Sidebars include new Turkish pics, gay films
STOCKHOLM — The Gothenburg Film Festival, which unspools Jan. 22, will offer its widest of spectrum of fare in years, including sidebars devoted to new Turkish pics and gay cinema.Swedish docu “The Queen and Me,” helmed by Nahid Persson, will open the event, which closes Feb. 2 with another local docu, Jesper Ganslandt’s “The Film I Don’t Talk About Anymore.” Other films screening will include Ron Howard’s “Frost/Nixon,” Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” all of which will be Swedish preems. “This is the most wide-ranging program we’ve had in years,” fest’s artistic head Marit Kapla told Variety. “In addition to all the films — including shorts, there are 450 films screening — we have 46 seminars touching on everything from censorship to film politics.” Gothenburg is a non-competitive fest, but there are still awards handed out, the most important being the Nordic Film Prize. The films that compete this year for the sum of 100,000 Swedish kroner ($12,800) are Valdis Oskarsdottir’s “Country Wedding” from Iceland, Heidi Maria Faisst’s “The Blessing” from Denmark, Eva Isaksen’s “House of Fools” from Norway, Dome Karukoski’s “Forbidden Fruit” from Finland, Jukka-Pekka Valkeapaa’s “The Visitor,” also from Finland, and three pics from Sweden, Johan Jonason’s “Guidance,” Persson’s “The Queen and Me” and Beata Gardeler’s “In the Shadow of Warmth.” There is also a competition for the Ingmar Bergman Debut Award. Competing pics include Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche New York” and Palestinian pic “Pomegranates and Myrrh,” helmed by Najwa Najjar. In the Nordic Light section, fest will unspool films like Kristian Levring’s “Fear Me Not,” Klaus Haro’s “Letters to Father Jacob” and Aku Louhimies’ “Tears of April.” The section devoted to gay cinema will, among other films, unspool Gus van Sant’s “Milk” and Tim Fywell’s “Affinity.” The section focusing on new Turkish cinema will screen 13 pics. Fest also devotes a sidebar to new animation, with U.S. helmer Bill Plympton’s “Idiots and Angels” and Israeli helmer Ari Folman’s “Waltz with Bashir” topping the list. Both helmers will make the trek to Gothenburg, with Plympton holding a masterclass on his work.