The Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles sponsored by ASFLA comes to the Writers Guild Theater on Fri., Sat. and Sun., Jan. 16, 17, and 18, 2004. This fifth annual showcase of Nordic films and filmmakers, launched in 2000, screens the year's Scandinavian films submitted to the Academy as nominees for Best Foreign-Language Film. It also screens documentaries, short subjects and other pictures by Scandinavian filmmakers. Non-competitive, the festival gives Southern California audiences an opportunity to see the best in contemporary film from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The film festival is underwritten by ASFLA, with Danzka Vodka, Scandinavian consulates, and generous support of national film organizations, individuals and corporate donors. To become a sponsor, call (323)661-4273 or email ASFLA.

2004 Festival Schedule
Download and print a 2004 festival schedule and ticket order form, in pdf format. Complete the form and save it, then fax, mail or email it with your payment.

Friday, January 16
6 p.m. Opening Gala. The Take Five Opening Gala includes a reception, buffet and no-host bar at 6 p.m., with film screening at 8:15 p.m., followed by champagne dessert table sponsored by the Swedish Consulate. Advance reservation required by Thurs., Jan. 15., 2004.

8:15 p.m. EVIL (Ondskan),* Sweden 2003, 110 min. Mikael Hfstrm. Sixteen-year-old Erik's life is tainted by violence and conflict. After being expelled, he's sent to a new boarding school as a last chance to break from his old lifestyle and continue his studies. But the school is hardly a refuge. Here evil is systematized in the form of condoned oppression of younger students by older ones. Can Erik revolt against the harassment without breaking the rules and being sent away? Can he maintain dignity without being drawn into the violent spiral that threatens his future? EVIL is about violence and the way through it -- and also about friendship and new love. Advance reservation required by Thurs., Jan. 15, 2004; screening followed by champagne dessert table and ASFLA reception sponsored by the Swedish Consulate.

Saturday, January 17
12 noon, ELINA (Som om Jag Inte Fanns),* Finland/Sweden 2002, 77 min. Klaus Hr. Sweden 1952: Head teacher Tora Holm has no tolerance for children who speak Finnish in her Swedish school. This creates conflict with nine-year-old Elina, who's just recovered from an illness and now is haunted by her father's death. Elina feels undermined and humiliated by Holm's disciplinarian teaching methods, and the battle of wills that follows threatens both the traditional authority of the classroom and the independence of a free spirit. The troubled girl is defiant quietly, while Miss Holm earns our sympathy as the traditionalist who believes firm discipline is the only way to control children. . . even when tragedy lurks around the corner. ELINA celebrates the power of the individual, and the importance of integrity and standing up for what one knows is right.

2:15 p.m. SAVE THE CHILDREN (Redd Barna),+ Norway/short documentary 2003, 6 min. Terje Rangnes. Tells the tale of Eli and Tarald who sell lottery tickets to benefit blind African children. The film is part of a feature-length project focusing on Norway's main political parties.
Followed by:
2:30 p.m. KITCHEN STORIES (Salmer fra Kjokkenet),* Norway 2003, 95 min. Bent Hamer. This comedy-drama is based on real-life 1950s Swedish social experiments. In the years following WWII, a research institute sets out to modernize the home kitchen by observing a handful of rural Norwegian bachelors. In a small town, middle-aged Isak is one research subject who regrets agreeing to participate in the study. Nevertheless, he is observed by Folke, and the two develop a strange friendship until Folke becomes sick. This causes problems for Folke's boss and one of Isak's friends.

5 p.m. NOI THE ALBINO (Ni Albini),* Iceland 2002, 93 min. Dagur Kri. This debut is a droll and sweet-natured comedy about a feckless, goggle-eyed teenager named Noi who lives in a remote Icelandic village with his grandparents. The movie lopes after Noi as he mooches about the place, occasionally looking in on his good-for-nothing drinker of a dad whose primary pleasure is singing along to Elvis' "In the Ghetto." Kri manages a convincing emotional glissando from deadpan comedy to tragedy -- and the final scene creates a sub-zero shiver in the auditorium.

7:30 p.m. RECONSTRUCTION (Reconstruction),* Denmark 2003, 89 min. Christoffer Boe. Turns romantic drama inside out, laying bare the emotions in an explosion of images. It follows photographer Alex and beautiful Aimee, who meet by chance and fall in love in one intense day. Their feelings are put to the test in the increasingly alien and labyrinthine Copenhagen world. They stake their existence and find themselves in freefall, with Alex questioning how far he's willing to go, and how much he's prepared to sacrifice, for love.

