Films past

LGBTQ Filmmaking in the Nordic Countries Virtual Panel

Left to Right—Carsten Sparwath; Isold Uggadottir (Photo by Thordis Claessen); Allt Vi Delar; Marja Bål Nango; Mikko Makela; Nick McCarthy

TUE—June 30—2 PM (EDT)

*This event will take place online as a Virtual Panel.*

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, Scandinavia House presents a panel discussion exploring some of the best lesbian, gay and trans films from Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. Panelists include Icelandic director Ísold Uggadóttir, winner of the Sundance World Dramatic Competition directing award for And Breathe Normally; Finnish-British filmmaker Mikko Makela, who directed the debut 2017 feature A Moment in the Reeds; Samí-Norwegian director Marja Bål Nango, whose film The Tongues recently won Best International Short at Palm Springs International Shortsfest 2020; Jerry Carlsson, an award-winning director and co-founder of the Swedish company Verkert Produktion; and Carsten Sparwath, who is active in the LGBTQ community and has worked with film production for the last 25 years with leading directors in Denmark such as Nicolas Winding Refn, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg.

Moderating the discussion is Nick McCarthy, the Director of Programming at NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ Film & Media Organization and an independent critic, curator and scholar.

Please send audience questions ahead of the discussion to Select questions will be chosen for a Q&A following the conversation. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

The discussion will later be available to stream on YouTube.

The panel is produced and supported by the Nordic Consulaes in New York, which include the Consulate General of Denmark, Consulate General of Finland, Consulate General of Iceland, the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, and the Consulate General of Sweden.

About the Moderator

Nick McCarthy is the Director of Programming at NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ Film & Media Organization. Nick has been with NewFest since 2016, where he curates and oversees NewFest’s year-round programming in addition to the annual international New York LGBTQ Film Festival, which was founded in 1988 and last year featured over 160 films from more than 30 countries. Prior to NewFest, Nick served as the Film Curator at The Tank in New York City, and worked in academic publishing and international media.

Nick is on the Advisory Board at GALECA, and has written about film & media for publications including Slant Magazine, Time Out New York, NBC News, and the Boston Phoenix — and has served on multiple domestic & international film festival juries, including GAZE in Dublin, Columbia University’s CUFF in New York City, and Inside Out in Toronto.

About the Panelists

Jerry Carlsson graduated from Valand Academy in 2015 and the same year he was selected for the European Film Promotions program FUTURE FRAMES: Ten Filmmakers to Follow at Karlovy Vary. His award winning shorts have been screened in numerous international film festivals, including Locarno, Tribeca and Clermont-Ferrand, where his short film Shadow Animals received both the Special Jury Prize and the Canal+ Award in 2018. Jerry is also a co-founder of the production company Verket Produktion.

Mikko Makela is a Finnish-British writer/director based in London. His directorial debut A Moment in the Reeds screened at over 80 festivals worldwide, including BFI London Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and Frameline, and  was nominated for the Discovery Award at the British Independent Film Awards as well as two Finnish Jussi awards  for Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor. He has been named by IndieWire as one of 25 LGBTQ Filmmakers on the Rise. Also an actor, Mikko has most recently been seen on stage in the Arcola Queer Collective’s revival of Mae West’s The Drag as well as making an appearance in John Cameron Mitchell’s film How to Talk to Girl at Parties.

Carsten Sparwath has worked with film production for the last 25 years with many of the best directors in Denmark such as Nicolas Winding Refn, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. For the past two years he has worked as producer at Danish Film Institute at New Danish Screen and Public Service Fund. Carsten has been active in the LGBTQ community in Copenhagen for many years, and has arranged several shows and parties in The Gay House of Copenhagen and as well as the legendary Frk. Verden (Miss World contest) in Christiania. He was part of the performance group dUnst and chairman of Warehouse 9 (Queer performance) and has DJ’d at several LGBTQ parties in the city.


Ísold Uggadóttir is a scriptwriter and director from Iceland. Uggadóttir holds a masters degree in film directing from Columbia University in New York, where she was received a Best Female Director award. Her award-winning short films have screened at over 100 festivals, including Telluride, Sundance and New Directors / New Films at MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She has been honored with six nominations for the Icelandic Academy Awards, and has won twice for Best Short Film in addition to receiving multiple festival awards. Screen International named Ísold “one of the rising stars of Icelandic film.”And Breathe Normally marks her feature film debut.

Marja Bål Nango is a film director, scriptwriter and producer. She has studied directing at Nordland College of Art and Film, and studied producing in a special collaboration between International Sámi Film Institute and Sámi University. She is the scriptwriter, director and producer of the short film Hilbes biigá, which has been screened for nearly 30 film festivals and has received awards including the UR Award for Best Film at Uppsala Int Film Festival and the Skårungen award at Tromsø International Film Festival in 2015. Her latest short film The Tongues won the Skårungen award at Tromsø International Film Festival in 2020, as well as Best International Short Film at Palm Springs Shortfest 2020. Marja and co-writer Ingir Bål are now developing their first feature film, The Reindeerherder.