×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amateurs’ Tops the Goteborg Film Fest

Female talent amply rewarded

GOTEBORG, Sweden — Vibrant festival opener “Amateurs” from Swedish helmer Gabriela Pichler came away a big winner at the 41st Goteborg Film Festival, scoring the generously endowed (approx. $126,000) Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film. The film also nabbed the Swedish Church’s Angelos Award, which includes an additional cash prize.

Pichler’s sophomore feature is set in a small, in decline, Swedish town once known for its textile factory and tannery. Two high school friends use cellphones to capture their version of local life. As in her feature debut “Eat Sleep Die,” Pichler mixes social commentary and poignant humor and makes engaging use of affecting, non-pro performers.

The audience award for best Nordic film went to Norway’s “What Will People Say” from director-writer Iram Haq. It’s a compelling coming-of-ager in which a Norwegian teen clashes with the traditional values of her Pakistani émigré parents.

The festival audience voted the Dragon Award for Best International Film to “Men Don’t Cry” from Bosnian helmer-writer Alen Drljevic. In this volatile drama, set some 20 years after the armed conflict in former Yugoslavia, a diverse group of veterans gathers at a remote mountain hotel for a multi-day therapy session.

Danish helmer Simon Lereng Wilmont took the Nordic documentary kudo and a purse of approx. $12,634 for “The Distant Barking Of Dogs,” a sensitive, observational Denmark-Sweden-Finland co-production. The film shows the on-going Ukraine-Russia conflict through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy, whose village home is just one kilometer from the Donbass frontline.

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award went to the lyrically directed coming-of-ager “Menina” by Cristina Pinheiro, a French helmer of Portuguese heritage. It centers on a 10-year-old, born and raised in the south of France and her relationship with her immigrant parents.

Following her win last year for “Sami Blood,” Swedish DoP Sophia Olsson claimed the Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award for the second time in a row for her work on Milad Alami’s Danish drama “The Charmer.”

The impressively acted social-realist drama “And Breathe Normally” from Iceland’s Isold Uggadóttir received the Fipresci critics’ nod. It follows a struggling Icelandic single mother who forms an unlikely bond with a female asylum seeker from Guinea Bissau.

While the festival prizes’ amply rewarding female talent highlight the Nordic countries successful push for gender parity in filmmaking, so, too, did the selections of the Nordic Film Market and its invaluable works-in-progress sessions. Among the eagerly-anticipated titles pitched to the industry audience were the docu “Bergman – A Year In A Life” from Bergman expert Jane Magnusson, “Anna Odell Untitled,” the sophomore feature of the titular Swedish artist, comedies “Happy People” and “That Time Of Year” from Danish actresses-turned-directors Hella Joof and Paprika Steen respectively, and Anne Sewitsky’s bio-pic of Sonja Henie, the ice skating sensation-turned-Hollywood star.

CREDIT: Ola Kjelbye

More Film

  • South Mountain

    Film Review: 'South Mountain'

    “South Mountain” joins the company of “Gloria Bell” and “Diane” as yet another 2019 drama intimately attuned to the literal and emotional plight of a middle-aged woman. In the case of Hilary Brougher’s incisive feature, the female in question is Lila (Talia Balsam), whose quiet life in upstate New York is destabilized by a continuing [...]

  • The Good Girls

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Good Girls'

    The economy’s a mess but Sofía’s hair is perfect in Alejandra Márquez Abella’s “The Good Girls,” a film that is all surface in a way that is not, for once, a negative. The primped, powdered and shoulder-padded story of the fall from grace of a 1980s Mexican socialite is all about buffed and lustrous surfaces [...]

  • ‘Midsommar’ Traumatizes Early Audiences (Who Totally

    ‘Midsommar’ Traumatizes Early Audiences (But in a Good Way)

    Ari Aster can likely cross off “sophomore slump” from his list of many nightmares. Distributor A24 let loose the follow-up to the director’s widely praised, commercial hit debut “Hereditary” with two buzz screenings, which ran simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Response was almost unanimously positive, if not significantly rattled. “Holy [...]

  • Toy Story 4 Forky

    ‘Toy Story 4’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Disney Pixar claims the top spot in spending with “Toy Story 4.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.53 million through Sunday for 1,073 national ad airings on 38 networks. [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content