What’s going on in the Nordic countries?
The festival has invited four speakers from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway to present their latest projects. The animation scene is vibrant and growing in all of these countries, and the presentation will feature some of the hottest directors, producers, and studios from the cold north.
The forum is put together in collaboration with different Nordic associations for animation: SAAVA – The Swedish Association for animation and VFX, ANIS – the Danish association for animation and Finnanimation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of the Finnish animation industry.
The speakers in this year’s forum:
The independent filmmaker Lasse Person, who runs the independent production company Swedish Ecstasy Film, will present some of his newest work. The Finnish animator and filmmaker Kaisa Penttilä is in production on a feature film, Bear Park, which she will present in the New Nordic Forum. The forum ends with a focus on Norwegian VR, with the presentation of three projects that have been in development in the last years. Gina Thorstensen will present a WIP-presentation of her VR-film Kabaret, Bjørn-Morten Nerland from Stargate Media will present how he works with VR, and alongside director Hilde Kjøs, they will present their newest VR-film Finding Frida. and August Volden Skarra will present his A meeting between Munch and Ibsen, that will be exhibited during the festival.
What’s going on in the Nordic countries?
August Volden Skara
August Volden Skara is a stop motion animator and short film maker from Nesodden in Norway. He graduated with a B.A. from Volda University College in 2019 with his bachelor film A meeting between Munch and Ibsen, a stop motion film made for VR. August is interested in traditional stop motion animation, but also stop motion animation for VR and for game development.
Gina Thorstensen is an artist who works in multiple fields including animation, illustration, wall painting, sculpture, and virtual reality. Her work has been shown in exhibitions, publications and film festivals around the world.
She has worked as an art director and designer on several animation films, most recently the award-winning feature film Marona´s Fantastic Tale by Anca Damian, and has directed animated music videos for artists such as Gotye.
Gina holds a B.A. in art and design from La Escola Massana in Barcelona and a M.A. in film and new media from the Norwegian Film School.
Lasse Persson is an animator, director, and film producer. He trained in animation in Canada, where he also worked as an animator on film projects led by Oscar-winning filmmakers Derek Lamb and Kaj Pindal. Since 1995 he has run the independent production company Swedish Ecstasy Film. Lasse has created many acclaimed short films that have won awards at film festivals around the world and have been shown on TV channels such as American MTV, French ARTE, and British Channel Four. Persson’s appearance is sometimes male and sometimes female. As a female, she is called Lisa Tulin. A recurrent theme in Persson’s films is gender issues, and in 2013, Lasse/Lisa received the Premio Maguey Award “for your path as a Cult Movie Director” at the Guadalajara Film Festival, Mexico. Lasse’s latest films are Corona on the fridge, Art on the fridge and Blood on the fridge. The three films are based on preschool children’s drawings. For the time being, he is working on a new film called Scared of Death.
Kaisa Penttilä (b. 1975) is an animation artist, born in Helsinki where she still lives and works. In the 1990s she studied animation in Turku and has worked as an animation freelancer since. She has directed multiple short films that have toured film festivals around the world and won numerous prizes. Her biggest single project is the 26-episode children’s TV-series Boris the Råt Mends his Ways. Kaisa Penttilä wrote and directed it together with Leena Jääskeläinen and it is being broadcasted on YLE at the moment. Kaisa Penttilä has also been a lecturer in many schools and projects, such as Aalto University since 2013 and a media education programme for women in Somaliland in 2013.Currently, she is working on a feature animation, Bear Park.
Hilde K. Kjøs
Hilde K. Kjøs is an award-winning documentary director and cinematographer, originally trained as a photographer at Manchester Metropolitan University in England. Kjøs co-established Mica Film AS in 2004 and has since been based in Oslo, directing and producing documentaries for international film festivals and television. Since 2019 she has worked in VR, developing experiences based on real life events.
Bjørn-Morten Nerland is a XR producer living in Oslo. He has worked for over 10 years with immersive media and interactive productions, from exhibitions, documentaries and commercials to music videos and short films. He is a co-founder of Stargate Media. Bjørn-Morten received his B.A. in media technology from Lillehammer University College. He has been nominated for the Norwegian “Gullruten” award for several years in a row, including in the category “Innovation of the Year”. He has also received a Webby Award for Best Use of Interactive Video.
Søren Fleng is an animation producer and executive with 20+ years of experience and he’s the Head of the board of The Danish Animation Society.
He lives and works in Viborg and has his office at Arsenalet where his company Happy Flyfish Rights ApS is based.
His producer credits include the 4 billion view Angry Birds Toons series, the Ella Bella Bingo TV-serie, Olsen Gang gets Polished and more. Besides regular entertainment, Søren works with functional animation, using animation as an effective communication tool.