"Take Four," the fourth annual Nordic film extravaganza sponsored by not-for-profit ASFLA, took place Fri., Jan. 31, through Sun., Feb. 2, 2003, at the Writers Guild of America Theatre, 135 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, Calif. It was the third sequel to the successful LA showcase of Scandinavian films and filmmakers launched in 2000. Each year, the festival pivots around the Scandinavian films submitted to the Academy Awards® for consideration as nominees in the Best Foreign-Film category, with additional screenings of short subjects and documentaries. Non-competitive in nature, the festival gives LA audiences a chance to see the best in Nordic filmmaking, as well as provides a fertile ground for networking.

The festival was underwritten by ASFLA in conjunction with Absolut, the Scandinavian consulates, and the generous support of national film organizations, individuals and corporate donors. For information about becoming a sponsor, please call +1 (323) 661-4273 or email ASFLA.

Download and print a 2003 festival schedule and ticket order form, in MS Word format.

Check out the 2002 festival photo album.

Festival Schedule

Fri., Jan. 31, 6 p.m. Take Four Opening Gala buffet and reception. Advance reservation required before Thurs., Jan. 30.

Fri., Jan. 31, 8:30 p.m. THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST (Mies Vailla Menneissyytta),* Finland/Germany/France 2003, 97 min. Aki Kaurismäki. A man travels to Helsinki in search of work, gets mugged, loses his memory, and has to start anew. He finds love, and is forced to discover values with which he will not be ashamed to live. A small story about people who still know how to be gentle, yet an enormous cinematic experience. Kaurismaki gives humanity, humor and endless resilience to a precious cast of characters in this finely balanced, respectful and playful ode to people who live in dignity with their fellow travelers. Courtesy Sony Classics. Advance reservation required before Thurs., Jan. 30. Screening followed by champagne dessert table and ASFLA reception.

Before the Fri. screening, ASFLA presents Danish-born entertainment journalist Sven Rye with its Scandinavian of Year Award, given annually to a member of the local Scandinavian-American community in recognition of meritorious and exemplary service that furthers American and Scandinavian relations.

Sat., Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m. FAMILY, Denmark/documentary 2001, 90 min. Sami Saif, Phie Ambo. The directors, who also are partners, take a journey in pursuit of Sami's father, who abandoned his Danish family when Sami was young. Before this project started, Sami's brother committed suicide, then his mother died, leaving Sami alone and grief-stricken. A personal and compelling drama filled with humor and strong emotions.

Sat., Feb. 1, 11 a.m. THE LOST LITTLE CATERPILLAR (Litla Ljóta Lirfan),+ Iceland/animated 2002, 26 min. Gunnar Karlsson. Once upon a time not so long ago, a little adventure took place on a tiny leaf on a tiny little tree. On this tiny leaf was a small and fragile caterpillar that was, on this very day, opening its eyes for the first time. The animated adventure of a spellbound caterpillar princess (lobby/gratis).

Sat., Feb. 1, 12 noon THE SEA (Hafi),* Iceland/France/Norway 2002, 109 min. Baltasar Kormákur. A family drama set in a remote Icelandic fishing village. The whole existence of the village is based on local fisheries. New economic realities, however, slowly erode that foundation. Aging owners of small fishing boats sell their quotas to larger companies in other parts of the country, reducing the amount of work offered by local processing plants. As a result, the community suffers. A dark family saga with mordant humor, an accomplished cast inhabits the roles of "first family" in a small fishing community on the verge of change. Courtesy Palm Pictures.

Sat., Feb. 1, 2:15 p.m. BROTHER OF MINE (Bror Min),+ Sweden/short subject 2002, 10 min. Jens Jonsson. An uncomfortable film about a teenager whose anger at his divorced parents is savagely vented on his younger brother (gratis).

Sat., Feb. 1, 2:30 p.m. LILYA 4-EVER,* Sweden 2002, 109 min. Lukas Moodysson. One of the most heart-rending films to come out of Sweden in years. Set in contemporary Russia, the film recounts 13-year-old Lilya's struggle to survive the grim Moscow streets. Devastating and completely convincing, the director oscillates between letting us gaze through Lilya's childlike naivete, and confronts the startlingly brutal and unvarnished use the world makes of her in this grim, courageous look at childhood. Courtesy Newmarket Films.

