Iceland invades Goteborg

Viking drama 'Beowulf' to open premier Scandi event

Sturla Gunnarsson’s Viking drama “Beowulf & Grendel,” starring Gerard Butler, will open the Goteborg Film Festival on Jan. 27, part of an unusually strong presence by Icelandic directors at the premier showcase for Scandi cinema.

Other Icelandic helmers competing for the $19,000 Nordic Film Award are Baltasar Kormakur with “A Little Trip to Heaven.” The English-language noir thriller, starring Forest Whitaker and Julia Stiles, is 10 minutes shorter than the version screened at the Toronto Film Festival last fall.

Also part of the Icelandic invasion force is Dagur Kari, who won the 2004 Nordic Film Award with “Noi the Albino.” Kari returns with his Danish-language comedy/drama “Dark Horse,” which screened at Cannes in Un Certain Regard.

Swedish playwright and helmer Suzanne Osten’s drama “Welcome to Verona,” Danish drama “We Shall Overcome” by Niels Arden Oplev and Swedish hip-hop star Amir Chamdin’s first feature, “Om Gud Vill,” also are among competish pics.

Norway is represented by “Izzat,” a gangster movie by first-timer Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, and Finland by Aleksi Makela’s “Matti — Hell Is for Heroes,” about Olympic Gold Medal-winning ski jumper Matti Nykanen.

Event runs Jan. 27-Feb. 6.

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