25th Anniversary of Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. with BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA (January 13, 14 & 20, 21, 2024)
By Oliver Carnay
Opening day began with Norwegian animated Oscar entry TITINA from Kajsa Naess, followed by Norwegian Oscar entry Margreth Olin’s Songs of Earth.
Special guests for the opening included Norwegian Ambassador to the United States Anniken Krutnesleading who came to Los Angeles for the opening. The Norwegian delegation also included newly appointed Los Angeles Honorary Norwegian Consul General Hege Possum. Other dignitaries included Finnish Consul General Okka-Pekka Salminies, Lithuanian Consul General Laima Jureviciene, Honorary Consul of Estonia Jaak Treiman, Honorary Consul of Latvia Dr. Juris Bunkis, Honorary Consul of Sweden Gudrun Giddings, and Soren Finsen from the Danish Consulate.
The audience was full of savvy L.A. film lovers, consular reps, sponsors, and new and longtime fans of the festival.
After red carpet photo ops, and the opening gala buffet, festival founder/director James Koenig welcomed the packed house to the silver anniversary proceedings before the screening of Finnish Director Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves. Estonian Honorary Consul Jaak Treiman offered greetings, gratitude, and congrations to founder for the labor of love which has created an annual presence for Nordic and Baltic film in Hollywood.
SFFLA is one of the largest Nordic/Baltic film festivals in the United States with its annual array of “Top films from the top of Europe”. Three of the festival’s films have been short-listed for Academy Award nominations, namely “Fallen Leaves,” “Godland,” and “The Promised Land.”
A special screening of “Mother of Mine,” an SFFLA audience favorite movie, was shown at 12 noon on Sunday. Watch out for the next one on January 25th at 4:30 p.m. (don’t miss this one!!!).
Please go to www.SFFLA.net to see the films showing next weekend (January 20 & 21), film trailers, and other details. For tickets, please go directly to the box office of The Writers Guild Theatre.