(Cineuropa) Göteborg picks Beware of Children as its winner
- Dag Johan Haugerud’s film has won the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film, with Henrik Schyffert’s feature debut, Spring Uje spring, seducing the audience.
Beware of Children by Dag Johan Haugerud was the happy recipient of this year’s Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film at the Göteborg Film Festival, as well as one million Swedish kronor – the largest film prize in the world, courtesy of Volvo Car Group, Region Västra Götaland and the City Council of Gothenburg. “[It’s] a film where the characters find a way to talk to each other and where language is beautifully developed,” argued jury members Mia Hansen-Løve, Sofia Norlin and producer Marianne Slot about a film dealing with the tragic aftermath of a teenage dispute gone wrong. “It is an inspiring reflection on the intricacy of education, from an adult’s perspective. It questions the innocence of one’s childhood in a captivating way. The human relationships are portrayed with sensitivity and subtlety.” The film was also awarded the Best Acting gong, for the work of Henriette Steenstrup.
Henrik Schyffert’s Spring Uje spring received some welcome attention thanks to the Audience Award, as the viewers were clearly thrilled with his take on popular singer Uje Brandelius. Colombia in My Arms [+] was named Best Nordic Documentary and the Canadian discovery And the Birds Rained Down Best International Film, while Disco [+]’s Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen saw his work acknowledged with the Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award. “We enjoyed feeling that both he and the director were looking for something beyond the surface – another horizon, another kind of beauty in a world where religious fanaticism and the worst of TV culture combine to alienate young people,” went the statement of the jury, appreciative of the visuals behind the story of a young Christian dancer played by Skam’s very own Josefine Frida. “There is a quest for grace that the cinematographer managed to capture in a sensitive and tender way.”
Finally, the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award – fittingly enough consisting of a stay at the Bergman Estate on Fårö and a visit to Bergman’s personal archive in Stockholm – went to Workforce by David Zonana. “This film’s director demonstrates absolute mastery of the form, using the most fundamental elements of cinema to their fullest potential. From its first frame, we were gripped by the fluid storytelling and subtle cinematography, which together create an irresistible tension all the way to a finale that resists easy moralising. It is with the same anticipation that we look forward to this filmmaker’s future work,” shared jurors Esben Smed and Jannike Åhlund, chairman of the Bergman Center, before giving their Special Mention to Myriam Verreault’s Kuessipan.
The 43rd edition of the Göteborg Film Festival started on 24 January and ends today, 3 February.
Here is the full list of award winners:
Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film
Beware of Children [+] – Dag Johan Haugerud (Norway/Sweden)
Dragon Award for Best Acting
Henriette Steenstrup - Beware of Children
Audience Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film
Spring Uje spring – Henrik Schyffert (Sweden)
Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award
Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen - Disco [+] (Norway)
Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary
Colombia in My Arms [+] – Jussi Rastas and Jenni Kivistö (Finland/Denmark/Norway/France)
The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
Workforce – David Zonana (Mexico)
Kuessipan – Myriam Verreault (Canada)
Dragon Award for Best International Film
And the Birds Rained Down – Louise Archambault (Canada)
Nordic Honorary Dragon Award
Dragon Award for Best Swedish Short
Daddy’s Girl – Julia Lindström (Norway/Sweden)
Audience Choice Award for Best Swedish Short
Index – Nicolas Kolovos (Sweden/Greece)
Martin Von Krogh - Cinema Pameer (Sweden)
The Mai Zetterling Grant
Niki Lindroth von Bahr
Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize
Sara Johnsen (writer) - 22 July [+] (USA/Norway/Iceland)
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