Haugesund Talks: Greetings from the Festival Director

10. August 2018

It is with great pleasure that we are almost ready to kick off this year’s festival after extensive planning and an extraordinarily hot finishing stage this summer. We proudly presented our film programme last week, but I am especially satisfied with the seminar programme this year!

The Norwegian International Film Festival is Norway’s largest industry festival and oldest film festival, so it has always been important to us to maintain good contact with the Nordic film industry, to seek inspiration from and co-operate with other international festivals. Several festival events are the result of inspiration from abroad, like last year’s new initiative Books at Haugesund; influenced by and developed in co-operation with Germany’s Berlinale. The topic of this year’s  film-political conference is strongly inspired by the SXSW festival and this spring’s political debate. In Texas, thousands of people working within politics, technology, social development and culture gather to discuss social challenges, innovations and good stories about creativity. Across all cultural expressions and at the foundation of all innovation and creative use of technology, there is a common desire to influence, change and improve a world that sometimes needs a little help.

A common thread of all contributions was the need to be engaged and make oneself heard. One has to care about justice, speaking the truth and, perhaps most importantly, how we choose to speak of our fellow human beings. Concurrent with SXSW in the US, the Listhaug debate raged here in Norway, about which level of conduct that should permitted in a political debate, and luckily decency won out.

The Norwegian International Film Festival wishes to help make the world a better place. We want to be an arena where industry people can make themselves known, to inspire and help each other to reach out with their message. We wish to discuss our responsibility as cultural operators with our industry friends. We want to know more about the trends and challenges we will meet as regards culture and about arenas where people meet for discussions. We wish to lift up and discuss artistic films about painful and difficult issues, let ourselves be inspired by great events like SXSW and, last but not least, discuss how film policy can help secure a diverse and sustainable film industry in the future. And all of us look forward to doing it together with you at this year's film-political conference!

This year we have collected all seminars under the heading Haugesund Talks, precisely because we
think that conversation is essential to make the world more inclusive. Haugesund is the most
important meeting place for the Norwegian and Nordic film industries, and the wide range of the
various seminars makes this evident. Here you can get insights into book adaptations, hear exciting pitches, discuss media diversity in Norway, the future of Norwegian movie theatres, and the distribution of Nordic films in Europe. Just to mention a few things. You can find a complete overview of the seminars here.

Hereby we wish you all welcome to Haugesund, for thought-provoking discussions, pleasant
meetings and marvellous film experiences!

Tonje Hardersen
Festival and Programme Director