Sundance Film Fest 2011: "Happy, Happy" Winner of Grand Jury

“Happy, Happy” (Sykt Lykkelig), the feature film debut of Norwegian director Anne Sewitsky, has won the Grand Jury Award last night at Sundance Film Festival 2011. “ Happy, Happy” competed with 14 international films in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and was the sole Nordic film in this category.

This is the first time in history that a Norwegian film has won the main prize at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the United States.

Anne Sewitsky’s reaction of the film’s win: “After a couple of screenings in Sundance, my dad was sending me all these very positive reviews of my film. I was reading them aloud at the condo with my co-writer Ragnhild Tronvoll and the main actress Agnes Kittelsen. I was thinking, “My dad just wants to be nice to me.” He was the first one predicting that the film had a chance to win an award in Sundance. Of course I didn’t take him seriously. I feel I’m walking on the clouds. Thank you Sundance. I feel so very happy, happy”.

“It is a film that found us identifying with characters very different from our own lives,” said the juror, Danish director Susanne Bier while presenting the Award last night. Sewitsky was in Sundance to receive the award.

Happy, Happy is about a perfect housewife whose rocky, sexless marriage sends her next door to explore sexual fulfillment scripted by Ragnhild Tronvoll and produced by Synnøve Hørsdal for Maipo, Happy, Happy stars Agnes Kittelsen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens and Joachim Rafaelsen.

“Anne Sewitsky directs delicately, with an eye for signs of relationships faltering and for the space in which new attractions can’t be resisted,” David D’Arcy, Screen International.

Happy, Happy will also compete in Göteborg Film Festival (Jan 28 – Feb 6, 2011) for the Nordic Film Award and price of SEK 1.000.000 (USD 150,000), and will be available at the European Film Market in Berlin. International sales is handled by TrustNordisk.

Sewitsky’s second feature, “Totally True Love” (Jørgen + Anne = Sant) produced by Cinenord Kidstory , will compete in the Generation competition at the Berlinale 2011 (February 10-20, 2011). Sales is handled by AB Svensk Filmindustri.