Sunday, January 18
12 noon, MY BODY (Kroppen Min),+ Norway/short documentary 2002, 26 min. Margreth Olin. Olin's story of her body's secrets begins when she is five. A mother's friend remarks that her flat feet and bumpy toes never will look good in high heels. Only later does she focus on her stomach. "When it comes to my body I find it is other women who don't let me be in peace. I made this movie because I want to be myself. . . without feeling shame," Olin says. Her provocative examination of body and identity will resonate with everyone who's ever felt self-conscious about their physical appearance.

1:15 p.m. A.N.I. 1240 (ANI 1240),+ Finland/short subject 2003, 12 min. Rolf Schrader. This short film depicts the tense last minutes of a captain of a wrecked starship who, to survive, must decide whether to merge his body and mind with that of an "artificial nanotronic intelligence" system.
Followed by:
1:30 p.m. UPSWING (Nousukausi), Finland 2003, 98 min. Johanna Vouksenmaa. Young, pretty and rich, a well-educated yuppie couple in their mid 30s have everything: expensive house, car, plenty of money. . . and rotten sex. They design their final vacation prior to joining the "millionaires' club" to impress their friends and to add an exotic touch to their own lives. The young couple book an adventure getaway -- a "social descent into the world of the unemployed" as an extreme tourist holiday. They don new identities and begin struggling with "proper" lives inside the false ones. Unfortunately they forget to book their return trip, and when they do return finally, they find their places usurped, that they've lost everything: their identities, jobs and money. They wake up from the nightmare only when they learn to fight for life, happiness. . . even tomatoes.

3:30 p.m. BUDDY (Buddy), Norway 2003, 100 min. Morten Tyldum. About friendship, love and fame, it follows 24-year-old Kristoffer who earns a living hanging billboards. The carefree young man's quiet life changes when his girlfriend announces she's happier with her boss, and leaves him. Kristoffer's safe, small world instantly falls to pieces. He starts feeling like a hopeless outcast. One day his video diaries accidentally fall into the hands of a producer of a popular reality TV show. Kristoffer's life soon becomes public domain. . .

5:15 p.m. BLUE CAVIAR (Blue Caviar),+ Sweden/short subject 2000, 14 min. Mikael Forsberg. As a man and woman sit alone in a cafe, their eyes meet. They enter a shared daydream, a surreal ride of fantastic people and places. They struggle to connect despite their fears and longings. As the two come together they return to reality. . . or were they ever really gone?
Followed by:
5:30 p.m. KOPS (Kopps), Sweden 2003, 90 min. Josef Fares. Local police officers lead a quiet life in a remote Swedish province. So little happens that an overturned trash bin causes a sensation. True police heroics exist only in the officers' fantasies -- until a young policewoman arrives to inspect the cops' efficiency. With the station facing closure, suddenly crime is rife in the small town! Things become so bad, even the anti-terrorist brigade is called in. This offbeat comedy teems with wit and absurdity. In fact, KOPS was so successful in Sweden that Hollywood plans a remake starring Adam Sandler.

7 p.m. THE GREEN BUTCHERS (De Grnne Slagtere), Denmark 2003, 100 min. Anders Thomas Jensen. This comedy combines the trite, the morbid and the amusing. Bjarne and Svend are pals. Svend has great ambition driven by an equally great inferiority complex, while Bjarne hardly cares for anything but his girlfriend. To escape a vicious boss, they open a butcher shop. But the two fledgling butchers don't fare well until a bizarre coincidence leads Svend to concoct a new dish, an organic speciality. Business quickly takes off. Will they, however, be able to continue procuring the ingredients for this "special" new dish? Screening followed by ASFLA closing party, with music at 9 p.m. by Swedish jazz guitarist the Tomas Janzon trio.

Nordic Caf: Saturday, January 17, and Sunday, January 18
Between screenings on Sat., Jan. 17, and Sun., Jan. 18, you're invited to network and nosh at the Nordic Caf in the theater lobby, where you'll enjoy refreshments and the good company of others who share a love for Scandinavian film and Hollywood.

* Submitted to the Academy Awards for consideration as an Oscar nominee in the Best Foreign-Language Film category.
+ Gratis with the purchase of respective, accompanying feature-film admission.

