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Highlights from Nordisk Panorama Event 2008

Nordisk Panorama in Malmö opened in Palladium, a beautiful old theatre and cinema building, still in its original decor. The guests were greeted by music, in the foyer and from the stage, setting the tone for a very festive execution of this year's edition of Nordisk Panorama. After the Opening Ceremony, The Municipality of Malmö helped making everyone feel welcome when they invited all accredited guests for an Opening Reception in Spegelsalen, another beautiful ceremonial hall in the centre of Malmö.

All in all, a record high number of some 750 professionals from the Nordic countries, the rest of Europe and beyond gathered to celebrate the best Nordic short and documentary films from the past year. Some 90 directors and producers were on the spot, ready to discuss their films with the audiences. A total of 146 films were shown during the festival's 75 screenings. 5800 tickets were distributed, representing a major increase from Nordisk Panorama in Oulu last year.

Besides the three competition programmes the festival also featured a range of seminars, workshops and master classes. Guest of Honour Kim Longinotto visited the festival, sharing her vast experience in a Master Class and a retrospective. At the fully booked Master Class taking place in the cosy environment of Festival Club Victoria, Kim Longinotto shared moments and clips from her long career also giving a glimpse of her latest film, Rough Aunties, filmed in South Africa.

Following the successful introduction of a new seminar within Nordisk Panorama last year, the live dinner conversation between two knowledgeable filmmakers in My Dinner With..., the format once again proved to spellbind the audiences. This year highly acclaimed filmmaker Jens Jonsson invited Joachim Trier from Norway for a chat about their lives in film. As the two filmmakers un-interruptedly and generously shared their experiences in filmmaking, moving between working with sensitive topics as love and sex, as well as the role of the director during shootings and preparations.

Nordisk Panorama 2008 also focused on the cross media development, hosting the PostTvMedia seminar, that among others presented the crossover guru Frank Boyd from BBC Innovation Lab and Heather Croall, his partner at the internationally acclaimed Crossover Labs. Julie Pedersen and Sarita Christensen from Copenhagen Bombay Productions, a pioneer of multi platform productions and Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen from Serious Games, the creators of the reality game Palestine, examined the crossroad between games and reality, old and new economy. Hasse Lindmo from NRK revealed how Bit Torrent was used in raising television ratings and DVD sales of the documentary series Nordkalotten 365.

Crossover Nordic was another new initiative, designed to explore the creative and commercial challenges of developing content and services for digital media. Twenty Nordic professionals from different media sectors including Film, Game, Animation, TV, Mobile, and New Media had been working alongside international experts and mentors to develop new ideas for innovative cross-platform programmes, products or services. A final pitch of the ideas developed in the lab was later held during Nordisk Panorama, where the participants competed for a development prize of SEK 100.000.

This year's Nordisk Short Film Circle focused on short films for the two-inch giant: the mobile phone. Miriam Nørgaard, Danish Film Institute and Stine Lundbak Ravn, TV2 Denmark, Oscar-winning director Martin Strange-Hansen and producer Karoline Leth shared their first-hand experiences with making high quality content for new media platforms, while Hans Spieltenner, CEO of ohm:tv based in Germany, gave us a tour of the global mobile scene and showed us how to make money out of this new distribution platform.

Log on to for pod-casts from seminars and events during Nordisk Panorama - 5 Cities Film Festival 2008!

The Festival Club was the place to be after a long day of screenings, pitches and seminars. The cinema and theatre Victoria was transformed into a cool club with a new theme and a new ambience every night, where everybody met & mingled under very informal circumstances. It all ended in a blast of a Gala Award Ceremony & Party in the spectacular Moriskan, Malmö's Fun-Fair Palace.

And the Winners Were

This year's Documentary Jury consisted of Line Halvorsen, documentary director from Norway and winner of last year's Nordic Documentary Award for her film USA vs. Al-Arian, festival programmer Paz Lázaro from the Berlin Film Festival in Germany, documentary film distributor and festival director Artur Liebhart from Against Gravity and Planete Doc in Poland, festival programmer Sean Farnel from Hot Docs in Canada and Malin Björkman-Widell from SVT in Sweden.

The Nordic Documentary Award of SEK 60.000, sponsored by Swedish public service broadcaster SVT, went to Big John by Håvard Bustnes from Norway. Honorary Mentions went to Lies by Jonas Odell from Sweden and Recipes for Disaster by John Webster from Finland.

This year documentaries up to 30 min. also competed for the Sparbanksstiftelsen Skåne Award of SEK 30.000. The Documentary Jury awarded Statistics by Solveig Melkeraaen from Norway.

The Nordic Short Film Jury consisted of Fredrik Emilson, short film director from Sweden and winner of last year's Nordic Short Film Award for his film Love and War, Linda "O." Olszewski from Shorts International in the USA and festival programmer Laurent Crouzeix from Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France.

The Nordic Short Film Award of SEK 60.000, sponsored by Swedish public service broadcaster SVT, went to Young Man Falling by Martin de Thurah from Denmark. An Honorary Mention went to The Tale of Little Puppetboy by Johannes Nyholm from Sweden.

The New Nordic Voices Jury consisted of Joakim Strand from Film i Skåne in Sweden, Greta Olafsdottir from Icelandic Film Centre in Iceland and Karen Rais-Nordentoft from Aarhus Film Festival in Denmark.

