Lukas Moodysson's Lilja 4-Ever was the clear winner at Sweden's 38th Guldbagge awards ceremony held last night in Stockholm - winning in five of its six nominated categories.
The dark, Russian-language drama about human trafficking triumphed with five awards, including best film, best director and best script. The film's cinematographer Ulf Brantas won the award for best photography, while Russian Oksana Akinsjina was awarded best leading actress.
It was not the first time that Lukas Moodysson dominated the Guldbagge awards ceremony. In 1999, his debut feature Show Me Love (Fucking Amal) earned four awards. While insulting the audience by giving them the finger that time, the director showed a more humble attitude on Monday night. "Many thanks for this award and many thanks for letting me speak," he said after having delivered a short, political speech on starvation, poverty and human trafficking, requesting people to offer resistance to the injustice rather than playing golf, drinking Coca-Cola and eating Happy Meals.
Last year's biggest local box office hit, Kjell Sundvall's The Guy In The Grave Next door (Grabben i Graven Bredvid), won only one award - best actor for Michael Nyqvist. The film had five nominations compared to Lilja's six.
The third film in the race for best film, Richard Hobert's Everyone Loves Alice, was left without any award. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Gunnar Fischer, cinematographer of more than 50 movies, including 12 of Ingmar Bergman's films, while Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past was voted best foreign film.
The Ingmar Bergman Prize was handed out by Ase Kleveland, managing director of the Swedish Film Institute, who read a letter from the retiring, absent director. The prize-winner turned out to be Vilgot Sjoman, director of films like My Sister My Love and I Am Curious (Yellow). "Old friend," said Bergman in his letter, "I have thought many times of giving you this award for your films, but then I thought that you might take offence and think that I patted you on your head."