15th Tromso International Film Festival

Norway, January 18 - January 23 2005

The jury

Klaus Eder (Germany), Blanka Elekes Szentagotai (Hungary), Jan Brodal ()

Awarded films

There’s not much to be seen in Tromso: most of the day, it is dark, with twilight around noon. In winter, the sun does not touch this part of Northern Norway at the gate to the Arctic (and does therefore produce white nights in summer). It’s a good reason to go to the movies – interrupted only by a tour on a dog sledge in the dark mountains, with a view on the Northern lights. Indeed, even the 9:00 o’clock shows were packed with a young and enthusiastic public, which has a curiosity for Taiwanese films, Argentinean debuts, and European art movies. The festival has in its six days around 40.000 entries — which is astonishing and surprising if you know that the whole population of Tromso is only 60.000 inhabitants. There were queues everywhere (caused also by a tricky ticketing system which urgently needs improvement).

The critics’ jury did not have problems to find films which deserved a prize. It had problems to decide on one film only. The competition program (skillfully composed by Martha Otte, the long-time programmer and now head of the festival) was excellent and included a lot of films which had missed the FIPRESCI prize at earlier festivals, such as the Argentinean Live-In Maid (Jorge Gaggero) and Pablo Trapero’s Rolling Family, or Turtles Can Fly by Bahman Ghobadi (Iran), or the Swiss All Winter Without Fire (Greg Zglinski). The jury finally decided to award Goran Paskaljevic’s dark portrayal of today’s Serbia Midwinter Night’s Dream, a continuation of his award-winning The Powder Keg of 1998, showing Serbia a couple of years later and with the same political rigor. (k.e.)