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Letter To The King Hisha Zaman's Second Consecutive
Win At Goteberg Following Before Snowfall In 2013
Goteborg Film Festival Awards - Photo: Göteborg Film Festival
 
For the second consecutive year, Norwegian director Hisham Zaman left the Göteborg International Film Festival with the Dragon Award and SEK 1 million: his Letter to the King (Brev til kongen) was named Best Nordic Film, after Before Snowfall (Før snøen faller) won the prize in 2013.

The jury consisting of Chad director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Icelandic producer Agnes Johansen, Norwegian producer Kalle Løchen, Swedish director Anna Odell, Finnish actress Maria Sid and Danish cinematographer Erik Molberg Hansen commented, "Letter to the King is a film that takes us to a subculture that is not very well-known. It tells us about people stuck in some kind of no man's land. It is a film that is compassionate and honest in its presentation of human existence. To tell a story with multiple characters is a difficult task, and we appreciate the way all the pieces are put together."

Zaman said, "I am thankful and feel privileged to be acknowledged one more time by my Nordic colleagues. This film is low-budget, and both artistically and financially my most risky project so far. Three years of hard work has made me believe I should continue my work with film as a way of narrative."

Released domestically in Norway (January) by Storytelling Media, Letter to the King follows five immigrants' encounter with Norway outside the refugee camp. They have been permitted to leave snowy no man's land and travel to Oslo – they welcome the change, but they have different goals, and they will soon be confronted by their destinies.

Their stories of happiness, humiliation, love and revenge are described in a letter, written by 80-year-old Mirza, who wants to personally deliver it to the King of Norway.

Ivan Anderson, Ali Bag Salimi, Hassen Dimirci, Amin Senatorzade, Zeer Durhan and Nasmi Kirik star in the drama, which was scripted by Zaman and Mehmet Aktas, and produced by Alan Milligan and Zaman, for Film Farms.

Also at the 37th Göteborg festival, Norwegian director Mona Friis Bertheussen's documentary Twin Sisters (Tvillingsøstrene) received the Audience Award for Best Feature-Length Film. Written and produced by Bertheussen, it portrays two babies found in a cardboard box in a Chinese village and adopted into different corners of the world – one to a small town in Norway, the other to a big city in the US. Eight years later they meet in Norway. Twin Sisters also took the Audience Prize at the recent Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival.

One of the world's largest film awards (SEK 1 million, €113,000), Göteborg's Dragon also went to Norway three years ago, then collected by Norwegian director Arild Andresen's The Orheim Company (Kompani Orheim). It is the first time it is presented to the same filmmaker twice – and unusual that a Norwegian director signs two features in two years.

 
 


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