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Kon-Tiki opens Norwegian International Film Festival

The new Scandinavian blockbuster, Kon-Tiki, is opening the 40th International Film Festival in Haugesund, on Saturday 18th August 2012.

During the Berlin Film Festival, with a large number of the world's most influential producers and audiences, Kon-Tiki's producer Aage Aaberge, Festival Director Gunnar Johan Løvvik and program manager Tonje Hardersen announced that the film gets its world premiere at the 40 year anniversary opening of the International Film Festival in Haugesund.

- "We are very honored and proud that we have been able to open Norwegian Film Festival with Kon-Tiki," says Festival Director Gunnar Johan Løvvik, "There has seldom been greater expectations of a Scandinavian film, and we are certain that Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg will meet these expectations," continues Løvvik.

- "We spent 60 days shooting in six different countries in just three and a half months. Now we are looking very much forward to present the result for the audience. This is a movie of unprecedented dimensions in Scandinavia and it's even based on a true story that surpasses reality," continues the film's producer Aage Aaberge.
An incredible story
- "Kon-Tiki is made for the big screen. With magnificent images in combination with the intimate acting, and - last but not least - a completely unbelievable story, audiences can expect a spectacular film experience," says program manager Tonje Hardersen.

Childhood friends Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg both completed film school in Stockholm from 1992 to 1994. After great success with making commercials, they had their feature film debut in 2006 with the western comedy Bandidas, which was recorded in Mexico with Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek in the leading roles. Their next film, Max Manus: Man of war, was seen by over 1 million cinema-goers in Norway alone, which was the highest attendance since the seventies. Kon-Tiki is the duos third film.

- "It's a great honor for us that Kon-Tiki has been chosen as the opening film in Haugesund, and we are confident that it will give the film the best possible start," says Joachim Rønning.

- "After three years of hard work, we are pleased to finally show Kon-Tiki to the public, and Haugesund is a very important platform for Scandinavian films," adds director Espen Sandberg.

The leading role of Thor Heyerdahl is played by Pål Sverre Hagen, while Agnes Kittelsen plays his first wife, Liv. The crew of Kon-Tiki is played by Odd-Magnus Williamson, Tobias Santelmann, Donald Baasmo Christiansen, James Oftebro and Gustaf Skarsgård, while Søren Pilmark plays the adventurer Peter Freuchen.

8000 kilometers of adventure
Kon-Tiki is a dramatization of actual events in 1947, when Thor Heyerdahl embarked on an adventurous and fatal expedition across the Pacific to prove his scientific theory that the Polynesian people originally came from Peru in South America. The theory was revolutionary and was in all respects contrary to all established scientific theories, all of which pointed out that Asia was based on population exodus. Heyerdahl, four other Norwegians and one Swede traveled almost 8000 km across open sea - with no other tools than a short-wave radio - on a raft which they had named after the South American sun god, Kon-Tiki. Thor Heyerdahl was, with one exception, not familiar with his crew in advance, and only one of them had sailing experience. Heyerdahl suffered from a lifelong fear of water and could not swim, but he was willing to sacrifice everything and everyone to prove that his theory was true.