Valley of Shadows

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Norway | 2017 | 91 minutes | Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen

A young boy embarks on a solitary odyssey through a dark and menacing forest in search of the mysterious creatures that have been eating his family's sheep in this nightmarish, gray-hued Scandinavian fairytale.

A young boy takes a solitary odyssey through the dark woods in this Gothic Scandinavian fairy tale. The first feature film of director Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen, Valley of Shadows offers a mesmerizing visual landscape with a haunting score to match. Aslak (Adam Ekeli) lives with his mother, Astrid (Katherine Fagerland), in a rural village on the edge of a forested wilderness. When local sheep begin to be mysteriously slaughtered, Aslak's friend, Lasse (Lennard Salamon) tells him that werewolves are to blame. Aslak's imagination begins to grow, and, after his dog goes missing, he is led to embark on a solitary journey to seek him in the forest. Meanwhile, Aslak's brother is drug-addicted and lost. The audience simultaneously sees the world through Aslak's fantastical gaze while also wondering if the missing brother may be behind the butchered sheep. The cinematography is beautifully done by Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen, the director's brother, in 35mm—while shades of grey dance across a menacing river, Aslak's lone canoe floats deeper into the unknown woods—and the accompanying score by Zbigniew Preisner intensifies the moodiness of the landscape. Valley of Shadows evokes nostalgia for the labyrinthine worlds we create as children. Teetering on the precipice between dream and nightmare, this is a film to be experienced.

Director Biography
Passionate about crafting simplistic stories accompanied by artful cinematography to relay the common human experience, Jonas Matow Gulbrandsen is a Norwegian director that released his debut short film Darek in 2009. Though educated in television journalism at the Polish National Film School, he has created a body of acclaimed short films and continues to study in the art of directing.

Sponsored by KING 5, Puget Systems

  • Original Language Title: Skyggenes dal
  • Director: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen
  • Principal Cast: Adam Ekeli, Katherine Fagerland, John Olav Nilsen, Jone Hope Larsen, Jorgen Langhelle, Lennard Salamon
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Norway
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Producer: Tom Kjeseth, Alan R Milligan
  • Screenplay: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen, Clement Tuffreau
  • Cinematographers: Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen
  • Editors: Mariusz Kus
  • Music: Zbigniew Preisner
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Celluloid Dreams