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Nominees for Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award in Göteborg

 

Blue Valentine, Michelle Williams

Eight first-and second-time directors are competing for The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award, selected by an international jury. The prize is awarded for the fifth time and goes to "a debutante who in his film treats an existential theme that has a dynamic or experimental approach to the cinematic means of expression".

The prize is a week's stay at the Bergman Week summer 2011, a DVD box with 23 Bergman films from Ingmar Bergman Foundation and a beautiful stone from Ingmar Bergman's Fårö beach, with his name engraved. 

The award is presented at the Dragon Awards Gala on Saturday, February 5. 

The nominees are:
Ryan Redford, Canada, for Oliver Sherman
Franklin Page lives a quite and peaceful smalltown life with his wife Irene and their two children. One day there's a knock on the door and in comes Sherman Oliver, a soldier whose life Franklin saved in battle. Sherman, for his part, has never adapted to a normal life. Garret Dillahunt (from Deadwood) is absolutely brilliant as the maladjusted, mumbling and awkward veteran who slowly but inexorably, as the story progresses at a consistent, restrained pace, is revealed as a wreck of a man, full of anger, jealousy and hatred. Before long the peace and quiet of both Franklin's personal life and that of the town, is under threat. Ryan Redford's debut is an exceptionally well-acted, exciting and scary, but also humanistic, film about compassion, guilt and responsibility.
Shown Feb 1, 12.30 pm, Chalmers 1 
Feb 4, 7:30 pm Handels
Feb 5, 12:30 pm Pustervik 

Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium, for Illegal
Tania from Russia has been living illegaly in Belgium with her teenage son for a long time. She has manages to make her everyday life work, juggling work and school, but suddenly everything falls apart when she is arrested during an inspection. Her son has time to run away, But Tania is jailed while her case is being processed. Illegal paints a thought-provoking portrait of a claustrophobic universe where people struggle to create a decent life for themselves and to able to be with their loved ones. Belgian filmmaker Olivier Masset-Depasse has based his award-winning film on extensive research and it raises both hard and moving questions about rigid systems and the fates of individuals. Belgium's Oscar contender.
Shown Feb 1, 3:00 pm Handels
Feb 2, 12.30 pm, Bergakungen 5 
Feb 3, 3:00 pm, Bergakungen 2

Alix Delaporte, France, for Angèle and Tony (Angèle et Tony
Just out of prison, Angèle tries to reconnect with her son who is living with his paternal grandparents. She has to prove to the authorities that she has a stable private life, and for this practical reasons she puts in a personal ad. In the opening scene she meets fisherman Tony from one of Normandy's coastal villages, a world very different from Angèle's. The viewer gets to know the two as they, gradually and more or less unintentionally, reveal their secrets to one another. There's great chemistry between Clotilde Hesme and Grégory Gadebios as the odd couple in Alix Delaporte's feature debut. Angèle's self destructive streak and Tony's defensive attitude make for a friction turning the film into an almost physical experience of an attraction against the odds.
Shown Feb 1, 3:00 pm, Chalmers 1 
Feb 4, 3:00 pm, Chalmers 1 
Feb 5, 5:30 pm Handels

Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece, for Attenberg
The fact that Attenberg is directed by the producer of Dogtooth - Greece's award-winner at Cannes 2009, whose director in turn plays an important part in Attenberg - makes perfect sense: together the two films form a greek miniature universe where linguistics, relationships and film aesthetics come to a head. This time it's about Marina (Ariane Labed), a young woman living alone with her dying father. She gets most of her knowledge about life from David Attenborough nature films. A woman friend - in neatly stylised vignettes - adds sex ed and synchronised dancing.  Add to this the neatest use of soundtrack of the year, as music from Suicide and Françoise Hardy is woven into the story.
Shown Feb 1, 8.00 pm, Bergakungen 3 
Feb 2, 12:30 pm, Roy 

Clio Barnard, UK, for The Arbor 
Artist and film-maker Clio Barnard hails from Bradford, UK, just like Andrea Dunbar, who died at the age of 29 after a brief but successful career as a playwright, darkened by a problematic personal life. Dunbar's plays are set in the poor streets where she grew up and it is to this place that Clio Barnard has returned to make this genre-defying documentary. For two years, Barnard interviewed Dunbar's family, especially her daughter Lorraine. Out of this material she created a "audio script" to which actors acted and lipsynched. Added to this are excerpts from Dunbar's plays, performed on the street in her old neighbourhood, resulting in a unique and powerful movie experience unlike any other.
Shown Feb 2, 10.00 am, Bergakungen 5 
Feb 3, 5:30 pm, Folkan 
Feb 4, 5:30 pm, Folkan 

Maria Södahl, Norway, for Limbo 
Sonia and her two children travel from Norway to Trinidad to get reunited with her husband Jo, who has been living and working there for the past six months. Family life in a foreign country presents a challenge - homegrown Sonia finds it hard to get used to servants and dissolved notions of fidelity. As the men work, their unoccupied wives are expected to enjoy their privileged lives, preferably by the pool, a drink in hand. Cynical Charlotte, who has spent her entire married life in this fashion, tries to make Sonia get with the programme, but Sonia refuses to give up her dream of a meaningful existence. Line Verndal and Lena Endre are both brilliant as Sonia and Charlotte in this well balanced debut, which also provides a feast for the eyes for aficionados of 70s retro.
Shown Feb 2, 3:00 pm, Draken
Feb 3, 8:15 pm, Chalmers 1 
Feb 5, 10.00 am, Draken

Federico Veiroj, Spain/Uruguay, for A Useful Life (La vida util
Jorge has been working for 25 years at the Cinemateque in the Uruguay capitol of Montevideo. Sadly, the institute is ailing and when their funding is withdrawn Jorge has to venture outside its safe walls. Fans of Aki Kaurismäki and Roy Andersson are sure to love this black-and-white gem, with its well-composed shots and subtle humour. The film is a celebration of film art, but also of Jorge who hesitantly assumes command of his own life, like a classic film hero. You sense a criticism of crass economic attitudes towards art and culture - the Cinemateque's funding ceases because only institutions that make a profit are now deemed fit for support. This is Veiroj's second film, following Acné, which was screened at Cannes 2008.
Shown Feb 2, 5:30 pm, Pustervik 
Feb 3, 12:30 pm, Capitol 
Feb 4, 7:30 pm, Capitol 
Feb 7, 4.30 pm, Pustervik 

Derek Cianfrance, USA, for Blue Valentine 
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play a married couple struggling with everyday life and their relationship. They are stuck in a rut, but dedicate a weekend to try and solve their problems. The chamber play is mixed with flashbacks to their first encounter and their falling in love. Director Derek Cianfrance is a name to remember. In this, his second feature film, he has crafted a nuanced drama where every frame is on fire. It is sad, but also beautiful and poignant. Blue Valentine is definitely one of last year's best American independent films where two of the country's best actors are allowed to excel and use their entire acting range. Ingmar Bergman would surely have been very pleased with what might be dubbed Scenes From a Marriage for the 21st century.
Shown Feb 3, 10:00 am, Capitol 
Feb 5, 8:15 pm, Draken
Feb 6, 12.30 pm, Draken 

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