Goteborg Film Festival, the biggest showcase of local and international movies in the Nordics, kicks off its 43rd edition with Maria Bäck’s “Psychosis in Stockholm” and will close with actor-turned-director Mårten Klingberg’s “My Father Mary Anne.”
Both timely Swedish dramas dealing with trauma post-sexual abuse, and the experience of a transgender priest, respectively, “Psychosis in Stockholm” and “My Father Mary Anne” will have their world premiere at Goteborg.
Stellan Skarsgård, who just won a Golden Globe for his performance in the hit HBO series “Tchernobyl,” will receive the prestigious Nordic Honorary Dragon Award and will be honored with a retrospective of some of the greatest films of his career. As part of the tribute, the estival will also host the Nordic premiere of “The Painted Bird” which was recently shortlisted for the international feature film category at the Oscars. During the festival, Skarsgård will also having a masterclass.
In addition to opening the festival, “Psychosis in Stockholm” will play as part of the Nordic competition along with Henrik Schyffert’s “Spring Uje Spring,” Dag Johan Haugerud’s “Beware of Children,” Malou Reymann’s “A Perfectly Normal Family,” Jenni Toivoniemi’s “Games People Play,” Amanda Kernell’s “Charter,” Grímur Hákonarson’s “The County” and Jorunn Myklebust Syversen’s “Disco.”
The French director Mia Hansen-Løve presides the jury of the Nordic competition. Yonfan, the Hong Kong-based director, Marianne Slot, the well-respected Danish-French producer, and Sofia Norlin, the Swedish director, will sit on the jury.
Spearheaded by the artistic director Jonas Holmberg, the festival’s lineup will be made up of 50% of films directed by women.
Along with the several competition lineups, Goteborg will also host a dedicated section of movies showcasing different shades of feminism and issues faced by women around the world, said Holmberg. Among these films are Anna Odell’s anticipated “The Examination,” a daring film weaving documentary and fiction in which men undergo a visit to the gynaecologist, and “Force of Habit,” a collective film by seven directors (Elli Toivoniemi, Jenni Toivoniemi, Alli Haapasalo, Anna Paavilainen, Kirsikka Saari, Miia Tervo and Reetta Aalto) following the lives of different women throughout one day. Holmberg described “Force of Habit” was a compelling #metoo-themed film.
“Force of Habit” will have its international premiere at Goteborg, while “The Examination” will have its world premiere at the festival, along with Tamara Dawit’s “Finding Sally,” a documentary telling the true story of a 23-year-old woman from an upper class family who became a communist rebel with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party.
Some of the high-profile titles selected for the focus on feminism include Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Anastasia Mikova’s “Woman,” Mounia Meddour’s “Papicha” and Haifaa al-Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate.”
Holmberg, who has a taste for timely films with social and/or political themes, said it was important to him to select “movies that are relevant, artistically and politically, to give depth to lineup.”
The international competition boasts Jenna Bass’s “Flatland,” Yonfan’s “No. 7 Cherry Lane,” Danielle Lessovitz’s “Port Authority,” Alice Winocour’s “Proxima,” Sarah Gavron’s “Rocks,” Pietro Marcello’s “Martin Eden,” Anthony Chen’s “Wet Season” and Peter Mackie Burns’s “Rialto.”
Louise Archambault’s “And the Birds Rained Down,” Jan-Ole Gerster’s “Lara,” Katrin Gebbe’s “Pelican Blood,” Delphine Lehericey’s “Beyond the Horizon” and Thomas Clay’s “Fanny Lye Deliver’d,” Makoto Tezuka’s “Tezuka’s Barbara,” Ginevra Elkann’s “If Only,” Ágnes Kocsis’s “Eden” and Fernando Frias’s “I Am No Longer Here” complete the international competition roster.
As previously announced, this year’s festival will draw the spotlight on Brazilian cinema with 15 films from Brazil, notably “Bacurau” and “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao,” two highly political film reflecting on the country’s contemporary turmoils which have intensified since the election of Jair Bolsonaro, explained Holmberg. The other Brazilian pics slated for the focus include “Greta,” “Your Turn,” “Sick, Sick, Sick,” “The Fever,” “Three Summers,” “Seven Years in May,” “Desterro,” “Pacified,” “Burning Night,” “Let it Burn,” “Queen of Lapa,” “Sun Inside” and “Battle.”
“Brazilian cinema has been flourishing for several years and is especially strong this year, and that’s a great accomplishment considering the political situation which is very difficult for filmmakers,” said Holmberg. “The whole film industry is impacted because of the current government’s policy on culture, and filmmakers are playing a big part in the resistance movement,” added Holmberg.
A flurry of local and international directors and actors are expected to attend, including Lone Scherfig (“The Kindness of Strangers”), Karim Aïniouz (“The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao”), Juliano Dornelles (“Bacurau”), Winocour (“Proxima”), Billie Piper (“Rare Beasts”), Bass (“Flatland”) and Grebbe (“Pelican Blood”), Josefin Frida (Disco), on top of the directors of the Nordic competition.
The international documentary lineup includes Jussi Rastas & Jenni Kivistö’s “Colombia in My Arms,” Lou Strömberg’s “Typhoon Mama,” Eva Marie Rødbro’s “I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die,” Carl Olsson’s “Meanwhile on Earth,” Sven Blume’s “For Somebody Else,” Åsa Sjöström’s “The Last Circus Princess,” David Aronowitsch’s “Idomeni,” Margreth Olin, Katja Høgset and Espen Wallin’s “The Self Portrait” and Susanne Kovács’s “It Takes a Family.”
The Ingmar Bergman competition will comprise of Billie Piper’s “Rare Beasts,” David Zonana’s “Workforce,” Nunzia De Stefano’s “Nevia,” Myriam Verreault’s “Kuessipan,” Ivana Mladenovic’s “Ivana the Terrible,” Belén Funes’s “A Thief’s Daughter,” Kim Seung-woo’s “Bring Me Home” and Liang Ming’s “Wisdom Tooth.”
Goteborg Film Festival takes place Jan. 24-Feb. 3.