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Göteborg delivers its Dragon Awards




Dragon Awards to Company Orheim and Corpo Celeste

This year's winner of the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film is Kompani Orheim (Company Orheim), directed by Arild Andresen. Since 2011 the prize is worth the full sum of one million SEK and is thus one of the filmworld's biggest film prizes. This year the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award goes to the Italian film, Corpo Celeste, directed by Alice Rohrwacher. Eight additional prizes were awarded when, on Saturday evening, Göteborg International Film Festival held its closing Dragon Award Gala.




Dragon Award Best Nordic Film

Kompani Orheim (Company Orheim) by Arild Andresen won this year's Dragon Award Best Nordic Film. As of 2011 the prize sum is worth one million SEK. The presenting partner of the prize is the Ernström Group. Other financiers include Region Västra Götaland and the City of Göteborg.

The jury's motivation: "The prize for the best Nordic film goes to a film that tells the story of a family that suffers – and is finally destroyed by – the brutality of its father. We think that this has been, and still is, the terrible experience of many children and youngsters – to be abused morally and psychologically or even physically, mostly by their fathers. The films protagonist, the son, learns throughout the film to disobey and to mistrust his father – something that is terribly hard to learn and understand for a child: That your parent is selfishly using his power over you to break your will, that your parent is a failure. We were deeply touched by following the young protagonist through his tough experience. The prize for the best Nordic film goes to Kompani Orheim (Company Orheim).

Jury: This year the Austrian director Jessica Hausner lead the jury's collaboration. Other jury members: Björn Runge, Swedish director, Linda Zilliacus, Finnish actress, John Andreas Andersen, Norwegian cinematographer and Hrönn Marinósdóttir, Icelandic festival director.




Dragon Award Best Nordic Film, Jury's Special Mention

The Jury of the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film would like to make a special mention about the Swedish film Pojktanten (She Male Snails) by Ester Martin Bergsmark.

The jury's motivation: "We have to admit that we, the jury, had a hard time choosing the best film. We had very different responses and opinions, and we had to accept that in the end it is a very subjective matter whether you find a film good or not. This is why we asked the festival for permission to name a jury's honorable mention. And this is what we're doing, we're giving an honorable mention to a film that went beyond simple storytelling and reached a philosophical quality by touching a very sensible, even existential theme: the fragile construction of what you call your personality. The film showed the diversity and uncertainty of human nature that can easily be shaken, even devastated – that what you are depends on what others see in you, and that this might not be the same as what you see in yourself. The film approaches the delicate interaction between what you want to be and what you are expected be, and puts a spotlight on the hidden sides of one's self. The jury's honorable mention goes to the film Pojktanten (She Male Snails).




The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award

The Italian film Corpo Celeste by Alice Rohrwacher is awarded with The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award. The prize is a one-week stay at Bergman Week, a DVD box with 22 Bergman films as well as a beautiful stone from Ingmar Bergman's beach on Fårö, engraved with his name.

Motivation: "For exploring complex subject matter with skillful simplicity, gentleness and sense of humor."

Jury: Yorgos Lanthimos, Greek director, Julia Dufvenius, Swedish actress and Karel Och, artistic director at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.




Dragon Award Best Swedish Documentary

The prize for best Swedish documentary goes to För dig naken (For You Naked) by Sara Broos.

Motivation: ”A generous and loving depiction of a strong meeting between emotions and mind. The director invites us into a film about tolerance and the importance of keeping one's heart open, and about daring to meet the unknown. With beautiful and poetic images we follow the main characters close-up through successes and setbacks.”

Jury: Sofi Lagergren, trustee at Stockholm's Film Academy, Tova Mozard, artist and Nima Sarvestani, documentary filmmaker.




Audience Award: Best Nordic Film

The festival-goers voted Pojktanten (She Male Snails) of Ester Martin Bergsmark as the best Nordic film.




Audience Award: Best Feature Film

The festival-goers voted Halt auf freier Strecke (Stopped on Track) of Andreas Dresen as the festival's best feature film.

