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GÖTEBORG 2017

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At 40, Göteborg wants to become the festival of the whole Nordic region

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- The largest showcase in the Nordic countries, which takes place from 27 January-6 February, will this year screen 450 films from 84 countries

At 40, Göteborg wants to become the festival of the whole Nordic region
Tom of Finland by Dome Karukoski

Unspooling between 27 January and 6 February, Sweden's Göteborg International Film Festival – the largest film gathering in the Nordic countries, which took 160,000 admissions in 2015 and has ambitions to become the festival of the Nordic region, also including Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway – is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary. 

Finnish director Dome Karukoski's Tom of Finland [+see also:
trailer
interview: Dome Karukoski
film profile
]
, his portrayal of “the most influential creator of gay pornographic images”, Finnish artist Touko Valio Laaksonen, will open the festival; it is also one of the eight contenders for the SEK 1 million (€109,000) Award for Best Nordic Feature and forms part of the programme of 450 films from 84 countries that artistic director Jonas Holmgren will present at 13 Gothenburg theatres, including the Draken festival centre. 

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Also competing for the top prize are Danish director Charlotte Sieling's The Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Finnish filmmaker Selma Vilhunen's Little Wing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Icelandic director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson's Heartstone [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
film profile
]
, Norwegian filmmaker Arild Andresen's Handle With Care [+see also:
trailer
interview: Arild Andresen
film profile
]
, and Swedish directors Rojda Sekersöz's Beyond DreamsKatja Wik's The Ex-Wife [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 and Amanda Kernell's Sámi Blood [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Amanda Kernell
film profile
]
.

Kernell's entry has also been selected for one of the festival's Focuses: Sápmi, featuring new films from the Arctic area of Sápmi (aka Lapland) in northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. In another Focus, Gods and Men, several films will offer new perspectives on religious issues and political events, plus elsewhere there will be highlights of “New Virtual Reality” titles.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Draken opening ceremony featuring a speech by Swedish Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke will be shared with audiences in 40 theatres in the region; the festival has also published its eventful history in Swedish critic Jon Asp's book Dragons and Demons, and a retrospective will screen former festival directors' favourite movies.

Artistic director Holmgren has himself chosen three films at the festival that he would wholeheartedly recommend: Charlotte Sieling's The Man, a father-son drama set in Copenhagen's art milieu; French director Julia Ducournau's cannibal horror Raw [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Julia Ducournau
film profile
]
; and Australian director Benedict Andrews' thriller Una [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

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