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:
- 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