnar Johan Løvvik as spontaneous, funny, warm, painful and reckless. AB Svensk Filmindustri is handling sales.

The 2007 programme has a strong European flavour, with nearly two-thirds of the films involving Europe. Twenty-six countries are represented in total. Films already shown in Cannes include You, the Living [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pernilla Sandström
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile
]
by Sweden's Roy Andersson, who will open the New Nordic Films Market on Tuesday 21, the Palme d'or winning film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile
]
(see Focus) and The Banishment.

Italy has its own programme, Cinema Italia, with six films, including Riparo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Marco Puccioni, who will present the film along with Maria de Medeiros, and Claudio Antonini's Liscio, starring Morante and Umberto Morelli.

As usual, France has a strong presence with French Touch Selection 2007, organised in collaboration with Unifrance, TV5 and the French Cultural Centre in Oslo. Twelve films are in the programme, including L'ivresse du pouvoir [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Persepolis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marc-Antoine Robert
interview: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Pa…
film profile
]
.

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