Original title: Straff
Directed by: Øystein Mamen
Produced by: Ingvil Giske (Medieoperatørene, Norway)
Country of production: Norway
Expected release: January, 2023
Production stage: Production
Budget: €631,920 (84% in place)
1st feature: Yes
Looking for: Festivals, sales agents / distributors, buyers.
In Halden prison in Norway 250 men are incarcerated, many with long sentences at the upper end of the penalty scale: Murder, major drug cases, violence. Once a year, a few of them participate in something unique: Living as monks for 3 weeks, in a ward of the prison made into a monastery. What happens when the men voluntarily submit themselves to stricter rules than the prison imposes on them?
Director and screenwriter Øystein Mamen is best known as an award-winning cinematographer. He was the DOP of Dag Johan Haugerud’s Beware of Children that premiered at Venice Film Festival 2019, and was the winner of both the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film and the Audience Dragon Award Best Nordic Film at Gothenburg film Festival 2020. He has also filmed Kim Hiorthøi’s The Rules of Everything and several of Margreth Olin’s documentaries, such as The Self Portrait. Mamen has also worked as a cinematographer on four of Ole Gievær’s films, including the award-winning Out of Nature. Punishment will be Mamen’s directorial debut, and he has also shot the film.
Ingvil Giske has worked in documentaries for more than 20 years. Among her latest releases are Natasa Urban’s The Eclipse (DOX:AWARD 2022) two kids docs released in 2021 Line Hatland’s Kids Cup (IDFA, Giffoni, Zlin, New York Children’s film festival etc) and Solveig Melkeraaen’s The School by the Sea (Hot Docs, Nordic Panorama, Cleveland Int Film Festival etc). She also produced Benjamin Ree’s The Painter and the Thief from 2020 that received a special jury award for creative storytelling at Sundance, was on the shortlist for an Oscar and won more than 30 film awards. Ingvil has also produced Paul S. Refsdal’s Dugma – the Button (2016), that was awarded Best Mid-length Documentary at HotDocs 2016, and Silje Evensmo Jacobsen’s Faith Can Move Mountains (2021) that won the Prix Europa Iris Award 2021.