Admission

  • $60 - VIP Pass; includes Take Five Opening Gala buffet, champagne dessert table and pass to all festival screenings. Advance reservation is required by Jan. 15, 2004.
  • $40 - Take Five Opening Gala buffet, screening and champagne dessert table -- one-night only (Jan. 16). Advance reservation is required by Jan. 15, 2004.
  • $15 - Opening night film-screening only and post-screening champagne dessert table sponsored by the Swedish Consulate (Jan. 16) -- opening gala buffet is not included. Advance reservation is required by Jan. 15, 2004.
  • $8 - Individual screenings on Jan. 17 and 18. Tickets also are on-sale at the door, as available, on Jan. 17 and 18. Short-subject and documentary screenings are gratis with the purchase of respective, accompanying feature-film admission.
  • Gratis - Academy members with ID, and full-time students with valid ID documenting current semester's enrollment at accredited college or university, are invited to attend screenings-only at no charge.
  • Guild members with valid, current ID are welcome to attend screenings-only at half price.
  • Guild and Academy members, and students attending the Take Five Opening Gala buffet, film screening and/or champagne dessert table are obliged to pay the full, respective price. Advance reservation is required by Jan. 15, 2004.

Click here to download and print a festival schedule and order form in pdf format. Complete the form and save it, then fax, mail or email it with your payment.

How to Order Tickets
Order tickets in one of these ways:

  • Click on the PayPal button below. Enter your total amount, click "Continue," then enter in the "Special Instructions" field a detailed itemization of your order, plus your phone number. Note: There is no shipping; please pick up your ticket(s) at Will-Call.
  • Email your order to the Scandinavian Film Festival of L.A. Box Office.
  • Fax your order to (323)661-4273.
  • Mail your order to the Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles; P.O. Box 292329; Los Angeles, CA 90029, by Jan. 15, 2004.
  • Call the film festival box office at (323)661-4273.

Please send your order for the Take Five Opening Gala buffet, screening and champagne dessert table so that it's received no later than Thurs., Jan. 15, 2004.

Please itemize your order to include:

  1. The number of gala or VIP packages and/or name(s) of film(s)/number(s) of ticket(s).
  2. A check (made payable to ASFLA), money order or charge authorization for the total cost.
  3. If paying by credit card, your name as it appears on the card, address, telephone number, credit-card type (Visa and MasterCard accepted), credit-card number and expiration date.
  4. Add an ASFLA membership!


There is no shipping. All tickets and passes are held at the festival box office until the date of the event, reserved under the name of the individual who placed the order. Please pick up tickets and passes at the Will-Call line upon arrival. Be prepared to show identification.

Location
The Writers Guild of America Theatre is located at 135 S. Doheny Dr. at Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills (the southwest corner of Wilshire and Doheny), California 90211. There is parking on the street and in the Writers Guild Theater lot for a fee.

Patrons
The Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles is underwritten by American-Scandinavian Foundation of Los Angeles in conjunction with Danzka Vodka, the consulates of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, with the generous support of national film organizations, individuals and corporate donors.

Now in its fifth year, the Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles offers a Nordic visibility and voice in the Oscar race. Attracting audiences that are one-third Southland film afficionados, one-third film professionals, and one-third homesick Nordic folk anxious to see something new from home, "The festival takes people North to see who might be the next Bergman, or receive one of the coveted Best Foreign-Language Film nominations," said festival founder/director Jim Koenig.

"It's exciting this year. Several are first feature films of young Nordic filmmakers who have been getting unprecedented international attention at festivals around the world," he added. All five Scandinavian consulates enthusiastically hail the event as an important part of the arts scene in Los Angeles as well as a boon to cultural exchange between the U.S. and Nordic countries. Funding for the event is dependent on individual and corporate donors, the consulates, and the Nordic film institutes. The festival was launched in Feb. 2000 with the Danish Film Institute as the primary sponsor. If you'd like to become an individual or corporate sponsor, please contact ASFLA to express your interest in making your tax-deductible gift.

Proceeds from the film festival -- and all ASFLA activities -- fund a scholarship program for upper-division and graduate students at Los Angeles-area colleges and universities.

For more information, contact ASFLA at (323)661-4273.

About the 2003 Film Festival
About the 2002 Film Festival
About the 2001 Film Festival
About the 2000 Film Festival

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American-Scandinavian Foundation of Los Angeles (ASFLA) reserves the right to change screenings and schedule without prior written notice due to circumstances beyond its control.