Visitor conquers Göteborg Dragon
by Annika Pham
02/02/2009 - Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää’s feature debut The Visitor [trailer] won the Dragon Statuette or Nordic Film Award (SEK 100,000) and its cinematographer Tuomo Hutri the Kodak Nordic Vision Award (SEK 50,000) at the closing ceremony of the 32nd Göteborg International Film Festival.
The Finnish film co-produced with the UK, Germany and Estonia, had its international premiere at Venice Days 2008 and opened in Finland last Friday. Wild Bunch handles world sales
The FIPRESCI Award went to Denmark’s The Blessing by first-time director Heidi Maria Faisst for its “rigorous study of postpartum depression and a provocative emphasis on behaviour rather than psychology”. The Zentropa production sold by TrustNordisk also won the Church of Sweden Film Award.
The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award consisting of a DVD box with 30 Bergman movies and an opportunity to attend Bergman Week in Fårö, was given to Mexico’s Parque Vía by Enrique Rivero.
The Producer Award (Lorens) went to Erik Hemmendorff, co-founder of Plattform Produktion with Ruben Östlund (Involuntary [trailer, film focus]), while the Viewers’ Choice Award went to Léa Pool’s Mommy is at the Hairdresser from Canada.
A record 124,500 tickets were sold during this year’s festival, marking a 29% increase in attendance since 2006. Among the most popular films were the documentary The Queen and I by Nahid Persson (Sweden), Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road [trailer] (UK/US) and Valdis Oskarsdottir’s Country Wedding [trailer] (Iceland).