KNUT ERIK JENSEN
One of the first guests AMIFF presents is director Knut Erik Jensen, born in Honningsvåg in 1940 and came to Harstad as a refugee in 1945. He has a long and strong film career behind him, and perhaps the most famous of his films is the documentary "Cool and Crazy" from 2001. At the festival he will present his next planned film; "A Longing for the Present", which will deal with reconstruction of the most northern part of Norway; Finnmark, after WW2. In addition, the festival will show his breakthrough film "Stella Polaris", which in a poetic way also addresses the marks WW2 left in Finnmark
Knut Erik Jensen has received many awards throughout his 45 years long career, and in 2008 he was appointed a Knight of the 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for his efforts for Norwegian film. Jensen's films are shown at international film festivals, and he is one of the most important Norwegian film directors. He has directed four feature films and 30 documentaries and short films.
Despite the fact that Knut Erik Jensen has a long career behind him, he is full of energy, and he is not finished with moviemaking. At the festival he will present his next project; "Longing for the present." He wants to make the film partly because its theme is under-presented in Norwegian and international historical context, namely the burning, evacuation and reconstruction of the most northern part of Norway, Finnmark and North Troms, during World War II. Jensen has experienced all this on his body, and this is therefore an issue which stands close to his heart. Jensen lived in the refugee camp in Harstad as a child. The issue of refugees is very topical, and Jensen hopes that through the film the spectator will be able to better understand the position of refugees coming to Europe and Norway today.
"Stella Polaris" (1993) shows in a poetic way the coastal culture of Norway’s most northern county, Finnmark, through a portrait of a woman with scenes both from her life on slightly older days and her childhood during World War II. The film is also about what images and movies do to us and our recollection, says Helen Sørensen, a Norwegian associate professor of film studies. The film fits perfectly into the festival as this year's theme of the festival is 'Memory and Identity'. Moreover, the film itself has become an important part of Northern Norwegian identity, by being a great work of art and one of the few films of this size set in Northern Norway.
The film received the Film Critics Award in 1993 by the Norwegian Film Critics. Anne Krigsvoll and Ketil Høegh plays in the film. The film is experimental in its expression, and with an interesting introduction to the film, the audience will get a strong and good experience of the film.