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Activities - 14/02/2014
Norway's BLIND wins Europa Cinemas Label at the Berlinale
Norwegian/Dutch co-production BLIND, directed by Eskil Vogt, has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film in the Panorama section, it was announced today by a jury of four exhibitors from the network, the tenth time the Label has been awarded in Berlin.
BLIND will now receive the support of the Europa Cinemas Network, with additional promotion and incentives for exhibitors to extend the film’s run on screen.
The jury issued the following statement: “BLIND is a breath of fresh air – an original debut feature with a really interesting approach to narrative structure. The film teases the audience, playing with notions of fantasy and reality. Above all, it is an arthouse film that will engage with and provoke debate among the younger audience – a welcome counter-point to the predominance of middle-aged dramas.”
Sold internationally by Versatile, Eskil Vogt is both director and screenwriter. Producers are Hans-Jørgen Osnes and Sigve Endresen with co-producers Derk-Jan Warrink, Leontine Petit, and Joost de Vries. The film is a Motlys AS (Oslo) production, co-produced with Lemming Film (Amsterdam).
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The film stars Ellen Dorrit Petersen (Ingrid), Henrik Rafaelsen (Morten), Vera Vitali (Elin) and Marius Kolbenstvedt (Einar). Director of Photography is Thimios Bakatakis, Editor Jens Christian Fodstad, Composer Henk Hofstede, Sound Design Gisle Tveito, Sound by Morten Solum, Production Design Jørgen Stangebye Larsen, and Costume designer Ellen Dæhli Ystehede.
Synopsis: Ingrid is blind. She lives with her husband Morten. As soon as he is out of the house, she sits at the window with a cup of tea listening to the radio or to the sounds that surround her. Ingrid’s fear of leaving the apartment grows. She suspects that her husband sometimes stays at home secretly in order to observe her. Or perhaps he chats online with a mistress whilst sitting next to her in bed, pretending to answer business mails. Einar has a penchant for internet porn and women with long hair but he’s too shy to approach anyone. Elin lives opposite him and has nobody to call her own except for her child, who spends most of the time with its father. Ingrid’s life is connected to the lives of Einar and Elin. They seem to share some of her fears and at one point even her blindness. Ingrid is aware of Einar’s and Elin’s sexual desires and Elin is familiar with Ingrid’s preferences. Or are these two just figments of Ingrid’s imagination? BLIND is an experiment: how important is sight for a visual medium? In his feature debut writer/director Eskil Vogt toys with illusion and reality, effortlessly pursuing plot conventions into the absurd.
Eskil Vogt was born in Norway in 1964. He graduated in directing from La Fémis in Paris and has directed a number of shorts, one of which was nominated for a European Film Award. Vogt has also had a successful screenwriting career, working with Joachim Trier on many films, including the feature OSLO, AUGUST 31ST, which premiered in competition at Cannes in 2011.
Filmography: 1999 Moments; short film; 2002 Inferno; Documentary 2003 An Embrace (Une étreinte); short film 2004 Strangers (Les étrangers); short film 2006 Reprise; Director Joachim Trier, Co-screenwriter 2011 Oslo August 31st; Director: Joachim Trier, Co-screenwriter 2014 Blind.
The four Network exhibitors in this year’s jury were: Hrönn Sveinsdóttir, Bíó Paradís, Reykjavík (Iceland), Matthias Stütz, UNION Filmtheater Friedrichshagen, Berlin (Germany), Laurent Dutoit, Cinéma Les Scala, Geneva (Switzerland) and David O’Mahony, access>CINEMA, Dublin (Ireland).
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