Norway’s most expensive feature is in the running for a foreign Oscar bid.
Jorn Rossing Jensen

7 Sep 2012 - 8:01 AM  UPDATED 7 Sep 2012 - 8:01 AM

In fewer than two weeks, Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg-Joachim Rønning's Kon-Tiki – Norway's most expensive feature, shot on a €12.8 million budget – has reached 437,335 admissions domestically, breaking all records for a local movie.

Ahead of its international premiere later this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, it has been included in the shortlist of three titles that the Norwegian Oscar Committee considers as Norway's official candidate for the 2013 Academy Award as Best Foreign-Language Film.

"This year 22 Norwegian films have qualified for participation, and it has been exciting to decide on the shortlist," said Committee Chairman Stine Helgeland, head of promotion and international relations at the Norwegian Film Institute. On September 13, she will announce the choice made from Kon-Tiki, Arild Andresen's The Orheim Company and Dag Johan Haugerud's I Belong.

Norwegian anthropologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl's own documentary of the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition won Norway its so far only Oscar for a full-length film. The new version is produced by Aage Aaberge and Jeremy Thomas for Nordisk Film Norway and UK's Recorded Picture Company.

Adapted from Tore Renberg's coming-of-age story set during the mid-1980s in Stavanger, The Orheim Company last month (August) won two Amandas, Norway's national film prize. Motlys AS' Yngve Sæther and Sigve Endresen produced the film, which was earlier this week nominated for the Nordic Council's Film Prize.

Described as a tragi-comedy about human differences, following three people forced to make choices they do not want to make, I Belong, Haugerud's feature debut, was backed by Yngve Sæther for Motlys. The film will be launched domestically on September 14 by Norsk Filmdistribusjon.

The Oscar Academy will announce its five nominations for Best Foreign-Language Film on January 15 2013, prior to the ceremony on February 24.

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