Debut pic takes Dragon Award at fest

London– A debut about the friendship – and rivalry – of two teenage girls, “She Monkeys” took the top $95,000 Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film at the closing Saturday night (Feb 5) of the 34th edition of Sweden’s Gothenburg International Film Festival.

The jury, headed by Bosnia’s Danis Tanovic, described Swedish director Lisa Aschan’s film as one that they “loved unconditionally” by a “new, very special talent.” The film also picked up a FIPRESCI critics award.

Derek Cianfrance’s painful story of a marriage falling apart, “Blue Valentine” won the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award.

In other awards, best Swedish documentary went to “I was Worth 50 Sheep” by Nima Sarvestani, about the oppression of women in Afghanistan; an audience choice award for best Nordic film to “I Miss You” by Ander Gronros and for best feature to feature length documentary “Tears of Gaza” by VIbeke Lokkeberg.

The Dragon award for new talent for international web-based short film went to Spain’s Roberto Perez Toldedo for “Los Gritones” (The Screamers).

Producers Mimmi Spang and Rebecka LaFrenz won the Lorens Award for feature “Sebbe”, which recently took best film at Sweden’s national Golden Bug awards. The prize consists of free development for their next feature worth around $47,000.

The festival’s opening film “King of Devil’s Island” by Norway’s Marius Holst won free film stock worth nearly $5,000 in the Kodak Nordic Vision Award; a Church of Sweden award went to documentary “Mother’s Comeback” by Asa Ekman.

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