Magazine article Variety

Venue Adds to Its Menu

Magazine article Variety

Venue Adds to Its Menu

Article excerpt

The biggest Scandinavian showcase is heating up

Now in its 36th year, the Goteborg Intl. Film Fes Uval is more than just Scandinavia's hingest lesi venue and market place For Hi«· Hind year the Swedish event is also showcasing one of the fest circuits most money-fueled prizes: The Dragon Award for Nordic film, worth 1 million Swedish krona ($115,000), intended exclusively for one of eight Nordic features.

Previous winners include Tomas Alfredson's "Let the Right One In," Lisa Aschan's "She Monkeys" and Tobias Lindholm and Michael Noer's "R: Hit First, Hit Hardest."

This year the former Danish film duo is represented by one pic each: Lindholm by his acciaimeli "A Hijacking," recently picked up by Magnolia for North American release; Noer helmed the violent Copenhagen drama "Nord vest."

Still, it's neither Denmark nor Sweden that seem to be in the main spotlight at GIFF 2013. It's Norway, which traditionally has been overshadowed by its two Scandinavian neighbors. Norwegian film is now truly picking up the fight, showcasing a record 17 films at Goteborg.

Norway's most expensive and the biggest hit at the domestic box office to date, Oscar-nommed "???-Tïki," by directors-producers Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, will launch the festival. With almost 1 million admissions at local cinemas, "KonTiki" easily outperformed the latest James Bond pic domestically and sold to 50 countries.

Even though "Kon-Tiki" will screen out of competition in Goteborg, three other Norwegian pics will qualify toward the Dragon: Dag Johan Haugerud's "I Belong." Sara Johnsen's "All That Matters Is Past" and Hisham Zaman's "Before Snowfall."

"It is quite obvious that Norwegian film, already taking many steps forward in recent years, is about to make further progress," says Goteborg director Marit Kapla.

Many fest pics are heavily rooted in nature and landscape. They include Iceland's Oscar entry, Balthazar Kormakur's "The Deep"; and "Sanctuary" by Swedish sophomore helmer Fredrik Edfeldt, who replicates several elements from his award-winning debut "The Girl," also released in the U.S.

"What almost all films have in common is that they try to give nuances to a harsh reality, perspectives that the audience might otherwise not pay attention to," Kapla says. …

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