The New Nordic Voices Award of SEK 40.000, sponsored by Nordic regional film production centres, went to 69 by Nikolaj Viborg from Denmark.

The Canal+ Award, which consist of a purchase of the winning film for Canal+ broadcast in France and Africa, was selected by Canal+ representatives amongst the films in the short film competition. The award went to Out of Spjald by Thomas Glud & Lars Wass from Denmark.

The SF Nordic Talent Pitch Award went to The Undertaker Students by Lisa Bergström from Sweden.

The Crossover Nordic Pitch Award went to Our Secret Society by Maria Ahlin & Andreas Öhman from Sweden.

Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries

As usual Filmkontakt Nord organised Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries. 64 project applications received from the Nordic countries and guest countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania once again confirmed the role of Nordisk Forum as an invaluable platform for the Nordic documentary community. 22 projects were chosen for pitching.

43 Financiers and 52 Pitch Team Members plus observers and other professionals were on the spot during the Forum. All in all 217 delegates attended the two day event, which took place in the charming old theatre Palladium in the centre of Malmö.

Cecilia Lidin, film consultant at European Documentary Network, and Ulla Simonen, producer from Finland, moderated the pitching sessions with commissioning editors and film consultants around the table, while Canadian distributor Jan Rofekamp added some tips on how to increase the projects' marketability.

In addition to the 22 regular pitches, Monday featured a New Talent Pitch and Tuesday gave room for the Moderator's Hat. The New Talent Pitch this year was Michael Noer's The Wild Hearts from Copenhagen Bombay Productions, a project about men, identity and a 1300 km long trip - on mopeds. The popular Moderators' Hat gave an observing producer the opportunity to pitch a new project on the spot. The draw was won by Erik Tjernström and Niklas Forshell from Agnesfilm & Television, pitching Hanging by a Thread, a project about a doctor in a neonatal ward making decisions about life and death.

Besides the Nordic and international financiers, 6 key distributors were available during the two days, sharing their knowledge about the international television market and giving advice about a project's potential in terms of distribution.

Like last year, financiers and distributors had the possibility to read the projects and view excerpts and clips on Nordisk Forum Online, open also to observers with projects. In addition, all parties could request for individual meetings online. Thus, Filmkontakt Nord could pre-book more than 230 meetings between financiers and filmmakers in advance. The pre-booking of meetings is a well-proven way to avoid unnecessary stress and provide the best working-conditions for the busy delegates.

After two very efficient days, everyone took a deep breath and relaxed at the Closing Reception hosted by the Nordic & Baltic MEDIA Desks.

Nordisk Panorama Market & International Market Talks

This year, Nordisk Panorama Market was entirely digital. No DVDs, no printed catalogue, no waiting. A much smoother system, that gave the professionals more time to screen the 275 new films.

Representatives from ARTE France and Canal+, France, Moviola, Canada, Channel 3, The Netherlands and SBS, Australia/UK, festivals such as Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Semaine de la Critique, France, Visions du Réel, Switzerland, Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Germany, Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival, Portugal, and Cracow Film Festival, Poland, as well as major international distributors of shorts and docs such as Village srl, Italy, Deckert Distribution, Germany, SND, The Netherlands and Autlook Filmsales, Austria were among the hard-working guests at this year's Nordisk Panorama Market. The 10 screening booths were busy, resulting in more than 900 screenings during the four market days. Furthermore, additional screenings were undertaken by other professionals. And the number of market screenings keeps growing, since the Nordisk Panorama Market continues online, offering the professionals the unique opportunity to screen the films at home, making it possible to see the films they didn't have time to see during Nordisk Panorama and making it possible for the buyers, sales agents and programmers, who couldn't make it to Malmö, to see what's new in Nordic shorts and docs.

This year's most screened titles were the two Swedish short, animated documentaries Lies (Lögner) by Jonas Odell and Slaves (Slavar) by Hanna Heilborn & David Aronowitsch and the Icelandic short film 2 Birds (Smáfuglar) by Rúnar Rúnarsson.

As a part of Filmkontakt Nord's Project Green, there is no longer a printed Market Catalogue. The Market Catalogue is available on in the Selections box.

Another new feature was the International Market Talks: Three afternoons at the Market introducing some of the key players and key issues of the shorts and docs market. With titles like The International Doc Market, The International Short Film Market and Who's Who - Who Buys What? the attendants gained a unique insight into the latest trends at the international market. To see the full programme and the speakers, click here.

See you next year in Reykjavík

Filmkontakt Nord would like to thank the festival staff and especially festival director Lisa Nyed and co-director Jenny Sahlström for their enormous effort organising this year's Nordisk Panorama in Malmö.

Nordisk Panorama celebrates it's 20th anniversary 25-30 September 2009 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Next year's festival director Gudrun Edda Thorhannesdottir is in full swing with the preparations and is looking forward to see everybody in Iceland.

Filmkontakt Nord is most grateful for the support of the Nordic film institutes, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Nordic Council of Ministers and MEDIA Programme of the European Union for this year's event, and we're looking forward to see you at the 20th Nordisk Panorama - 5 Cities Film Festival in 2009.