Swedish helmer-writer Ronnie Sandahl’s “Tigers” – a rare glimpse inside the world of professional soccer following a protagonist who struggles with the pressures of success – came away the biggest winner at Sweden’s 43rd Göteborg Film Festival, scoring the best Nordic film kudo, this year worth approximately $48,000.
The film’s lead actor, Erik Enge, also nabbed the fest’s award for best actor for his subtle, nuanced performance as a 17-year-old professional player hired by the Italian club Inter Milan.
The Golden Globe-nominated Danish film “Another Round,” from director Thomas Vinterberg, claimed the audience choice award for a film in the Nordic competition. Meanwhile, the critics’ jury opted for director-writer Ninja Thyberg’s feature debut, “Pleasure,” a bold and daring documentary-like descent into the subterranean world of the L.A. porn industry, with a tour de force performance from newcomer Sofia Kappel.
Swedish-born, Denmark-based DP Linda Wassberg claimed the Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award for her work on the Finnish film “Tove,” directed by Zaida Bergroth, an engaging biopic on Moomins creator Tove Jansson.
Danish helmer Jonas Poher Rasmussen captured the best Nordic documentary title and a purse of some $30,000 for “Flee,” an animated refugee story about a gay man who escapes Afghanistan and reinvents himself. It has been a good week for Rasmussen, who, a few days earlier, also landed the Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.
Chinese director Li Dongmei scored the Ingmar Bergman international debut award for her family drama – memoir “Mama.” The unique prize consists of a stay at The Bergman Estate on Fårö and a visit to Ingmar Bergman’s personal archive in Stockholm.
Meanwhile, the festival audience voted as best international film title Bosnian helmer-writer Jasmila Zbanic’s “Quo Vadis, Aida,” a harrowing retelling of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
Among the most exciting previews shown to industry members in the popular works-in-progress strand of Göteborg’s Nordic Film Market were provocative glimpses of Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s remake of the Swedish classic “The Emigrants,” “Clara Sola” by Swedish-Costa Rican helmer Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, “Golden Land” by Finnish director Inka Achté, “Cop Secret” by Iceland’s Hannes Þór Halldórsson and Danish helmer Charlotte Sieling’s big-budget historical drama “Margrete – Queen Of The North.”
Kudos granted earlier in the festival include the Church of Sweden award to Magnus Van Horn for “Sweat,” a portrait of the lonely life of a fitness influencer in Poland; the Nordisk Film & TV Fond prize for a series to “Borgen” writer Maja Jul Larsen for DR-backed “Cry Wolf”; and best Swedish short to “The Expected” by Carolina Sandvik.
GÖTEBORG FILM FESTIVAL 2021
Dragon Award Best Nordic Film
“Tigers,” (Ronnie Sandahl, Sweden, Italy, Denmark)
Dragon Award Best Acting
Erik Enge, “Tigers”
“Pleasure” (Ninja Thyberg, Sweden, Netherlands, France)
Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award
Linda Wassberg, “Tove”
Audience Dragon Award Best Nordic Film
“Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands)
Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary
“Flee,” (Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway)
The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
“Mama,” (Li Dongmei, China, France)
Dragon Award Best International Film
“Quo Vadis, Aida?,” (Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, The Netherlands, Austria, Romania)