Sat., Feb. 1, 5 p.m. BAD BOYS (Pahat Pojat), Finland 2003, 120 min. Aleksi Mäkelä. A true story of four Finnish brothers who defended themselves against their violently disturbed father, and who gained national attention for their skill at tearing apart gas pumps when they needed cash.

Sat., Feb. 1, 7 p.m. THIS CHARMING MAN (Der Er En Yndig Mand),+ Denmark/short subject 2002, 31 min. Martin Strange-Hansen. After years on the dole, 35 year-old Lars Hansen gets sent to retrain. At the job center, his file gets mixed up with that of Pakistani El Hassan. When Lars tries to recover his identity he discovers that Ida, with whom he had a youthful affair, teaches Danish as a second language and can't begin until the Pakistani man arrives. Disguised as El Hassan, Lars wins Ida's heart. The truth comes out, however, and Lars must move heaven and earth to regain his lost love (gratis).

Sat., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. OPEN HEARTS (Elsker Dig For Evigt),* Denmark 2002, 113 min. (Dogma) Susanne Bier. In this poignant and thoughtful film, the director explores with dramatic depth the emotional dynamics when tragedy strikes, aided by an accomplished cast and the Dogma rules. Courtesy Newmarket Films.

Sun., Feb. 2, 12 noon FAMILY, Denmark/documentary 2001, 90 min. Sami Saif, Phie Ambo. The directors, who also are partners, take a journey in pursuit of Sami's father, who abandoned his Danish family when Sami was young. Before this project started, Sami's beloved brother committed suicide, then his mother died, leaving Sami alone and grief-stricken. A personal and compelling drama filled with humor and strong emotions.

Sun., Feb. 2, 1:30 p.m. I AM DINA (Jeg Er Dina), Denmark/Norway 2002, 125 min. Ole Bornedal. A tale of little Dina who is the unwitting cause of her mother's tragic death, for which her grief-stricken father will never forgive her. Neglected and deprived of love, the wild child grows to womanhood torn between her morbid fantasies and an indomitable lust for life. Rebuffing every attempt to break her will, she finally meets a challenge worthy of her dark powers that takes her into the land of the living.

Sun., Feb. 2, 3 p.m. TAK FOR ALT (Thanks for Everything),+ USA/documentary 1999, 61 min. Laura Bialis, Broderick Fox, Sarah Levy. Tells the story of educator Judy Meisel, a Holocaust survivor whose experiences during and after World War II inspired a lifelong campaign against bigotry, intolerance and racism. The film follows her back to Eastern Europe, and retraces her steps through the Kovno ghetto, the Stutthof Concentration Camp, and her liberation and recuperation in Denmark. Ultimately Judy's path led to the U.S. where, after witnessing race riots in 1963, she discovered that only unflinching vigilance against racism can safeguard the liberty of all people. Courtesy Sirena Films (lobby/gratis).

Sun., Feb. 2, 4:15 p.m. HIDDEN (Gömd),+ Sweden/animated 2002, 8 min. Hanna Heilborn, David Aronowitsch, Mats Johansson. Twelve-year-old Giancarlo has hidden in Sweden for two years since fleeing the streets of his homeland Peru. Afraid of deportation, he cannot make friends at school. He tells his story in a poignant, short, animated documentary (gratis).

Sun., Feb. 2, 4:30 p.m. SUXXESS, Sweden 2002, 104 min. Peter Schildt. A funny and slightly surreal trip through madcap corporate capers for anyone with a job and a boss. At the dotcom company Omniville, new management turns a friendly office into a competitive nightmare. Nobody dare object except the popular Daniel, who's expected to become the next CEO. Everyone hopes Daniel gets the appointment, but it instead goes to the cold-blooded Robert. Shortly, however, Robert dies from an apparent accident, and Daniel receives Robert's job. Everyone is delighted, until the sweet taste of power turns Daniel into something worse than his predecessor...

