Norsk filminstitutt

For the second consecutive year, a number of major North American distributors and representatives from TV channels and festivals, including Netflix and the Discovery Channel, will participate in DOC Norway in Bergen. Here they will be able to watch and buy new Norwegian documentaries.

Foto: Visit Bergen

“Last year’s DOC Norway was a huge success,” tells NFI department manager Lars Løge. “Thirty-two Norwegian documentary film projects were shown and fifteen meetings were conducted between our filmmakers and American companies, among them HBO and Netflix. We hope that this year’s market will achieve the same amount of interest and success.”

230 meetings

DOC Norway Market, a collaboration between Vestnorsk Film Center and the Norwegian Film Institute, will be held for a second time during Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF) from September 30 to Oct 1, 2019. This year, Fritt Ord is also an active collaborator.

The two-day event aims to establish itself as an annual meeting place for the Norwegian documentary filmmakers and the North American market, and to stimulate sales as well as increase distribution of Norwegian documentaries to the US.

Last year, about 230 meetings between Norwegian documentary filmmakers and North American participants were held, and thirty of the projects have since been in dialogue or negotiations with American companies and festivals.

One of last year’s participants states: “The event was a super exciting effort that I hope will become a tradition during BIFF. It was a brilliant way to target our projects to completely different markets with individual requirements and priorities, and we have established a beneficial dialogue with several people that we met there.”

“Thanks to DOC Norway, many of last year’s Norwegian documentaries will be shown to a much larger audience,” says Løge. “This is one of the Norwegian Film Institute’s stated goals, and the great interest in DOC Norway confirms our belief that Norwegian documentary filmmaking is of a world-class quality and that it deserves a larger audience than it enjoys today. So, we are very much looking forward to another DOC Norway Market.”

Good support

The West Norwegian Film Center hopes to build a sustainable industry for its local film productions and to help establish it internationally. “Our industry is eager to expand internationally,” confirms Stine Tveten, director of the West Norwegian Film Center. “Therefore, it is essential for us to be part of DOC Norway.”

This year’s market is supported by, among others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Virke Produksforeningen, Creative Norway, Bergen Municipality and Hordaland County Municipality.

“We received a strong support from our film industry and regional backers when we talked of arranging another Doc Norway Market in Bergen,” continues Tveten. “And with the overwhelmingly positive feedback that we received from last year’s Norwegian and American participants, we were keen on investing with the NFI in another DOC Norway.”

These US guests will participate in DOC Norway 2019:

  • Robin Smith / Blue Eyes
  • Meredith Duff / Cinereach
  • Wendy Ettinger / Chicken & Eggs
  • Katie Ozog / Discovery Channel
  • Cara Mertes / Ford Foundation
  • Angie Driscoll / Hot Docs
  • Ranell Shubert / IDA (International Documentary Association)
  • Sarafina DiFelice / Netflix
  • Ben Fowlie / Points North Institute
  • Julie Campfield / ro*co movies
  • Hayley Pappas / Ryot Films
  • Ben Braun / Submarine
  • Lucas Verga / The Film Sales Company
  • Lesley Norman / WNET
  • Sue Turley / XRM Media
  • Senain Khesghi/Majority Films

This year’s Norwegian projects have been selected from a panel of representatives from both NFI and the West Norwegian Film Center. About 75 projects applied for participation.

“There are an incredible number of high quality documentaries being made in Norway today, and it was no easy job to select the 28 participants,” admit Lars Løge and Stine Tveten. “But we believe that we have selected projects that are both universal and superior in quality, artistically as well as professionally, and which will also be of interest to the North American market.”

These Norwegian projects participate in this year’s DOC Norway:

  •  A-ha - The Movie / Motlys AS
  • Aksel Lund Svindal / Field Productions AS
  • All that I am / Sant & Usant AS
  • APACHE! / UpNorth movie
  • Breaking the Silence / Medieoperatörene AS
  • Caveat Andøya / Mattima Films AS
  • Client Earth / Motlys AS
  • Faith Can Move Mountains / Medieoperatörene AS
  • Front Fighters / Filmavdelingen AS
  • Frost without Snow and Ice / Arctic Light AS
  • Marriage uncensored / Aldeles AS
  • Hallelujah! - Allies for Armageddon / UpNorth Film
  • Hiding Saddam Hussein / Hene Films AS (in collaboration with Screen Story AS, Storyline AS and TV2 Norway)
  • Island of Lost Boys / Pandora Film AS
  • Kids Cup / Media Operators as
  • My Sister Super-Stella / Medieoperatørene AS
  • Oh, the Hertz! / UpNorth Movie
  • Once Aurora / Once Aurora AS
  • Stardust / Storm Films AS
  • The Curse of Kane / Indie Film AS
  • The Girl in the Manhole/Filmhimmelen AS
  • The Golden Swan / Fri Film AS
  • The Last Norwegian Cowboy / Fimfilm AS
  • The Raaby Mystery / Screen Story
  • The Silence of Oil - The Kielland Disaster/Screen Story AS
  • The Subharchord - The Child of a Golden Age / True Fiction AS
  • The Tattooed Sun / Culture
  • Welcome to Norway/Indie Film AS

A unique opportunity

DOC Norway is held at the same time as BIFF, which also focuses strongly on documentary films and attracts many international visitors to Bergen.

“The documentary market has gained a natural place under BIFF,” says Tveten, “and having the festival as a frame work gives DOC Norway an extra dimension. This, in turn, increases the focus on the importance of documentary filmmaking as an art form and an influencer.”

The goal of this year’s DOC Norway is that it will encourage more international sales of Norwegian documentaries.

Concludes Løge, “The home market is most important for Norwegian documentaries, but NFI’s goal is that our film industry also succeeds internationally, which will offer it an opportunity to make more money, and in turn strengthen the business. Also, we believe that international exposure will stimulate the Norwegian documentary filmmakers and ensure that their films maintain their high artistic quality.”

For more information on DOC Norway: