Special Report: 31st Göteborg International Film Festival, Report 2

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
The 31st Göteborg Film Festival, which ran from January 26th to February 4th, the largest market for Scandinavian films in the world hit an all time high in attendance and screened 450 films from 67 countries. It began with Gael Garcia Bernal in the DJ box spinning Mexican hits. The special focus on new films from Mexico included Bernals’s Deficit, and films such as The Influence by Pedro Aguilera and Blue Eyelids by Ernesto Contreras. Several classic Mexican films such as Luis Bunuel's Los Olvidados were also screened. The attraction of the Göteborg festival to Mexico as a film land was easily explained. Mexico like Sweden has a small film industry, which produces quality work.
A special seminar program, Cinemix, with 36 seminars included master classes by Julie Taymor, Gael García Bernal, Koji Yamamura and Hou Hsiao Hsien. The most popular films in the program included the opening film The King of Ping Pong, by Jens Jonsson that won a prize at this year’s Sundance, Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Todd Hayne’s I’m Not There, Gael García Bernal’s Déficit and Jiri Menzel’s I Served the King of England.
The festival is known principally for two awards.
The Nordic Film Award went to Tomas Alfredson, heart-warming vampire story and The Kodak Nordic Vision Award went to the film’s cinematographer Hoyte van Hoyten.
The other distinguishing award is the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award that went to Solitary Fragments by Jaime Rosales from Spain. The jury for the award this year that included three distinguished directors: Margaretha Von Trotta from Germany Pen-ek Ratanaruang, from Thailand, and István Szabó from Hungary,
The award following Ingmar Bergman’s wishes is given to “a director making his or her debut with a film dealing with, in a broad sense, existential issues and displaying a dynamic or experimental awareness of the cinematic means of expression ”.
This year there was also a retrospective of the late director’s films.
Marit Kapla in her first reign at the festival director lived up to the goals of this festival to bring world-class films that normally won’t ever come to the movie theatres and to discuss film as an artistic medium. Directors are invited to discuss their films with the audience and many were in attendance this year. Göteborg also has a special film development fund that is used for projects in developing countries.

For Movie Magazine this Moira Sullivan Göteborg Sweden
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31st Göteborg International Film Festival, Report 2