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Hisham Zaman’s ‘Letter To The King’ Tops Goteborg

'A Street in Palermo,' 'Of Horses And Men' also among winners

For the second year in a row, Norwegian helmer Hisham Zaman has won the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film at Goteborg Film Festival, worth 1 million Swedish krona($180,000). The Film Farms-sold “Letter to the King” is his sophomore pic, a drama with both warmth and humor that portrays five people on a day trip from a refugee camp to Oslo.

The jury, among them Chad director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and Swedish helmer Anna Odell, gave the prize to “a film that is compassionate and honest in its presentation of human existence.”

Zaman’s feature debut “Before Snowfall” won the prize last year.

Among the seven competitors this year were Ester Martin Bergmark’s “Something Must Break”, which on Friday won the Tiger Award at Rotterdam Film Festival. The pic opened the festival at Goteborg last week, where Bergmark received the Mai Zetterling scholarship.

Venice competition player “A Street in Palermo” by Italian Emma Dante, nabbed the Ingmar Bergman Debutant Award. The first Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award was handed out to Fredrik Wenzel for his outstanding work on Henrik Hellstrom’s  “The Quiet Roar,” world preemed at Rotterdam last week. Wenzel is also the D.P. for Ruben Ostlund’s next film “Tourist,” presented as a work in progress at Goteborg.

The audience award for Best Nordic Film went to Iceland’s Oscar nominee “Of Horses And Men,” by Benedikt Erlingsson. The pic also nabbed the Fipresci prize in the same category.

For Best Feature Film the audience picked Mona Friis Bertheussen’s documentary “Twin Sisters”; Anna Eborn’s Venice-bowing “Pine Ridge” received the award for Best Nordic Documentary.

The Lorens Award for Best Producer went to Lars Jonsson at Memfis for Lukas Moodysson’s international festival hit “We Are The Best.” The prize includes 500,000 SEK in free development for Jonsson’s next project.

At the Goteborg ceremony, held on Saturday night, Icelandic helmer Baltasar Kormákur received fest’s Honorary Nordic Dragon Award. Actor Ralph Fiennes pickded upthe Honorary Dragon Award at the opening last week.

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