The 38th edition of the Goteborg Film Festival is set to bow Jan. 23 with Michael Noer’s “Key House Mirror,” one of the eight Nordic movies competing for a Dragon Award.
“Key House Mirror” stars Danish vet thesps Ghita Nørby and Sven Wollter as an elderly couple who move into a retirement home. While there, Lily (Norby) meets another man and unexpectedly falls in love with him. Noer, one of Denmark’s best-known directors, previously helmed “R” and “Northwest.”
Other notably competition titles include “Paris of the North,” a character-driven dramedy by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson; “They Have Escaped,” a multilayered road movie by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää; as well as two feature debuts, Ronnie Sandahl’s drama “Svenskjavel,” and Yngvild Svee Flikke’s coming-of-age dramedy “Women in Oversized Men’s Shirt.”
Flikke’s film, based on Gunnhild Øyehaug’s celebrated feminist novel “Wait, Blink,” centers around three rebellious young women.
“Svenskjavel” follows a lost yet strong-willed girl who lands a temporary job as a nanny for former tennis pro Steffen and finds herself in the mist of a disintegrating family.
“They Have Escaped” turns on a two troubled young people, a taciturn stutterer and a defiant punk rocker who embark on a trip to the Finnish woods and feel free at last.
“Paris of the North” centers around a man who flees a failed marriage and a life of debauchery in Reykjavik to move to a small fishing village in Iceland. It’s Gunnar Sigurdsson’s second film. Her debut “Either Way” played at Goteborg.
Last year’s nod went to Hisham Zaman’s “Letter to the King.”
Most of the films vying for a Dragon Award were presented at various stages at Goteborg’s Nordic Film Market.
The jury of the Nordic films’ competition lineup is comprised of helmers Pernille Fischer Christensen, Pirjo Honkasalo, Anja Breien, Benedikt Erlingsson and thesp Maryam Moghaddam.
The eight Dragon Award contenders are also competing for the Sven Nykvist cinematography nod, the international film critics’ Fipresci award and the Scandinavian Locations kudo.
Meanwhile, Goteborg film festival will play eight films that are directorial debuts or sophomore pics as part of its Ingmar Bergman International Debut section. Japanese director Naomi Kawase will vote for the best debut.
Kawase is one of the many Japanese film figures set to attend Goteborg as the festival will pay tribute to Japanese cinema. Reps from Studio Ghibli and Sion Sono plus Kiki Sugino are also expected to attend.
As always, the Gala section will showcase a large panel of buzzed-about international movies. The Gala lineup boasts Michael R Roskam’s “The Drop,” starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace,
The festival’s Gala section includes Daniel Barnz’s “Cake,” with Jennifer Aniston; Michael R. Roskam’s “The Drop,” starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace; Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything”; Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” with Juliette Binoche; and Bille August’s “Silent Heart.”
Liv Ullmann will follow in the footsteps of Baltasar Kormakur and receive the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award.
The lineup for the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film:
“Key House Mirror,” Michael Noer
“My Skinny Sister,” Sanna Lenken
“In Your Arms,” Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm
“Paris of the North,” Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
“They Have Escaped,” Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
“Homesick,” Anne Sewitsky
“Underdog,” Ronnie Sandahl
“Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts,” Yngvild sve Flikke