'Hawaii, Oslo'

"I had an aunt in California, who always spent her vacations in Hawaii, and from there she would send us exotic and colourful postcards. Hawaii is an illusion about the ultimate, an island of love with - Aloha, floral wreaths and everything you want. In reality Hawaii is a horrible place," explained Norwegian director Erik Poppe. "In my film Hawaii expresses the illusions we all have inside us, but you really need not such illustrious surroundings. The summers in Oslo are so important, full of dreams and longings, and that is what we are trying to show. I wanted to make a film full of hope and love."

Compared in the style to 'Short Cuts' and 'Magnolia', Poppe's second feature 'Hawaii, Oslo' tells five different, but interwoven love stories, taking place in the Oslo neighbourhood of Grünerløkka on the hottest day of the year.

Frode and Milla are having their first child, who they are told will not live long. Bobbie-Pop, a has-been singer, tries to commit suicide. Leon, an institutionalized kleptomaniac, is looking for Åsa, whom he has pacted to marry.

His brother, Trygve, picks him up, planning to use his prison leave to run away. The nurse Vidar sees future events in his sleep, and flees from them by keeping himself awake. One longs for Hawaii, Hawaii - the other for Hawaii, Oslo.

'Hawaii, Oslo' is the second part of his Oslo trilogy - which he made six years after the first one, 'Schpaa'. It was launched internationally in the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Critically acclaimed as "one of the best Norwegian films in many years" (Variety), it was eventually selected as Norway's official candidate for the Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Feature.

At the recent Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, it was awarded two Amandas - the local Oscars - for Best Norwegian Film and Best Original Screenplay, as well as the local critics' prize. Poppe is currently in preparation with the concluding instalment of the series.

Director: Erik Poppe

Originally a photojournalist, covering news, politics and sports for the news agency, Reuters, Erik Poppe went to Sweden's film school - Stockholm's Dramatiska Institutet - to become a cinematographer.

Having finished his education and working with other directors (on such films as Bent Hamer's 'Eggs', which won the Kodak Award in Moscow), he began to make his own commercials, short films, documentaries and music videos.

His commercials have won him all major international prizes in Cannes, as well as the Clio Award in New York and the kudos for Nordic Director of the Year.

He had his feature debut with 'Schpaaa', in 1998 - the first instalment in his Oslo trilogy, about young boys turning to crime in a seedy Oslo neighbourhood - which was awarded a prize at Naples. Poppe is a co-owner of the Paradox Film production shingle, which produced 'Hawaii, Oslo'.

Scriptwriters: Harald Rosenløw-Eeg

An arts graduate in history of religion, Rosenløw-Eeg wrote his first novel, 'Glasskår' ('Broken Glass') in 1995, and won the Tarjei Vesaas Award for Best Debut.

Lars Berg filmed the book - with the English title 'Scars' - to win the Kinderfilmfest at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as the prize for Best Nordic Children's Film.

He has till now penned eight novels, and twice received the Brage literary award. He recently bagged an Amanda - the local Oscar - for 'Hawaii, Oslo'.

Producers: Finn Gjerdrum, Torleif Hauge

An arts graduate in film science, Finn Gjerdrum began making shorts with Bent Hamer, and produced Hamer's feature debut, 'Eggs', in 1995.

They worked together in BulBul Film, until Gjerdrum started Paradox Film in 1998. As the company's general manager, he produced Poppe's first feature, 'Schpaa' (1998), and Lars Berg's 'Glasskår' ('Scars').

Gjerdrum, whose most recent films are 'Hawaii, Oslo' and Arne Rostad and Hallvard Bræin's 'Giganten' ('The Giant)', co-produced Lars von Trier's 'Dancer in the Dark' (2000).

Working in the film industry since 1977, Torleif Hauge joined Paradox Film in 1998. The company has so far produced more than 100 commercials, shorts, documentaries and features.

His most recent productions include Eric Hörtnagel's 'Den som frykter ulven' ('A Cry in the Woods'), 'Hawaii, Oslo' and 'Giganten', which won three prizes at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund.


Erik Poppe


Harald Rosenlöw-Eeg


Finn Gjerdrum, Torleif Hauge, Paradox Film

Principal cast:

Trond Espen Seim, Jan Gunnar Røise, Petronella Barker, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Robert Skjærstad, Stig Henrik Hoff, Aksel Hennie

Local distributor:

Scanbox Entertainment Norway.

International sales:

Trust Film Sales