Fantastic Fest 2010 Is Bringing The Norwegians To Austin

Next week, the film community will take a break from all of these high brow film festivals, to descend upon Austin Texas for the epic genre festival, Fantastic Fest. We’ve previewed several of the films that will be premiering at Fantastic Fest, and they just announced a few more films, from those lovely vikings up in Norway.

Criterion alum, Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd (Insomnia, The Perfect Murder, The Unbearable Lightness Of Being) plays Ulrik in Hans Petter Moland’s comedy A Somewhat Gentle Man. You’ll also be able to catch Arild Fröhlich’s 2008 film, Fatso, as well as Thomas Cappelen Malling’s Norwegian Ninja. It’s nice to see some of the more comedic Scandinavian films being represented amongst so many darker genre films at the festival.

While there are going to be a number of Asian genre films represented at the festival, it’s clear that Fantastic Fest is a global event. I’ve included trailers for all of the films below, so take a few minutes to see what’s in store.

Fatso (2008)

US Premiere? Director: Arild Fröhlich

Graphic novelist Rino Hanssen’s quiet life (watching porn, drawing and occasionally violating honeydew melons) gets upended when his father surprises him with a nubile, free-spirited and devastatingly beautiful flatmate.

Norwegian Ninja (2010)

World Premiere? Director: Thomas Cappelen Malling,

Norway ?Norwegian Ninja is the true story of how Commander Arne Treholt and his Ninja Force saved Norway during the Cold War. In 1983 the Ninja Force discovers that the Shadow Government, who take charge in times of war and emergency, are planning a coup-d’état in peacetime. Treholt and the ninjas see only one solution: a full can of whoop-ass!

A Somewhat Gentle Man (2010)

US Premiere? Director: Hans Petter Moland

Ulrik is a somewhat gentle man. He has no special wishes and makes no demands. He does not give too much thought to what he does either. If he’s given some food and a place to sleep, he will give people what they want in return. Whether this be a little affection or a killing. Ulrik has killed some people and crippled a few. It’s all part of the job when you’re a gangster.

In addition to the Norwegian films, you’ll have a chance to let your inner Viking loose as they’re offering a dinner boat ride:

On Wednesday, September 29, festival attendees are invited to join the Norwegians on a Viking cruise on Ladybird Lake, where we will enjoy smoked fish and meatballs; drink lots of Norwegian beer and akevitt; and dance the night away to the pop disco sounds of Norway. We’ll probably play a couple different versions of Aha’s Take On Me before the night is done. Every attendee will receive a Viking helmet and Norse warrior attire is highly recommended. This party will be fit for a king, a Viking!? The 2010 Fantastic Fest Norwegian Spotlight is presented by the Norwegian Film Institute and

Fantastic Fest has recently updated their B-side scheduling application with screening times and locations. I’ve heard the times aren’t locked down yet, but start checking it out, to make sure that you get to see everything you can. If you have an iPhone, you can download their app to help with your scheduling.

If you don’t already have your tickets for the festival, your only option at this point is to go with a “day pass”, and at $40, it’s still a steal for what you’ll be catching.

Be sure to check out my recent interview with Tim League and Moises Chiullan, discussing the recent Alamo Drafthouse news, and Fantastic Fest.


New Film Programming Announcements From Norwegian Film Industry

Austin, TX—Thursday, September 16, 2010— Fantastic Fest spotlights an amazing lineup of Norwegian genre films for this year’s festival, including Fatso, Norwegian Ninja & A Somewhat Gentle Man.

Though Norway has a long established and well-respected film history the nation had long avoided genre film, preferring to make their name at home with broadly commercial comedies and dramas and abroad with high-end arthouse film. That changed for good with the arrival of director Roar Uthaug’s Cold Prey. The first modern slasher movie produced anywhere in the Nordic countries, Cold Prey was initially considered a risky proposition but went on to become a total game-changer for the local industry. A massive smash hit – not only in Norway but throughout the entire region ‘“ Cold Prey proved to the young generation of producers and directors that they could be successful making the sorts of films they loved, the sorts of films they had previously thought were the sole purview of Hollywood.

And since then it’s been game on, with a string of young talents producing a diverse wave of high quality genre hits. Thrillers, horror, action flicks, and science fiction … you name it and somebody is making it, and making it well. And though Cold Prey‘s impact has been felt well outside of Norway’s borders ‘“ triggering a surge of genre production in neighboring Sweden, Denmark and Finland as well ‘“ Norway remains the clear leader in Nordic genre film, with recent hits like Nazi-zombie comedy Dead Snow winning over audiences around the globe. Fantastic Fest is proud to embrace the sullying of Norway’s cinematic history as we present to you the very finest examples of current Norwegian genre film in our Norwegian Spotlight at Fantastic Fest 2010.

Fantastic Fest has scoured the globe for the very best in action, horror, science fiction, fantasy to the truly bizarre in contemporary cinema for your viewing pleasure. Miss this one and your regrets will agonize you for years to come. You have been warned.

Ryan Gallagher

Ryan is the Editor-In-Chief / Founder of, and the host / co-founder / producer of the various podcasts here on the site. You can find his website at, follow him on Twitter (@RyanGallagher), or send him an email: [email protected].