tove screen

Source: LevelK


The Goteborg Film Festival has unveiled its slimmed-down lineup of 70 films from 39 countries (compared to the usual size of about 400 films); the festival’s 44th edition runs online (due to the pandemic) Jan 29-Feb 8. 

Goteborg will open with the Swedish premiere of Zaida Bergroth’s Tove, a biopic of Finnish artist and Moomins creator Tove Jansson; and will close with the European premiere of Frida Kempff’s Knocking, an unnerving psychological drama about a woman hearing strange noises in her new house. Knocking premieres at Sundance and is sold by Bankside.

It’s notable that both films are directed by women; indeed, last year Goteborg achieved gender parity with its programme and this year female directors comprise 47% of the lineup.

The films competing for the €36,000 Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film are Thomas Vinterberg’s Oscar hopeful Another Round; Ronnie Sandahl’s football drama Tigers; Lisa Jespersen’s debut feature Persona Non Grata (a world premiere); Itonje Søimer Guttormsen’s artist drama Gritt; Ninja Thyberg’s Sundance-selected porn industry drama Pleasure; Cannes Label hit Sweat by Magnus von Horn; and Tove.

Ruben Östlund, who lives in Goteborg, will take part in a directors talk on Feb 4 and will be bestowed the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award. Östlund is currently in post-production on his first English-language film, Triangle Of Sadness.

The year’s festival focus is “Social Distances,” which has inspired the festival to send one viewer to a remote lighthouse island Pater Noster to watch films alone as well as its own strand of films, including Ildiko Enyedi’s The Conversations of Donkey and Rabbit; Annemarie Jacir’s Disconnect; Luca Guadagnino’s Fiori, Fiori Fiori!; and Jia Zhangke’s Visit 

The online screenings will be offered to Swedish audiences only; there will also be ‘symbolic’ one-person physical screenings on the island and at the Scandinavium arena and one of the festival’s usual cinemas, Draken.

Goteborg’s industry events TV Drama Vision (Feb 3-4) and Nordic Film Market (Feb 4-7) will also be held online this year.

Goteborg’s feature competitions are:

Nordic Competition

  • Another Round, dir. Thomas Vinterberg
  • Gritt, dir. Itonje Søimer Guttormsen
  • Persona Non Grata, dir. Lisa Jespersen
  • Pleasure, dir. Ninja Thyberg
  • Sweat, dir. Magnus von Horn
  • Tigers, dir. Ronnie Sandahl
  • Tove, dir. Zaida Bergroth

Nordic Documentary Competition

  • A Song Called Hate, dir. Anna Hildur
  • Aalto, dir. Virpi Suutari
  • Be My Voice, dir. Nahid Persson
  • Flee, dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen
  • In The Fog, dir. Maciej Kalymon
  • Radiograph of a Family, dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani

International Competition – winner chosen by festival audience

  • Beginning, dir. Dea Kulumbegashvili
  • Never Gonna Snow Again, dir. Malgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert
  • Night of the Kings, dir. Philippe Lacôte
  • Quo vadis, Aida?, dir Jasmila Žbanić
  • Slalom, dir. Charlène Favier
  • The Macaluso Sisters, dir. Emma Dante

Ingmar Bergman Competition (debut films)

  • Gagarine, dir. Jérémy Trouilh, Fanny Liatard
  • Liborio, dir. Nino Martínez Sosa
  • Limbo, dir. Ben Sharrock
  • Mama, dir. Li Dongmei
  • The Last Bath, dir. David Bonneville
  • The Salt in Our Waters, dir. Rezwan Shahriar Sumit