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Goteborg’s Dragon Award goes to Before Snowfall

Other winners include Dog Flesh, Searching for Sugar Man, Northwest, A Hijacking, Wadjda, La Ravadeuse and Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart.

Before Snowfall (Før snøen faller), the debut feature of Kurdish-Norwegian director Hisham Zaman, has won the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film at Sweden’s 36th Göteborg International Film Festival.

The award includes a cheque for SEK 1 million ($160,000), one of the biggest prizes in the film world.

“A film with an original and honest vision that goes beyond clichés,” said the international jury presided over by Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf.

The Stein B Kvae-Finn Gjerdrum production for Paradox follows Siyar’s search for his elder sister, who has fled her wedding in their Iraqui-Kurdistan village. In Istanbul he meets a young girl, and they travel together through Greece, Germany and Norway.

Scanbox will release domestically on Feb 7.

Educated at the Norwegian National Film School in Lillehammer, Zaman has made numerous shorts, including Bawke (2005), which was awarded an Amanda – Norway’s national film prize – and toured 94 festivals, returning with 28 accolades.

The festival scored another record year with 132,447 admissions (4,350 up on 2012), 33,581 visitors, 400 film professionals (and another 400 at the Nordic Film Market), and 200 press.

Bergman award

At the festival’s closing gala in Göteborg’s Stora Teatern on Satuday [Feb 2], Chilean director Fernando Guzzoni’s Carne de perro (Dog Flesh) collected the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award.

The prize includes a week-long stay at Bergman Week in June, a DVD boxset comprising 22 Bergman films and an engraved stone from his beach on Fårö.

Other prizes

The newly-instigated Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary went to Finnish director Mika Ronkainen’s Laulu koti-ikävästä (Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart), while Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul will have his next feature developed for free after his Searching for Sugar Man won the Lorens Award (worth app $77,000).

The international critics’ FIPRESCI prize was given to Danish director Michael Noer’s Nordvest (Northwest), and the international web-based short film prize, Dragon Award New Talent, went to French director Simon Filliot’s La Ravadeuse.

The Audience Awards ended with Saudi Arabian director Haiffa al-Mansour’s Wadjda for Best Feature and Danish director Tobias Lindholm’s Kapringen (A Hijacking) for Best Nordic Feature.

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