Now well into its third decade, Sweden’s Gothenburg Film Festival is the largest annual unspooling in northern Europe. Located on Sweden’s west coast, the historic seaport town makes a terrific host, with fest screenings, dozens of seminars and accommodations all in close proximity.
Supported by the Swedish Film Institute and designated as Sweden’s official national film fest, the February event describes its primary aim as “presenting valuable films to Scandinavian distributors in the hope that the films will find a foothold in the Scandinavian countries.”
Well-organized and ambitious beyond its mandate of rolling out noteworthy films, the fest operates in marked contrast to the cutthroat nature of many festivals when it comes to the hunt for new features and actually works closely with several international partners.
For example, the Rotterdam Intl. Film Festival takes place at the same time as Gothenburg and each year the two festivals screen several of the same films. There also is close cooperation between Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund and the Gothenburg fest’s film fund.
Gothenburg also maintains an exchange program with the Cape Town Film Festival in South Africa and operates CineBosnia, a fund for supporting the film community in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This fund is financing the construction of a new cinema in Lipnica and is providing technical support to the Sarajevo Film Festival. CineBosnia also helped finance the film “Heroes,” by Francois Lunel, which was shot entirely on location in Sarajevo. The film had its world preem at this year’s Gothenburg Fest.