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Berlinale-Selected John Skoog Tops Goteborg’s Startsladden with ‘Reduit (Redoubt)’

GOTEBORG — John Skoog’s “Reduit (Redoubt)” has won the 12th Goteborg Festival’s Startsladden, one of the world’s largest short film prizes, carrying a nearly Sk500,000 ($64,000) prize in cash, film equipment and services.

A hauntingly beautiful film about a man who once erected a fortress in the countryside, “Reduit” (Redoubt)” was one of eight titles that played at Goteborg’s Cinema Draken. Skoog, who trained at school in Franfurt, dubbed the win “a very brave jury choice.”

Produced by Erik Hemmendorff at Plattform, and made thanks to a scholarship of Stockholm Film Festival, Skoog’s previous short, “Shadowland,” has also been selected for February’s Berlin Festival. Shot in the vicinity of Los Angeles, “Shadowland” is a poetic take on locations that in various ways have had a prominence in early Hollywood films.

The Startsladden Audience Award went to Amanda Kernell’s painful – but hopeful – Laplander story “Northern Great Mountain”, which also competes at Sundance.

A prestigious prize, Startsladden attracts some of the most visionary of Scandinavian short filmmakers, and is often an early bellwether to future breakout feature filmmakers.

In 2011 the prize was picked up by Johannes Nyholm’s “Las Palmas,” which played Sundance and Cannes’ and is now currently working on his first feature, “The Giant.” Babak Najafi (“Easy Money 2”) and Johan Jonasson, whose “Conquering China” is now screening at Rotterdam, also count among recent winners. The jury this year consisted of director Fia-Stina Sandlund, actor Eric Ericson, producer Alberto Herskovits and animator Adam Marko-Nord. National pubcaster Swedish Television, the Swedish Film Institute, and regional film fund Film i Vast counted among the prize’s backers.

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