A-ha Film ‘True North’ Gets Worldwide Theatrical Release, New Trailer

The upcoming a-ha film True North is set for release in select cinemas worldwide on Sept. 15. The film, directed by the band’s longtime photographer and collaborator Stian Andersen, will accompany a-ha’s forthcoming 11th album, True North, out Oct. 21, and documents the band’s recording of the album in Bodø, Norway, approximately 90 km (55 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, backed by a full orchestra.

Videos by American Songwriter

Distributed by Sony Music Entertainment and Trafalgar Releasing, the film also features an added behind-the-scenes short, which will be exclusive to cinema screenings.

Originally set to record a new album at the end of 2021, True North continued expanding into a larger production when the band decided to film their studio session with the addition of the Arctic Philharmonic, conducted by Anders Eljas.

“The concept was to capture as much as we could in a live performance and we gave ourselves two weeks to get it all on tape,” said Waaktaar-Savoy in a recent interview with American Songwriter of the natural progression of the album and film. “We had a 35-piece orchestra to fill out the sound and that became a big part of the production as many of the hooks and lines we’d usually play with a synth or a guitar would now be placed with the orchestra.”

a-ha (l to r) Magne Furulohmen, Morten Harket, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (Photo: Stian Andersen)

Waaktaar-Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen each wrote six songs for the album. “’True North’ is a letter from a-ha, from the Arctic Circle,” Furuholmen said previously of the project, “a poem from the far north of Norway.”

True North is a greater homage to the band’s Norwegian roots, lyrically linked to stories of connectedness, to nature and others. Visually complemented by footage of the natural landscape within the region along with vignettes of actors presenting different elements of life in the Northern region, True North is unraveling as one of the most multi-dimensional and stunning pieces of art a-ha has ever produced.

“It’s been an honorable assignment to direct the ‘True North’ movie,” said director Andersen in a statement. “It’s also been a great pleasure to write and create the narrative to match a-ha’s beautiful songs in this film.”

Currently wrapping up their worldwide tour, which began in March 2022 to initially commemorate the 35th anniversary of the band’s 1985 debut Hunting High and Low, the band has also performed two additional True North tracks “Forest For The Trees” and “You Have What It Takes” throughout the year.

The first official single off the album, “I’m In,” features a video pulled from a portion of the fuller True North film. Breathe in / Just breathe / There are times / Good times after these sings Morten Harket through the moving track, exploring the commitment to support one another during troubling times.

“Real commitment is a leap of faith,” said Furulohmen, who wrote the song. “Everyone knows how difficult it can be to offer commitment and support unconditionally, but this is what it takes to make anything worthwhile happen—love, friendship, change, self-improvement, careers, a better world.”

Photo: Stian Andersen

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