Sweden’s Goteborg Film Festival — Scandinavia’s largest film event — is singing the blues this year.
The 11-day fest, which kicks off Jan. 23, will screen all seven parts of Martin Scorsese’s “The Blues” project, beginning with German director Wim Wenders’ “In the Soul of a Man.”
Wenders, with producers Peter Schwarzkopff and Alex Gibney, will head a seminar on the blues, while the Swedish group Instigator performs in the festival tent outside the Draken Theater.
Announcing the program in Goteborg on Wednesday, fest director Jannike Ahlund also emphasized the focus on Iran, which has been part of the festival for four years. Proceeds from the nine-picture sidebar, including Samira Makhmalbaf’s new movie “At 5 in the Afternoon,” will benefit the victims of the recent earthquake in Bam.
Some 213 features and documentaries will screen during the event. Opening pic is Icelandic director Hilmar Oddsson’s “Cold Light”; Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev’s double winner from Venice, “The Return,” will close the fest.
Organized by the Swedish Film Institute, the annual Swedish Film Awards, nicknamed the Golden Bugs, will take place at the Goteborg Opera House as part of the fest on Jan. 26. Televised by Swedish pubcaster SVT, the Golden Bug (Sweden’s Oscar) celebrates its 40th anniversary in a program opened by institute CEO Ase Kleveland and hosted by TV celebrity Maria Lundquist.
Nordic Event — the market for new Scandinavian cinema — will conclude the fest, with the distribution of the Nordic Film Prize. Eight films have been nominated: “Cold Light,” Anders Ostergaard’s “Tintin and Me,” Hans Fabian Wullenweber’s “Twin,” J.P. Siili’s “Young Gods,” Gunnar Hall Jensen’s “Gunnar Goes Comfortable,” Teresa Fabik’s “The Ketchup Effect,” Thomas Alfredson’s “Four Shades of Brown” and Carl Johan De Geer’s “Hidden Behind the Camera — Part 2.”