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The nominees for the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film!


Från Árni Ólafur Asgeirssons Brim

 It will be a thrilling battle with eight new feature films contending for the festival's award for Best Nordic film. Now the award is even more coveted as the prize money from this year and on is set to a breathtaking SEK one million (app. $143.000), an increase from the previous years' prize of SEK 100,000.

Dragon Award Best Nordic Film is one of ten awards presented at the Dragon Awards Gala on Saturday, February 5. Contributing to the one million prize is the Västra Götaland Region, The City of Gothenburg and all those who contributed to the festival's newly established Dragon Fund. All eight competing films will be shown at the cinema Draken, starting Friday, January 28th when Marius Holst's Kongen of Bastøy opens the 34th edition of Göteborg International Film Festival. The short films that are nominated for the short film prize Startsladden will be shown as intro films to the competing feature films. 
Chairman of the jury is the Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, the winner of the Academy Award for best non-English-language film in 2001 for his film No Man's Land. 
Last year's winner of the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film was the Danish R by Tobias Lindholm and Michael Noer. 

This year's nominees are: 

King of Devil's Island (Kongen of Bastøy)
Director: Marius Holst (Norway) 

Marius Holst's fourth feature film is set in 1915 but is a timeless and impressive portrayal of power play and moral courage at a reformatory at Bastøy, set on an island outside Oslo. When Erling (the Marlon Brando-like debutante Benjamin Helstad) arrives to Bastøy, he exudes an intransigence that provokes the diabolical manager (Stellan Skarsgård) which makes Erling the obvious leader as the hatred against the governance explodes in a violent uprising.
Shown at Draken 28/1, 17:30. NB: Only at the opening ceremony: SEK 140.

Intro film: Las Palmas. Directed by Johannes Nyholm.

Truth About Men (Sandheden om mænd)

Director: Nikolaj Arcel (Denmark)
Nicolaj Arcel's (the Third Power) elegant comedy Truth About Men very accurately depicts our era's constant pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, mixing seriousness with a wonderful sense of humor. When Mads (Thure Lindhardt) as a part of a life crisis begins to live by his youthful motto "Live your life as if it were a guitar solo!" he decides to break up with his girlfriend, played by Tuva Novotny. But seizing the day is not as simple as in the screenplays and television series that Mads writes for a living. 

Shown at Draken 29/1,17.30.
Intro film: Myrlandet. Director: Jonas Selberg Augusten.

Director: Árni Ólafur Asgeirsson (Iceland)
The creative Reykjavik-based theatre group Vesturport has already given us films such as Children and Parents (both at GIFF 2007) and when they present this both serious and comical story, a fishing boat is their chosen venue. When one of the fishermen dies all of a sudden, the remaining fishermen suddenly have to face a new crew member. The director makes the most of the boat as a stage on which various personalities rub against each other in a very limited space.
Shown at Draken Sun 30/1,17.30.
Intro film: Sent På Jorden. Director: Johan Skoog.

She Monkeys (Apflickorna)
Director: Lisa Aschan (Sweden)
The final film in SFI's Rookie Investment in Feature Film Debutants is an intelligent and nuanced study in power games with sexual undertones, set in the world of children and youths. As reclusive Emma begins to train horse riding she's faced with a coach demanding more smiles and charisma. The team's obvious leader Cassandra offers to help Emma, despite them both contending for the same spot on the team for an upcoming race. 

Shown at Draken 31/1, 17.30.
Intro film: Svamp. Director: Charlotta Miller.

Princess (Prinsessa) 

Director: Arto Halonen (Finland)
Documentary filmmaker Arto Halonen (Shadow of the Holy Book, GIFF 2008) takes his cue from a real story set in the 1940s in order to present a not only dark but also humorous picture of how society deals with the deviant. When the headstrong Anna Lappalainen gets incarcerated in a mental hospital she adopts the persona of a Princess. Although she soon becomes a positive centre in the hospital, the physician persists in giving the Princess electroshocks and lobotomy. The film, with a charismatic Katja Küttner in the leading part, has been a smash hit in Finland during the fall.
Shown at Draken 1/2, 17.30.
Intro film: Utan Avslut.Director: Markus Haraldsson and Frida Nordström.

Happy Happy (Sykt Lykkelig) 

Director: Anne Sewitsky (Norway)
Agnes Kittelsen (from the film Max Manus) is very impressive in the role of the super perky housewife Kaja in this dark comedy. When the family gets new neighbors, a series of dinner parties and other embarassments makes everyone except Kaja realize that she's not happy in her marriage. Soon the two families are drawn into an emotional whirlwind that turns almost everything upside down.
Shown at Draken 2/2, 17.30.
Intro film: Ugly Bunny. Director: Alinée Candan.

Savage (Odjuret)
Director: Martin Jern and Emil Larsson (Sweden)
The directors behind Fourteen Sucks sets a tale of spiritual and material shortages in contrast to staggeringly beautiful Swedish summer scenery. The recently released Kim dreams of a normal life and tries to keep a low profile, despite his father's aggravations. During the course of a few days, Kim's life is intertwined with those of three other young people: Jesper who's living in a bus and makes his living from internet porn, the christian Ylva who's plagued by sexual fantasies and Susan who's training to become a striptease dancer. 

Shown at Draken 3/2, 17.30.
Intro film: Girl. Director: Fijona Jonuzi.

I miss you (Jag Saknar Dig)
Director: Anders Grönros (Sweden) 

In this gripping film adaptation of Peter Pohl's August prize winning youth novel, "Jag Saknar Dig, Jag Saknar Dig!", we meet identical twins Cilla and Tina, who‚ despite their strong friendship,  are also very different. In this story about the grief of losing someone close to you, and the guilt that comes when something's too late to make up for, Anders Grönros (Agnes Cecilia GIFF 1992, Glasblåsarns Barn GIFF 1998) once again proves himself a true master of captivating youth portrayals, both in terms of style and depth.
Shown at Draken 4/2, 17.30.
Intro film: Sambuca Kid. Director: Robin Färdig.

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