Pioneer triumphs at Amanda Awards

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Pioneer triumphs at Amanda Awards

The prestigious Amanda Awards, held at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, took place on August 16th, and the exceptional talent in the country was on show for everyone to see.

Actor Aksel Hennie won yet another Best Actor award at this year’s awards, this time for Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Pioneer. Hennie has previously won this coveted prize for 2009’s Max Manus and 2003’s Jonny Vang. The film is set in the early 80’s at the beginning of the Norwegian oil boom also stars Wes Bentley, Stephen Lang and Stephanie Sigman. Skjoldbjærg is also no stranger to these awards having previously won Best Direction for Nokas (2010). Pioneer also won Best Production Design.

Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s A Thousand Times Good Night, starring French actress Juliette Binoche, took home Best Norwegian Feature and two other coveted prizes at the awards. The film had already won the Special Grand Jury Prix in Montreal and the Amanda Awards only further secured its title as one of the best Norwegian features we’ve seen in years.

Another big winner on the night was Eskil Vogt’s feature debut Blind which collected four awards, including Best Director and Best Actress for Ellen Dorrit Petersen. Blind, about a woman coming to terms with losing her sight, previously took the World Cinema Scriptwriting award at Sundance and the Europa Cinemas Label in Berlin.

Norwegian director-producer Bente Erichsen, who was also this year’s awards president, created the Amanda Awards. Erichsen describes how he had no idea how big the awards would become but knew what its purpose would be: to recognise Norwegian filmmakers. He also spoke of the importance of these awards, saying “All other countries had these sort of prizes, and at the time neither audiences nor the industry were particularly proud of Norwegian cinema, so self confidence was needed”.

Full list of winners below:

Best Norwegian Film in Theatrical Release: A Thousand Times Good Night. Prods: Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B Kvae, for Paradox. Dir: Erik Poppe

Best Actress: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, for Blind

Best Actor: Aksel Hennie, for Pioneer. Dir: Erik Skjoldbjærg

Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role: Ivan Anderson, Letter to the King

Best Supporting Actor: Herbert Nordrum, Crack, Back & Sack . Dir: Johan Kaos

Best Director: Eskil Vogt, for Blind

Best Children’s Film: The Christmas of Solan & Ludvig. Prod:Cornelia Boysen for Maipo. Dir: Rasmus A Sivertsen

Best Documentary:Light Fly, Fly High. Dirs/Prods: Susann Østigaard, Beathe Hofseth, for Fri film

Best Short: Amazon. Dir: Marianne Ulrichsen. Prods: Ragna Midtgard, Maria Ekerhovd, for Mer Film

Best Original Screenplay: Hisham Zaman, Mehmet Aktas, for Letter to the King

Best Visual Effects: Jeppe Nygaard Christensen, Ivan Kondrup Jensen, Rikke Hovgaard Jørgensen, Arne Kaupang, for Ragnarok. Dir: Mikkel Brænne Sandemose

Best Editing: Jens Christian Fodstad, for Blind

Best Musical Score: Armand Amar, for A Thousand Times Good Night

Best Sound Design: Gisle Tveito, for Blind

Best Cinematography: John Christian Rosenlund, for A Thousand Times Good Night

Best Production Design: Karl Júlíussen, Pioneer

Best Foreign Feature: The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellazza/Italy). Dir: Paolo Sorrentino. Local distr: SF Norge

The Amanda Committee’s The Golden Clapper: Make-up artist and wig maker June Paalgard

The People’s Amanda: Ragnarok

The Amanda Committee’s Honorary Award: Actress Elsa Lystad