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AWARDS Sweden

Hisham Zaman wrote a letter – and got SEK 1 million in return

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- For the second year running, Hisham Zaman has won the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Feature at the Göteborg International Film Festival

Hisham Zaman wrote a letter – and got SEK 1 million in return
Hisham Zaman

For the first time, the same filmmaker has received the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Feature twice in a row at Sweden’s Göteborg International Film Festival, as Norwegian director Hisham Zaman’s Letter to the King (read the interview) was named winner of the competition – and of a SEK 1 million (€113,150) cheque – at the festival’s Dragon gala on February 1. The festival runs until February 3.

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“A film that is compassionate and honest in its presentation of human existence,” said the jury of Zaman’s second feature, which follows up on his 2013 winner, Before Snowfall [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and constitutes the third Norwegian film to win in a row (after Arild Andresen’s The Orheim Company [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
in 2012).

“I am thankful and feel privileged to be acknowledged one more time by my Nordic colleagues. This film is low-budget, and both artistically and financially my most risky project so far. Three years of hard work have made me believe I should continue my work with film as a way of narrative,” Zaman explained.

Produced by Alan Milligan and Zaman, for Film Farms, Letter to the King follows five immigrants’ encounter with Norway outside a refugee camp. They have different goals and will soon be confronted by their destinies – they experience happiness, humiliation, love and revenge, and it is all narrated in a letter by 80-year-old Mirza, who wants to personally deliver it to the King of Norway.

Swedish director Lovisa Sirén’s Pussy Have the Power won for Best Short, earning her a cash prize of €55,000 and production services for her next film. Swedish producer Lars Jönsson received the Lorens Award for director Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best! [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which entails €55,000 or free development for his next film. Having already collected five prizes in Venice, Italian director Emma Dante’s A Street in Palermo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emma Dante
film profile
]
was given the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award. 

FULL LIST OF GÖTEBORG 2014 AWARDS

Dragon Award Best Nordic Film
Letter to the King –Hisham Zaman (Norway)

Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary
Pine Ridge [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Anna Eborn (Sweden)

Audience Choice – Best Nordic Film
Of Horses and Men
 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benedikt Erlingsson
film profile
]
– Benedikt Erlingsson (Iceland)

Nordic Honorary Dragon Award
Icelandic director-actor-producer Baltasar Kormákur

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
A Street in Palermo
– Emma Dante (Italy)

The Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award
Swedish cinematographer Fredrik Wenzel

Audience Choice – Best Feature-length Film
Twin Sisters
(documentary) – Mona Friis Bertheussen (Norway)

The FIPRESCI Prize
Of Horses and Men

The Telia Film Award
The Disciple [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
– Ulrika Bengts (Finland)

The Lorens Award for Best Producer
Swedish producer Lars Jönsson, of Memphis Film, for Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!

Honorary Dragon Award
UK actor-director Ralph Fiennes

Best Swedish Short
Pussy Have the Power
– Lovisa Sirén

Audience Choice – Best Swedish Short
Dirtbags
– Marcus Carlsson

The Novella Film Award
Solitude
– Beata Gårdeier (Sweden)

Audience Choice – Best Novella Film
Batter
– Manuel Concha (Sweden)

The Angelos Prize (Church of Sweden)
I Am a Fucking Painter
– Leo Palmestål, Anders Rundberg, Jennifer Jerez (Sweden)

The Mai Zetterling Scholarship
Swedish director Ester Martin Bergsmark

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