World premieres include Fanny Ardant’s Stalin’s Couch [pictured], Elisabeth E. Schuch’s The Book Of Birdie, Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen’s Rift, and Manuel Concha’s Blind Alley.

Stalins Couch

Goteborg Film Festival has announced its programme of nearly 450 films from 84 countries to screen during the festival’s 40th anniversary edition (Jan 27-Feb 6).

As reported earlier, the festival will kick off with Dome Karukoski’s Tom Of Finland.

The eight films (all world premieres) competing for the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film – with a prize of $110,500 (SEK 1m) — are as follows:

  • Tom Of Finland by Dome Karukoski (Finland/Sweden/Denmark/Germany/US)
  • Beyond Dreams by Rojda Sekersöz (Sweden)
  • The Ex-wife by Katja Wik (Sweden)
  • Heartstone by Gudmundur A. Gudmundsson (Iceland/Denmark)
  • Sámi Blood by Amanda Kernell (Sweden/Denmark/Norway)
  • Little Wing bySelma Vilhunen (Finland)
  • The Man by Charlotte Sieling (Denmark)
  • Handle With Care by Arild Andresen (Norway)

The Nordic documentary competition includes:

  • Citizen Schein by Maud Nycander, Kersti Grunditz Brennan and Jannike Åhlund (Sweden)
  • The Good Postman by Tonislav Hristov (Finland/Bulgaria)
  • Nowhere To Hide by Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway/Sweden)
  • The War Show by Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard (Denmark/Sweden/Syria)
  • Ouaga Girls by Theresa Traore Dahlberg (Sweden/Burkina Faso)
  • Shapeshifters by Sophie Vuković (Sweden)
  • Death Of A Child by Frida Barkfors and Lasse Barkfors (Denmark/Sweden)
  • Venus by Lea Glob and Mette Carla Albrechtsen (Denmark)

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award will recognize  “a debuting filmmaker who in their film treats an existential theme with a dynamic or experimental approach to the cinematic means of expression.” The competing films are:

  • In Between by Maysaloun Hamoud (Israel/France)
  • The Impossible Picture by Sandra Wollner (Germany/Austria)
  • Bad Influence by Claudia Huaiquimilla (Chile)
  • Birdshot by Mikhail Red (Philippines/Qatar)
  • Knife in the Clear Water by Xuebo Wang (China)
  • Burning Birds by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka/France/Netherlands/Qatar)
  • Manifesto by Julian Rosefeldt (Germany/Australia)
  • Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd (UK)
  • Together with Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the festival will present the first Nordic script prize for TV drama, worth $22,000 (SEK 200,000), during the TV Drama Vision seminar.
  • The nominated series and scriptwriters are: 
  • Bonusfamiljen, Jesper Harrie (Sweden)
  • The Day Will Come (Der kommer en dag), Søren Sveistrup (Denmark)
  • Love and Order (Myrskyn Jälkeen), Kaarina Hazard and Leea Klemola (Finland)
  • Nobel, Mette M. Bølstad and Stephen Uhlander (Norway)
  • Prisoners (Fangar), Ragnar Bragason and Margrét Örnólfsdóttir (Iceland)

Other titles having world premieres in the Goteborg programme include: Stalin’s Couch by Fanny Ardant (France/Portugal); The Book of Birdie by Elisabeth E. Schuch (UK); Rift by Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen (Iceland); and Blind Alley by Manuel Concha (Sweden).

The Gala section will include festival hits such as Moonlight; 20th Century Women and Jackie.

The festival’s VR lounge has selected projects including Oh Deer!, Invasion!, Collisions and Notes On Blindness: Into Darkness.

The Goteborg team has curated special themed programmes about religion (with films including Clash, The Student, Harmonia), and Sami film (Son Of The Sun, Me And My Little Sister, Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest).

The Honorary Dragon awards will be bestowed upon the Dardenne Brothers and Lone Scherfig.

“The Dardenne brothers may be the most influential filmmakers of the last twenty years. Their emblematic fusion of stark social realism, sublime drama and resolute loyalty towards society’s vulnerable members has shaped the style of a whole generation of filmmakers and evoked some of the foremost works of modern film history,” Holmberg added.

He added, “Lone Scherfig is one of her generation’s foremost Nordic filmmakers. Inquisitively and skillfully, she has experimented with diverse aesthetic expressions, but always with the same witticism and lucidity through which she portrays the complexity, the passion and the dark side of human existence.”

In its 40th anniversary year, the festival will offer a jubilee book; a retrospective of festival films; and the simultaneous screening of Tom Of Finland in 40 locations through the region of Västra Götaland.