Here is a comment by Andreas Dresen, who could not attend the gala:

"What a great gift: An audience award for our production STOPPED ON TRACK! A lot of people from the film industry are afraid of our film. They think: What a difficult movie - it's about dying, about death, no one on earth will be interested in that - it's only a jury pleaser. And they don't realize that finally our film tries to celebrate life and the solidarity in a family. But the audience in Göteborg must have felt that. And I'm really thankful for that! It brightens up this strong winter day here in Germany. I send my warmest regards to all of you on behalf of our whole little crew. Thank you so much for that wonderful prize!"




Dragon Award New Talent

House by Ahmad Saleh (Jordan) won the film festival's international, web-based shortfilm prize this year. In all, 117 contributions from 34 countries were uploaded to the competition's homepage. The prize was accepted by Ahmad Saleh himself.

Motivation: “A gripping tale we all know well, but which needs to be told again and again. Genuine craftsmanship and visual playfulness intensify the film. Since we have an Arabic focus at the festival this year, we are pleased that 2012's winner has its roots in Jordan and Palestine.”

Jury: Marit Kapla, artistic director of the Göteborg International Film Festival, Freddy Olsson, program contributor GIFF, Micael Östling, Web/IT technician GIFF and Alexandra Lind, festival producer GIFF.




Lorens Award

The producer Josefine Tengblad was awarded Lorenspriset for Kyss mig (Kiss Me). The prize, which was awarded by Stockholm Postproduction and goes to one of the producers for 2011's Swedish feature films, consists of free development of the winning producer's next feature film. The prize is worth circa 500,000 SEK.

Motivation: “This extremely creative producer has, by starting with her own life experiences and with a passionate conviction and courage, succeeded to engage the director, the actors, and the crew to collaboratively create a touching, dense, and beautiful film. The jury is impressed! The Lorens Award 2012 goes to Josefine Tengblad who receives the award for her work with the film Kiss Me (Kyss mig).”

Jury: Tony Forsberg, photographer, Petra Ahlin, cutter, Lena Koppel, director, Jesper Bergom-Larsson, producer, Dan Myhrman, photographer and Ali Boriri, film lab director and filmmaker.




Kodak Nordic Vision Award

The film Pojktanten (She Male Snails) by Ester Martin Bergsmark was awarded this year's Kodak Nordic Vision Award. The prize is film stock at a value of 50,000 SEK to the best photography among the films in the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film.

Motivation: The film we chose for best cinematography convinced us with its development of a strong visual style, a cinematographic style that is unique and provoking, and often surprising with its delicate way of finding images that stay with us. The film speaks to us through a unique cinematographic language. As such we want to give the prize for best cinematography to both the director and the cinematographer of Pojktanten (She Male Snails): Minka Jakerson och Ester Martin Bergsmark."

Jury: See the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film.




Church of Sweden Film Award

Svenska Kyrkans Pris, worth 50,000 SEK, for best Swedish feature film goes to Flimmer (Flicker) by Patrik Eklund.

Motivation: “With warmth and shrewdness the human comedy is depicted. When darkness becomes overpowering, liberation is close at hand! The winner is Flimmer (Flicker).”

Jury: Helle Sihm, Danish actress, Ola Sigurdson, professor of systematic theology, Mikael Ringlander, priest and Mikael Larsson, Dr. theol.





FIPRESCI Prize goes to Sønner av Norge (Sons of Norway) by Jens Lien. The prize is awarded by The International Federation of Film Critics and goes to one of the films in the competition Dragon Award Best Nordic Film.

Juryns motivering: "The FIPRESCI award goes to Sønner av Norge (Sons of Norway), a funny, moving and creative coming-of-age tale that makes outstanding use of music for emotional and period detail. All the members of the jury were impressed by the maturity of the film as well as its daring experimental treatment of some of its oneiric scenes."

Jury: Sergey Anashkin, Russian film critic, Alissa Simon, American film critic, and Guilhem Caillard, Canadian film critic.







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