Norway has selected Hans Petter Moland’s drama Out Stealing Horses to represent it in the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd Oscars. Adapted from the award-winning bestseller by Per Pettersen, the film stars Stellan Skarsgard as a grieving widower who moves to the countryside where a chance encounter rekindles the past.
A world premiere in Competition in Berlin, the movie took the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for its cinematography. Norway has received five nominations for the International Feature Oscar, previously known as the Foreign Language category. It most recently made the shortlist with Erik Poppe’s 2016 drama The King’s Choice.
In Out Stealing Horses, Skarsgard plays 67-year-old Trond who lives in new-found solitude and looks forward to spending New Year’s Eve 2000 alone. As winter arrives, he discovers he has a neighbor, a man Trond knew back in 1948, the summer he turned 15 and the summer Trond’s father prepared him to carry the burden of his forthcoming betrayal and disappearance. And also the summer Trond grew up and smelled the scent of a woman he longed for. The same woman Trond’s father was preparing to spend his life with. Tobias Santelmann and Bjørn Floberg also star.
TrustNordisk handles rights and has closed a number of deals including Germany (MFA), China (DD Dream International Media), Italy (Minerva Pictures), Australia?/NZ (Palace), Russia (Russian World Vision), Taiwan (Proview Entertainment) and Singapore (Global Eagle Entertainment), among others.
The film is produced by Håkon Øverås and Turid Øversveen for Norway’s 4½ Fiksjon, with Zentropa in Denmark and Zentropa International in Sweden. Further support came from Helgeland Film, Film i Vast and Nordisk Film, as well as the Norwegian Film Institute, the Danish Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond.