With Venice underway and TIFF afoot, festival season is in full swing, which means the early awards contenders are already coming out of the gate. One that may have flown under your radar until now is Joachim Trier‘s (Louder than Bombs) paranormal drama, Thelma. Today, The Orchard has debuted the first trailer for the film along with the announcement that Thelma has been chosen as Norway’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. This is Trier’s second time representing Norway in the Oscar Race.
A paranormal thriller of sexual and emotional awakening, the film follows a college freshman who leaves behind her sheltered small town lifestyle with her religious family and heads to university in Oslo. There, she begins experiencing violent seizures and finds herself captivated by a beautiful young woman. As her feelings intensify, so do the seizures, which she soon realizes are connected to strange paranormal abilities she never knew she had. Soon Thelma realizes she must head back to her rural home and discover the truth about her powers and her past.
Thelma stars Eili Harboe, Okay Kaya, Henrik Rafaelsen, and Ellen Dorrit Petersen. The film will debut at TIFF and screen at Fantastic Fest and New York Film Festival before landing in theaters on November 10. Watch the first trailer below.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.