Sun., Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m. ALL ABOUT MY FATHER (Alt Om Min Far), Norway/documentary 2001, 75 min. Even Benestad. An award-winning personal documentary about a well-respected, small-town transvestite physician, directed by the one person most likely to convey his story with warmth, humor and irony: his son.

Sun., Feb. 2, 8 p.m. HOLD MY HEART (Tyven Tyven),* Norway 2002, 92 min. Tryggve Diesen. A refreshingly unpreachy and cinematic road movie about a divorced father who kidnaps his daughter, distinguished by two exquisite lead performances. What begins as a despairing escape abroad becomes a peculiar domestic holiday. While the world around them narrows, father and daughter rekindle a relationship they thought was lost. A film about a man who tries to remedy injustice -- a love story, which shows things can turn out well despite terrible beginnings. Diesen (pictured right) was recipient of an ASFLA scholarship while attending USC film school. Screening followed by ASFLA closing party, with music by Norwegian singer Caroline Waters.

Sat., Feb. 1, and Sun., Feb. 2 -- Nordic Café, open all day for networking and noshing.

* Submitted to the Academy Awards for consideration as an Oscar® nominee in the Best Foreign-Film, Short or Documentary category.

+ Lobby screening or short subject -- gratis with the purchase of accompanying feature-film admission.

Take Four Opening Gala
On Fri., Jan. 31, you're invited to the Take Four Opening Gala screening. The Take Four Opening Gala includes a reception, buffet and no-host bar at 6 p.m. with screening at 8:30 p.m., followed by a champagne dessert table. Advance reservation is required before Thurs., Jan. 30.

Nordic Café
Between screenings on Sat., Feb. 1, and Sun., Feb. 2, guests are invited to network and nosh at the Nordic Café, in the theatre lobby, where you'll enjoy refreshments and the good company of others who share a love for Scandinavian film and Hollywood.


  • $60 - VIP Pass; includes Take Four Opening Gala buffet, champagne dessert table and pass to all festival screenings. Advance reservation required before Jan. 30.
  • $35 - Take Four Opening Gala buffet, screening and champagne dessert table -- one-night only (Jan. 31). Advance reservation required before Jan. 30.
  • $10 - Opening night film-screening only and post-screening champagne dessert table (Jan. 31) -- opening gala buffet not included. Advance reservation required before Jan. 30.
  • $8 - Individual screenings on Feb. 1 and 2. Tickets also are on-sale at the door, as available, on Feb. 1 and 2. Lobby and short-subject screenings are gratis with purchase of 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 Four Opening Gala buffet, film screening and/or champagne dessert table are obliged to pay the full, respective price. Advance reservation required before Jan. 30.

Click here to download and print a festival schedule and order form in MS Word format.

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. (There is no shipping; all tickets are held at will-call.)
  • Email your order to Scandinavian Film Festival Box Office.
  • Fax your order to +1 (323) 661-4273.
  • Mail your order to ASFLA Scandinavian Film Festival; P.O. Box 292329; Los Angeles, CA 90029.
  • Call the ASFLA box office at +1 (323) 661-4273.

Orders for the Take Four Opening Gala buffet, screening and champagne dessert table must be received before Thurs., Jan. 30, 2003.

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. Pick up tickets and passes upon arrival at the will-call line. Be prepared to show identification.

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). There is parking in the Writers Guild Theatre lot for a small fee.

Sofitel Hotel offers festival-goers a discounted weekend rate Jan. 31 - Feb. 2: $149 Superior room (regularly $159), and $179 De Luxe room (regularly $189), plus tax. To receive the discount rate, when reserving a room please identify yourself as a festival attendee. Located in the middle of LA's most vibrant area, Sofitel Hotel has the charm and elegance of a country French Chateau, with a twist of California chic. It's less than a mile from the Writers Guild Theatre, located across the street from the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills/West Hollywood, and nine miles from Los Angeles International Airport. Telephone: +1 (310) 278-5444, ext. 85. Address: 8555 Beverly Blvd.; Los Angeles, CA 90048.

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

"People in the film capital of the world are eager for the opportunity to see the work of Nordic filmmakers," says Jim Koenig, festival founder and chairman. 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 major 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 +1 (323) 661-4273.

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.