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The whole region was there at the opening of the Göteborg Film Festival


- Liv Ullmann received the Nordic Honorary Dragon and Michael Noer screened his Key House Mirror at Göteborg’s Draken Theatre

The whole region was there at the opening of the Göteborg Film Festival
Liv Ullmann received the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award (© Marit Lissdaniels / Göteborg Film Festival)

As Sweden’s 38th Göteborg International Film Festival kicked off on Friday (23 January), the ceremony was not only attended by the 713 guests present in the legendary Draken Theatre in the Järntorget; in fact, the whole region of Västra Götaland County was invited, as it was for the screening of Danish director Michael Noer’s opening film, Key House Mirror [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Michael Noer
film profile

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The event was streamed from the Draken to eight cities and another Göteborg venue, the Stora Teatern. “We are happy to give more people the opportunity to participate in our most glamorous evening, with its gala and celebrity mood,” said the festival’s managing director, Mikael Fellenius

Fellenius, the festival’s new artistic director, Jonas Holmberg, and Swedish Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke all delivered their ceremonial speeches, before the guest of honour – Norwegian actress-director Liv Ullmann – came on stage to receive the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award for being “an inspiring Nordic filmmaker whose work deserves special attention, now and forever”. 

Ullmann (see the news) was accompanied by Norwegian producer Synnøve Hørsdal, of Maipo Film, who staged her latest feature, the English-language adaptation of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s 1888 play Miss Julie [+see also:
interview: Liv Ullmann
film profile
, with US actress Jessica Chastain, Irish actor Colin Farrell and British actress Samantha Morton in the leads; the movie is also due to be shown at the festival. 

“To me, film is life, and life is film; they say culture is luxury – it isn’t. It tells us who we are and what we do,” said Ullmann. Next up to be awarded was Swedish producer Marie Kjellson, of Plattform Produktion, who collected the City of Gothenburg's Big Film Prize of €5,300 for Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
. Swedish director Måns Månsson was presented with the Mai Zetterling scholarship.

Danish director Michael Noer’s festival opener, Key House Mirror, which is also in the Tiger Awards Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (which ends on 1 February), stars Swedish actor Sven Wollter and Danish actress Ghita Nørby in a love story set in an old people’s home. Noer, Wollter and Nørby were all at the Draken: “Today, the festival means roughly the same to Gothenburg as the shipyards once meant – launchings, innovation, pride... You know what I mean,” explained Wollter. 

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