25th Tromso International Film Festival

Norway, January 12 - January 18 2015

The jury

Paulo Portugal (Portugal), David Jenkins (UK), Atli Bjarnason (Iceland)

Awarded films

The Tromso International Film Festival is located in a magical frozen land in the north of Norway, where the polar winter nights are regularly visited by spectacular northern lights. But this is just one of the many reasons why guests and films lovers gather for a week of warm pleasure. This year the film menu was vast and rich, not only in the Competition Program, where one could find some of the best films of the year, alongside a few Oscar candidates, but also the discoveries hidden in other sections such as “Beyond Horizons” and, of course, the urban outlook in “City:Scope”. And let’s not forget the exciting open-air screenings under the arctic lights, a unique experience that comes with warm blankets and comfortable seats.

One might think that Tromso could be too cold for a film festival – probably the northernmost festival in the world – but thanks to the enjoyable temperature of the Gulf Stream, this tiny island is often warmer than Oslo. Getting from one movie theatre to another was easy because the four venues were close to each other. We only had to learn how to walk properly on the slippery icy ground. Those were the only moments in which we were in contact with the cold temperature, as coffee shops, bars and restaurants were ideal places to hang out and discuss films.

Six different juries saw more than 160 films in the fresh and intriguing selection. The Films from the North section presented short films and documentaries from the Barents and Polar areas while the Overdrive sidebar featured “rougher, crazier, funnier” projects. Another program, Sountracking, focused on music, and there was also a choice of films picked by the Norwegian Film Critics’ Association.

This year TIFF organized talks with some of its guest directors, such as the French Laurent Cantet (Return to Ithaka) and the Norwegian Aslaug Holm (Brothers), as well as Mahmoud Kaboor (Champ of the Camp), Thomas Ostbye (Out of Norway), Linnea Saasen and Alex Holdridge (Meet Me in Montenegro), and Elif Bremer Landsend (Dive).

The members of the Aurora Prize jury were Andrei Rogachevsky, a professor at the Tromso University, the young Norwegian filmmaker Emilie Blichfeldt and the assistant professor Henrik Gustafsson. Their prize went to “P’tit Quinquin” (also winner of the FIPRESCI award), by French director Bruno Dumont. (Paulo Portugal)

Tromso International Film Festival: www.tiff.no