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Scandinavian Film Festival 2022

Calling all Nordic cinema fans: Australia's annual showcase of Scandi movies returns to Sydney.
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2022

It's the frostiest of Australia's annual film festivals for two reasons — the time of year it arrives, and the region it showcases — and it's back for 2022 with another round of recent and retro flicks. That'd be the Scandinavian Film Festival, which naturally hits cinemas around the country each winter. Well, winter Down Under, that is.

This year's fest will play 19 titles, primarily hailing from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, with the program heading to Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Chauvel Cinema in Sydney from Tuesday, July 12–Sunday, August 7. That gives film buffs around a month to get their Nordic movie fix, whether you're keen on a historical epic or a dive into Scandi cinema history.

Yes, blasts from the pasts are a feature of the 2022 lineup — starting with opening night's Margrete — Queen of the North. Starring Trine Dyrholm (The Commune) and directed by Charlotte Sieling (Lovecraft Country, Homeland), the historical drama is set in 1402, and hones in on Denmark's Queen Margrete, who oversaw the Kalmar Union that brought together Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Also peering backwards: the Scandi Screen Sirens selection, which celebrates leading ladies from times gone by — all in classics. So, you'll catch Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, Greta Garbo in Queen Christina and Britt Ekland in The Wicker Man. There's also two Liv Ullmann films: The Serpent's Egg, directed by iconic Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman; plus The New Land, the 1972 gem in the festival's closing night slot.

Elsewhere, the program includes Dyrholm again in A Matter of Trust, which heads to Australia straight from premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival; Finnish effort The Woodcutter's Story, which played the 2022 Cannes Film Festival Critics' Week; and The Emigrants, a new adaptation of Vilhelm Moberg's novels. The latter first hit the screen in 1971, in a film of the same name — to which the aforementioned The New Land was a sequel.

From a selection of 19 flicks all up, there's also the Danish boarding school-set Pretty Young Thing, which will have its world premiere at the fest; psychological drama Quake from Iceland; Berlinale Crystal Bear Award-winner Comedy Queen, about a 13-year-old girl who wants to be a stand-up comedian; and documentary Nordic by Nature, which was filmed in the Faroe Islands, including in its seafood industry, and also covers two-star Michelin restaurant KOKS.

And if Scandinavian talent has you thinking of Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, he's accounted for A Taste of Hunger from Denmark. It's about the quest for a Michelin star, actually, with the drama following a couple determined to get one for their restaurant.

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