Finnish ‘Visitor’ tops Gothenburg fest

Coming-of-age drama wins Nordic Film Award

Finnish helmer Jukka-Pekka Valkeapaa’s atmospheric coming-of-ager “The Visitor” nabbed the Nordic Film Award which includes a cash prize of approx. $12,000 (100,000 Swedish Kroner), as well as the Kodak Nordic Vision Award, worth nearly $6000 in film stock for lenser Tuomo Hutri at the 32nd Gothenburg fest’s closing ceremony.

The talented (and busy) Hutri also shot the fest’s other Finnish attention grabbers: Klaus Haro’s “Letters to Father Jacob” and Dome Karukoski’s “Forbidden Fruit.”

Mexico’s Enrique Rivero scored the Ingmar Bergman Int’l Debut Award for “Parque Via,” about the longtime caretaker of a vacant house whose self-contained existence is suddenly threatened. Pic previously topped the Locarno fest.

“The Blessing” from Denmark’s Heidi Maria Faisst was the evening’s other big winner, taking the Church of Sweden Film Award (worth 50,000 Swedish Kroner) and the FIPRESCI Award for its rigorous study of postpartum depression with a provocative emphasis on behavior rather than psychology.

The prize for best Swedish producer of 2008 was handed to Erik Emmendorff for “Involuntary” and “An Extraordinary Study In Human Degradation.”

Quebec-based helmer Lea Pool’s Sixties-set coming-of-ager “Mommy Is At The Hairdresser’s” captured the Audience Choice Award.

The fest’s concurrent Nordic Film Market attracted some 200 industry delegates and strong buzz for Norway’s WWII blockbuster “Max Manus.”

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