BETA CINEMA PICKS UP TROMSØ AUDIENCE AWARD-WINNER LET THE RIVER FLOW
Beta Cinema announces it will sell internationally Let The River Flow, the latest production of Norwegian powerhouse Mer Film (War Sailor, The Innocents, Flee), directed by multi-award winner Ole Giaever (Out of Nature, The Mountain, From the Balcony). The inspiring drama about the Sámi minority standing up for their rights was met with enthusiastic reactions at its National Premiere in Tromsø and honored with the Audience Award.
During summer 1979, Ester moves to Alta in Northern Norway to begin teaching at an elementary school. Like many Sámi at the time, she is ashamed of her heritage and conceals her ethnicity. Ester goes to great lengths to fit in, even joining in with the derogatory jokes. When her cousin Mikkhal takes her to a camp by the Alta River where people are demonstrating against the building of a dam, Ester learns how the fight for the river is also a revolt against the years of brutal racism and discrimination against her people. After a major confrontation with the police, Mikkhal and some other Sámi decide to go to Oslo to hunger strike in front of the Parliament. Knowing what is at stake, Ester realises it is time to make a stand…
Let The River Flow is based on the true events of the Alta River protest in the late seventies and early eighties, that ultimately led to the establishment of Sámi rights in Norway. Originating from northern Scandinavia, the Sámi are known as the last indigenous people of Europe. Let The River Flow is written and directed by Ole Giaever, whose feature film debut The Mountain premiered at Berlinale in 2011. His second feature Out Of Nature screened at numerous film festivals worldwide, including the Berlinale and Toronto FF and went on to win the Label Europa Cinemas, The Best Actor and Best Producer Awards in Trondheim.
“We are very happy to renew our successful collaboration with Mer Film. Besides being a beautifully crafted film, Let The River Flow addresses two major topics of our time: ethnic minorities and environmental protest,” states Tassilo Hallbauer, Head of Sales at Beta Cinema. “It just couldn’t be more relevant and thus we are convinced it will resonate with audiences around the world.”
Let The River Flow stars Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen, Gard Emil, Sofia Jannok, Beaska Niillas and Marie Kvernmo in the lead roles and is produced by Maria Ekerhovd, Mer Film in co-production with Bufo, Zentropa Sweden, Helmet and Knudsen Pictures. Axel Helgeland served as executive producer.
Producer Maria Ekerhovd states, “We are very happy to continue our successful collaboration with Beta Cinema following the success of War Sailor. We are extremely proud of Let The River Flow and the important story it tells of a Sámi girl finding her identity amidst the most important uprising in Sámi and Norwegian history. A story that feels vital today, it has been incredibly moving to see the fantastic reception and emotional responses from audiences at its festival screenings in Tromsø and Göteborg.”
Beta Cinema holds all rights outside Scandinavia and will host two market screenings at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.