Films from the South let you experience momentous films from other corners of the world than those that usually dominate Western cinemas.
If you happen to be in Oslo at the start of October, have an open mind and an interest in films, you should definitely give the festival called Films from the South a try.
Since its start in 1991, the festival has specialized in films from Asia, Africa and Latin America. These are films that perhaps won’t be given an ordinary run at Norwegian cinemas, as they usually differ a bit, both in terms of style and themes, from traditional genre pics from Hollywood.
However, just a minority of them can be characterized as overly arty – the movies shown at the festival can naturally be just as funny, touching, entertaining or exciting any Western film.
The programmers have been able to pick from the best they have seen at large festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice.
“In total, we show 81 films from 35 countries, with a great variation both in terms of geography and genre”, festival director Susann Østigaard says.
The festival opened yesterday, with Park chan-Wook’s elegant erotic thriller The Handmaiden, which enjoyed great reviews at this year’s Cannes festival.
In the following days the audience can select from a variety of manga films, they can see and hear international star directors such as Amat Escalante (Mexico) and Hirokazu Koreeda (Japan) talk about their films, and there will be quite a few special screenings.
Among the most unusual events will be the screening of Escalante’s The Untamed, that won this year’s silver lion at Venice, at a large factory space located at Vippetangen harbour.
While seeing the film that, according to Variety, “meshes domestic realism and erotic sci-fi to intriguing effect”, you can eat Mexican food, and afterwards you’ll be able to experience a concert with Norwegian experimental band MoE. They created the soundtrack to the film as well.
“In addition to this, I would also like to mention a screening we’ll have in a church in the Grønland district, of a documentary called The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. It’s about using music as a bridge between people and culture”, says Østigaard.
This year, the festival has an special focus on Iran and North Korea, and the latter is the focus of a new documentary called Liberation Day. It’s about when the Norwegian artist Morten Traavik took the metal band Laibach to Pyongyang in 2015, in order to play for 1500 North Koreans that had never heard Western music before.
Lastly, the festival will also have a tribute to the Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami, who died earlier this year, with screenings of several of his films.
Oslo is a large, Scandinavian culture hub, with countless festivals, concerts and museums. But remote villages have much to offer as well. Check out the event calendar and plan your trip here.
In one room you will venture into a dark room with an artist. In another, you’ll witness a play by a renowned writer.
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