After breaking Norwegian box office records, The King’s Choice (Kongens Nei) is making its North American debut in high style. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway have committed to attend a glitzy screening of the Erik Poppe-directed film on November 8 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
The King’s Choice, Norway’s official Foreign-Language Oscar submission, has special significance to the royals, since it is based on the true the story of the three dramatic days in April 1940 when the Germans invaded and the King of Norway was presented with an ultimatum from the German armed forces: Surrender or die. With the German air force and soldiers hunting them, the Norwegian royal family was forced to split up and flee. Crown Princess Märtha headed to Sweden, while King Haakon stayed behind to fight after refusing to capitulate.
The Crown Prince, who will be in Toronto with the Crown Princess on an official state visit, is the great-grandson of the film’s protagonist, King Haakon VII. The Norwegian royal family has a kinship with Toronto that goes back to WWII, when Toronto hosted the first training camp for Norwegian pilots. Jesper Christensen and Anders Baasmo star. The film was scripted by Jan Trygve Røyneland and Harald Rosenløw Eeg.
“Of course we are looking forward to present The King’s Choice with the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess in Canada,” said Stein B Kvae, who produced the film with Finn Gjerdrum for Paradox. “We will also be celebrating that this is the first time the film will be shown outside Norway.”