36th Göteborg International Film Festival
Sweden, January 25 - February 4 2013
The Göteborg IFF is not just Scandinavia’s biggest film festival; it also boasts one of the most lucrative film prizes in the world. The Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film comes with 1 million Swedish kronor (about €116 000). This year’s main Dragon Award went to Before the Snow (Før snøen faller), a debut feature from Kurdish-Norwegian director Hisham Zaman. The festival awarded 18 additional prizes, including a Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary (Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart, dir. Mika Ronkainen), and Audience awards for Best Feature (Wadjda, dir. Haifaa Al Mansour) and Best Nordic Film (A Hijacking, dir. Tobias Lindholm). An Honorary Dragon Award went to German director Margarethe von Trotta, who was in attendance at the festival: to mark the occasion, there were screenings of her latest film, Hannah Arendt as well as her 1975 feature debut, The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum.
Göteborg’s non-competitive sections included a special focus on British animator Peter Lord (co-founder of Aardman Animations studio, home of Wallace and Gromit), a ‘Greece in Crisis’ programme tracing the wave of realism in contemporary Greek cinema, and ‘Inside Iran’, a selection from a larger Rotterdam IFF programme of contemporary films by Iranian directors. For the festival’s ‘Critics’ Week’ section, seven critics were asked to present a film of their choice: FIPRESCI’s Oscar Peyrou presented The Wild Ones (dir. Alejandro Fadel), Katja Cicigoj presented A Night Too Young (dir. Olmo Omerzu) and Alison Frank presented Tall as the Baobab Tree (dir. Jeremy Teicher). (Alison Frank)
Göteborg International Film Festival: www.giff.se