June 10, 2023


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Norwegian documentary about Liv Ullmann to Cannes

Long Collaboration: Liv Ullmann and director Dheeraj Akulkar have worked together for many years.

The Norwegian documentary “Liv Ullmann – Road Less Traveled” about the life of actress and director Liv Ullmann, will be shown during the prestigious film festival in Cannes.


Friday announced the festival the program For the Cannes Classics section, which consists of old films, often newly restored, as well as new films about famous cinematic personalities.

Among the ten films selected is the Norwegian documentary “Liv Ullmann – A Road Less Traveled”, directed by Dheeraj Akulkar.

Filming with Ullmann began in 2021, and it followed the movie star to Los Angeles, where she received an honorary Oscar in 2022. In addition, the film’s team shot in New York, London, and Oslo, among other places.

Director Dheeraj Akulkar told VG that the team behind the film, which will be broadcast as a series in three episodes on Viaplay, finished shooting in February this year.

“It has been immortalized on screen countless times, so it felt almost criminal not to show this movie in the cinema,” says Akulkar over the phone from Germany.

– That is why I am very happy that the film will be transferred to Cannes, because there you can experience it with the audience in the cinema. On TV and streaming platforms like Viaplay, it can now be experienced on a larger scale and at home. He adds that I am very happy that we were able to explore these two possibilities.

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Akulkar and Ullman will be present during the premiere.

A movie about people

The director himself came to Norway for the first time in 2010, at that time for the screening of the documentary “Liv & Ingmar”, which is about Liv Ullmann’s relationship and collaboration with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Since then, Akolkar and Ullman have collaborated on two more films, “Let the Scream Be Heard” from 2013, and “Wars Don’t End” from 2018. Over time, the two forged a lifelong friendship.

– I learned to know Liv as a person, not just as the globally respected artist Liv Ullman. By making this movie, I thought I was going to make a movie that could be about everyone. Not just about life, but together we can try to get to something deeper:

– A film about life, what is the meaning of love and dream. Being open and curious, daring to embrace uncertainty, says Akulkar, and says he sees Ullmann as a teacher.

What are we going to see in this movie that we don’t already know?

– I will not be vague, but the first reaction of all the Norwegians who saw the film in the making was: “Oh my God, we didn’t know this about Liv.” Life is not just a profession, it also has some important core values ​​that have been shaped by long experience. The director says that people want to meet another Liv.

Back to Cannes: Liv Ullmann previously served on the Cannes jury twice. Once as a member in 1978, then as president in 2001. Now a film about her life will be shown at the festival. Image from “Liv Ullmann – A Road Less Traveled”.

– a star of global dimensions

The film was produced by Kar Herzog and Hugh Christensen at TeddyTV.

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Herzog refers to Kahn’s news as a pleasant surprise.

– It’s a little surprise and joy. It’s something we never really dreamed of when we first started working on the movie. However, as the project’s scope grew, we gained an understanding of just how huge Liv Ullman’s star actually was. We’ve seen her as a Norwegian actress we’ve come to respect, but she’s also an international star of great proportions, the producer tells VG.

The 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival takes place this year from May 16-27.

Liv Ullmann (84) made her breakthrough in the 1957 comedy “Fjols til fjells” and has since had central roles in a number of Norwegian and international films. She was awarded the Swedish equivalent of the Amanda Award, Guldbagge in 1969, and in 1973 she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Leading Woman in The Immigrants.

Over the years, Ullmann has been active in theatre, and has also written several books.