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Gothenburg fest’s down Mexico way

Gael Garcia Bernal will introduce 'Déficit'

STOCKHOLM — Mexico’s new generation of helmers will be in the spotlight at the 31st Gothenburg Film Festival, which kicks off Jan 25.

Gael Garcia Bernal, who is in Sweden shooting Lukas Moodysson’s “Mammoth,” will be on hand to introduce his first effort as a helmer, “Déficit.”

Altogether, 12 new films by young Mexican helmers will be screened.

Eight compete in the Nordic Competition. They are Jens Jonsson’s dark comedy “King of Ping Pong” (which has its world premiere at Sundance); Tomas Alfredson’s vampire movie “Let Me In”; Natasha Arty’s girl-learns-kung-fu comedy “Fighter”; Petter Naess’ comedy “Gone With the Woman” (Norway’s entry in Oscar’s foreign-language category); Gudny Halldorsdottir’s look at 1968, “The Quiet Storm”; Patrik Eriksson’s mobile phone film “A Remarkable Study in Human Degredation”; Omar Shargawi’s revenge story “Go With Peace Jamil”; and Ole Bornedal’s thriller “Just Another Love Story.”

Among the Swedish world premieres are Miko Lazic’s thriller “Iskariot,” Mats Arehn’s chamber piece “Persona Non Grata” and the one-take drama “Preludium” by Johan Melin.

Last year, the festival introduced the Ingmar Bergman Intl. Debut Award, won by Andrea Arnold for “Red Road.”

This year there are five contestants. Ilmar Raag from Estonia competes with “The Class,” a film about youth violence; Spaniard Jaime Rosales’ “Solitary Fragments,” described as a hyper realistic drama: Gaul’s Céline Sciamma competes with “Water Lilies,” a comedy; German helmer Ann-Kristin Reyels shows her Christmas dinner story “Hounds”; and Stéphane LaFleur from Canada competes with “Continental, a Film Without Guns,” a comedy about loneliness.

The jury consists of helmers Margarethe von Trotta, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, István Szabó and Kim Rossi Stuart.

Other guests at the fest are helmers Hou Hsiao-hsien, Jiri Menzel, Ulrich Seidl, Julie Taymor, Zoe Cassavetes, Jamie Babbitt and Michael Kang.