Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. celebrates 20th anniversary with Oscar Best Foreign Language Film submissions screenings
by Oliver Carnay
For complete line-up of films, schedule, details, please go to www.sffla.net
For nineteen years, Best Foreign Language film contenders and award-winning features, shorts, and documentary films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Baltic neighbors Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia has been parading at the Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles, yearly housed at the Writers Guild of America Theater located in Beverly Hills (135 S. Doheny Dr., corner Wilshire Blvd.).
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the first festival in 2019 - SFFLA will run for two weekends starting from January 5 & 6 and after two weeks, January 19 & 20th. Among Oscar contender films for 2019 Best Foreign Language Film included this year is Swedenâs âBorderâ (based on a short story "GrĂ€ns" by John Ajvide Lindqvist) -- a custom officer who can smell fear develops an unusual attraction to a strange traveler while aiding a police investigation, which will call into question her entire existence. This is one of my favorites Iâve seen at the AFI Fest last November and it tops my 10 Best for Foreign Language Film so donât miss this one! Itâs showing Saturday, January 5th at 2:30 p.m.
An Opening Night Gala on January 5th will have a buffet starting at 5:30 p.m. and following is Denmarkâs Oscar submission âThe Guiltyâ directed by Gustav MĂ¶ller. This claustrophobic thriller, precisely paced and grippingly played by sole actor in the film Jakob Cedergren will keep you at the edge of your seat.
Sunday, January 6 will have Finlandâs submission âEuthanizerâ at 11 a.m. A 50-year old mechanic and animal whisperer prefers to personally deliver justice to careless owners who neglected their pets, but his life is disrupted when he encounters a neo-Nazi gang, and a young nurse who understands his psychosis.
Then, Norwayâs Oscar submission âWhat will people say?â by Director Iram Haq is screening at 3 p.m. A 16-year old Norweigian teen-ager is the perfect Pakistani daughter at home with her family but leads a double life partying outside, until her father catches her with her boyfriend inside her room. Soon she will suffer the consequences of living with relatives in Pakistan, a country she has never been before and forced to adapt to her parentâs culture.
On its second weekend, January 19 (Saturday), Estoniaâs Oscar submission âTake It Or Leave Itâ screens at 3 p.m.. A 30-year old construction worker is surprised to hear that his ex-girlfriend who he hasnât seen for six months is about to go into labor. Her girlfriend is not ready for motherhood and if he doesnât want the kid either, the little girl will be put up for adoption.
And finally, Lithuaniaâs Oscar entry for Best Documentary âWonderful Losersâ is playing at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, January 20th. Theyâre called water carriers, domestics, âgregarios,â âSancho Panzasâ of professional cycling who are always at the back of the group, with no right for a personal victory are wonderful losers but true warriors of professional cycling.