The Norwegian Oscar Committee decided yesterday (2 September) that Norwegian director Roar Uthaug’s The Wave (Bølgen) will be Norway’s official candidate for the Oscar-nominations as Best Foreign-Language Feature.
The committee made the final choice from its own shortlist, also including Norwegian directors Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken’s Returning Home (Å vende tilbake) and Anne Sewitsky’s Homesick (De nærmeste). The eight members had considered a total of 21 Norwegian productions premiered between 1 October, 2014-30 September, 2015.
“The Wave is Norway's – and the Nordic countries’ - first disaster movie; as a genre film with a well-written script, superbly directed, with great acting performances, the committee believes that it will make an impression in the Oscar race,” said chairman of the Norwegian Oscar Committee, CEO Sindre Guldvog, of the Norwegian Film Institute. Produced by Martin Sundland and Are Heidenstrøm for Fantefilm Fiksjon, The Wave is based on the 7 April 1934 real-life tsunami in Norway’s Tafjord, which left 40 people dead. In John Kåre Raake and Harald Rosenløw Eeg’s original screenplay history is about to repeat itself at the Geiranger Fjord, where a geologist realises there are 10 minutes till the inferno hits. Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro and Fritjof Såheim star in Uthaug’s fourth feature, which opened last month’s Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund (16 August). It was domestically released on 28 August to register 136,293 admissions in the opening weekend, the third best result ever for a Norwegian film.
The Wave will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (10-20 September). After 1 October, the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will publish its own shortlist for the final nominations, which will be announced on 14 January, 2016. The Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 28 February, 2016. Members of the Norwegian Oscar Committee are Guldvog, Elsa Kvamme (Writers’ Guild of Norway), Maria Bock (Norwegian Actors Union), Guro Bruusgaard (Norwegian Film Directors Association), Christian Fredrik Martin (Norwegian Virke-Producers Association), Sverre Pedersen (Norwegian Film Union), Mode Steinkjer (Norwegian Critics Association) and Stine Oppegaard (Norwegian Film Institute).