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TIFF 2019 14-20 January



January 14-20 2019

The program is ready!

TIFF 2019 features several current films, where political polarization, identity and belonging are some of the themes.

– There are a lot of different expressions and themes. There has always been a great width in the festival, but there is even greater diversity in this year's festival than in previous years, says Deputy Program Director Henning Rosenlund. There has been a lot to choose from and easy to find great movies from 2018, as it has been a good film year. The problem has rather been what to opt out.

Festival Director Martha Otte says that this year there will be two major thematic side programs: FOCUS: BRAZIL and COLD WAR, MOVING PICTURES. In addition, there are two smaller side programs, GIRL POWER and ARABIYAT, both focusing on strong stories about women.

– We like to work thematically. It allows for room for specialization, says Otte.

The main program consists of a total of 96 feature films. The side program, Films From the North, consists alone of 39 short films and documentaries, and new to this year is that the program has been opened up for feature film. Five films from four different countries in the circumpolar region are part of the program.


There were spies before the Cold War, and there have been spies after, but films from that era were defining for how we perceive espionage and surveillance and the gathering of intelligence. This is a selecion of hidden spy gems from behind The Curtain, and a few of their western counterparts. In addition to a lot of drama - including two Soviet spy films never previously shown in Norway - and a little glamor (FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE), we can also offer a precious Bond parody from Czechoslovakia, THE END OF AGENT W4C.

Brazil is today a politically divided country and the left side has experienced severe setbacks, not least through a disruptive and controversial process of prosecutor's law against former President Dilma Rousseff, the country's first elected female president. This program contains everything from everyday drama and bittersweet comedy, political documentary, crime drama and pitch-black satire.

Films from recent years highlights different sides of Brazil that are relevant far beyond the country's borders: political polarization, enormous economic differences and mistrust between classes, ethnic groups and political camps.

Five films with a big focus on strong and engaging stories about young women in their search for their own identity. The films offer exciting situations, where crossroads in life and questioning who determines your life, are some of the central themes.

In THE HATE U GIVE we meet sixteen year-old Starr who gets to learn that race means everything in today's USA, while to thirteen year old Kayla in EIGHTH GRADE transitioning to high school is the worst thinkable thing. From Congo we get to meet MAKI'LA, a girl who's been living on the streets since she was thirteen. Now she's eighteen and life doesn't get any easier, but she stands on to survive.

Arabiyat – the Arab word for Arab women – is also the name of a year-long project currently in progress at Cinémàtheque de Tanger. It includes film screenings, meetings and debates that address crucial issues, making them visible and audible in the public sphere. This program hopes to inform and inspire young (as well as not so young) Arab women on the path to change. For others, it offers a new perspective into the lives of Arab women.

A highlight of TIFF2019 is Peter Jackson's THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD, a film made up of archival material from the First World War. It consists of footage from the war that has been restored and colored. The sound has also been restored. Most exciting is that it has been converted to 3D.

The film had its world premiere at the London Film Festival in England in October, while the Norwegian premiere will be at TIFF.

 –  It's groundbreaking work what Peter Jackson have now delivered. Here we will get to see soldiers in color and hear their voices. It reduces a lot of the historic distance many have to war, especially to this, which began 100 years ago, says the Festival Director.

Other things you can look forward to include special viewings like a sing-along to BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, and two film concerts in the Arctic Cathedral. There is also, as always, great excitement to the annual film political opening conference, which will be opened by Minister of Culture Trine Skei Grande on Monday January 14.


Tromsø International Film Festival is held for the 29th time from January 14 to 20, 2019.​