×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘In Your Arms,’ ‘Look of Silence’ Top Goteborg Festival

‘The Lesson’ scores Ingmar Bergman Intl. Debut Award

Serious treatments of weighty issues took the main awards at this year’s Goteborg Film Festival, running Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, the first under the leadership of new artistic director Jonas Holmberg.  Euthanasia pic “In Your Arms,” from Danish debutant Samanou Acheche Sahlstroma (pictured), came away the big winner, nabbing both the generously endowed – approx. $120,000- Best Nordic Film kudo and the Fipresci prize.

Denmark’s Joshua Oppenheimer scored the best Nordic docu nod with “The Look of Silence” (pictured), the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated “The Act of Killing,” which continues recounting the genocide of suspected communists in Indonesia in the 1960s. The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award went to “The Lesson,” a spare, stripped- to-essentials drama about a provincial Bulgarian schoolteacher driven to extremes by debt, from helmer-writer Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov.

Even the audience choice kudos honored narratives that were bleaker in tone. Estonian helmer Martti Helde’s “In The Crosswind,” an extraordinary requiem for the inhabitants of the Baltic countries who, in the summer of 1941, were deported to Siberia or killed on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, captured the best feature vote, while Swedish helmer Sanna Lenken’s dysfunctional family drama “My Skinny Sister,” next slated for Berlin’s Generation program, took best Nordic film.

The Swedish Church’s Angelos Award went to Swedish docu “Every Face Has A Name,” directed by Magnus Gertten. The pic uses archival footage of refugees freed from German concentration camps arriving in Malmo in 1945 as a starting point for the now-aged survivors to discuss their wartime experiences.

Other kudos included the Sven Nykvist Cinematography award to DoP Pietari Peltola for the Finnish youth drama “They Have Escaped,” an honorary Nordic Dragon for Norwegian thesp-turned-helmer Liv Ullmann and The City of Goteborg Award to helmer Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure.” John Skoog nabbed the jury prize for best Swedish short for “Reduit (Redoubt),” while the public gave the same kudo to Amanda Kernell for “Northern Great Mountain.” Finally, the Mai Zetterling Scholarship went to Swedish helmer Mans Mansson (“Stranded In Canton.”)

Among notable trends this year were the record number of femme helmers and producers featured in both the regular fest program and at the Nordic Film Market, the principal market place for Nordic feature films and TV drama and the meeting place and networking platform for the Scandinavian and international film industry attending the Goteborg fest, and in the Market’s works-in-progress and talent lab sections.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content