More than 200 films from 80 countries will be showcased at the leading Scandinavian film festival between January 28-February 6, including the Swedish opening film So Damn Easy Going.
After last year’s fully-digital edition, organisers of the 45th
Göteborg International Film Festival (GIFF) are planning to engage as many Swedes as possible both online and on-site in the celebration of film.
Despite stricter rules to be introduced January 12 in Sweden due to surging numbers of Covid-19 cases, cinemas are staying open and GIFF will be showcasing its 200+ films in 18 halls in Göteborg, as well as 70 digital venues nationwide.
At the same time, as a follow up to last year’s successful online edition which attracted a record 425,000 viewers, Swedes will be invited to stream a selection of 50 titles, available 24h.
“It was extremely rewarding last year to attract so much interest from online film buffs, therefore we’ve decided this year to extend this wonderful feeling and develop the model of engagement across Sweden,” said artistic director Jonas Holmberg.
Audience’s engagement will include direct interaction with filmmakers after screenings - both online and onsite - and a new way to watch films…under mass hypnosis!
Ahead of the screening of three films – the Danish film Speak no Evil by Christian Tafdrup, Land of Dreams by Iran’s Shiring Neshat and Memoria by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul - a hypnotist will bring voluntary audiences of the Stora Teatern in Göteborg, to a different state of mind to intensify the film experience.
“The rules and restrictions of the past have illuminated how to maintain order in society and what really governs people’s thoughts and behaviours. Maybe we don’t make decisions as independently as we’d like to think? asks Holmberg. “With the ‘Hypnotic Cinema’, we want to raise questions about submission, transgression and control,” he explains.
The Hypnotic Cinema will be part of the festival’s main focus this year on the notion of ‘Disorder’, or the boundaries between order and disorder in our society and within ourselves.
“Over the last two years, as individuals, we have been restricted in our freedom and obliged to respect rules and regulations due to the pandemic, and at the same time, law and order have been at the forefront of political debates. People in different countries have been longing for disorder or a more disorderly lifestyle, like in the roaring 20s. We will screen seven films and several shorts that explore organising structures within societies, families and individuals but also acknowledge what happens to those who go against the rules,” continues Holmberg.
Among the films in the ‘Disorder’ strand are the Golden Bear 2021 winner Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, and the world premiere of the Swedish erotic drama The Schoolmaster Games directed by first timer Ylva Forner for Northern Fable. The film set at an all-male school academy where homosexuality is the norm, is due to open in Sweden via TriArt, with LevelK handling world sales.
Nordic competition and entries
Nearly 20 new Nordic films will have their world premiere in Göteborg. Those include the opening film and Dragon Award candidate for Best Nordic Film So Damn Easy Going by newcomer Christoffer Sandler, a love story between the young Joanna, suffering from ADHD and the confident Audrey. The film produced by Cinenic Film with backing from Nordisk Film & TV Fond is sold by TrustNordisk.
Among anticipated Nordic world premieres competing for a Dragon Award are the Finnish psycho-thriller Heartbeast by Aino Suni, Swedish road movie Sagres by Lovisa Sirén, sold by Totem Films, the documentaries Love & Divorce by Palme director Maud Nycander and Golden Land by Finland’s Inka Achté, backed by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
Meanwhile the celebrated Norwegian director Izer Aliu (Countrymen, Hunting Flies) will present at the non-competitive Nordic Light section the world premiere of his long-gestated film 12 Dares, and three mainstream Swedish films will world premiere at the Gala section: Felix Herngren’s life-affirming Day by Day, Adam Berg’s Netflix film Black Crab starring Noomi Rapace, and Annika Appelin’s Tuesday Club.
This year’s Nordic Honorary Dragon Award will be handed out to Swedish-born international star Rebecca Ferguson (Dune, Mission Impossible, The Greatest Showman) while Italian director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) will receive the Honorary Dragon Award.
Full list of titles competing for Best Nordic Film
Titles competing for Best Nordic Documentary:
Göteborg’s industry events TV Drama Vision will unspool February 2-3 and Nordic Film Market February 3-6.
For the full programme, check: www.goteborgfilmfestival.se