GOTEBORG, Sweden — Friday’s opening ceremony of Sweden’s 41st Göteborg Film Festival belonged to local girl made good Alicia Vikander.
“I haven’t had the possibility to come home as much as I have wanted in the last few years; it means a lot to be on this stage tonight , and I have therefore made the decision to continue this speech in Swedish,” said Swedish international actress Alicia Vikander on Friday at Göteborg’s Draken cinema, where she received the Nordic Dragon Award at the opening ceremony of the festival.
Born and raised in Göteborg, Vikander went on to say that she had made “three-and-a-half films” with strong women, two directors, plus writers, producers and women actresses in the leading roles,
“It made me realize that strong women are alone, as women, on the big screen. The roles we play are against strong men. I’ve played four leading roles in a row, and didn’t have a single scene with another woman.”
Vikander’s reaction? “Instead of getting frustrated, I told myself to focus – that I can be part of a change. Not alone, but together with others, as in MeToo, TimesUp, Sweden’s Tystnadtagning ShoutOut. It is not all about men versus women, it is also about us, women to women. We have been separated and made to compete.”
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“But we have suddenly realised there is not room for only ONE girl; we are sisters, not competitors, and with sisterhood comes play and creativity. During the last few months, I have made more friends in the business than I have managed to rattle together from all the films I have worked on before,” Vikander concluded.
The prize-winner, who praised Göteborg as the festival “where it all started for me – where I early discovered some of my favorite directors: Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, Michael Haneke and Andrea Arnold” – will also attend the Nordic premiere of her film “Euphoria,” by Swedish director Lisa Lengseth, which marks Vikander’s first venture as a producer.
At a ceremony hosted by Swedish actress Emma Molin, the festival’s artistic director Jonas Holmberg – who has selected films from 79 countries – presented this year’s focus of nationalism. “We are against this unpleasant and extreme movement of radicalism which we also see in certain countries in exchange of cultural freedom.”
Sweden’s minister for culture and democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke made the official festival opening, where Swedish producer and festival board member Bengt Toll gave the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s €20,000 ($24,000) Mai Zetterling Grant to Swedish animation director Jonas Odell.