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Redoubt wins the top short-film prize at Göteborg


- John Skoog’s short, about a farmer who took the Cold War into his own hands, has received one of the world’s biggest short-film awards

Redoubt wins the top short-film prize at Göteborg
Redoubt by John Skoog

Swedish, Frankfurt-based filmmaker and artist John Skoog’s short Redoubt, which has previously received Basel’s Baloise Art Prize, was on Sunday (25 January) presented with the Startsladden Short Film Award at the 38th Göteborg International Film Festival.

One of the world’s biggest prizes for shorts – comprising cash, film equipment and services worth €53,000 for the winner’s next film – the “Startsladden 2015 goes to a genuine short film; with great artistic sense, it deals with a highly topical and human theme in a subtle way, coherently produced and with excellent cinematography”, according to the jury. 

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Skoog, whose Late on Earth (2011) was also nominated for the award, depicts a real-life story: during the Cold War, until his death in 1975, the farmer Carl-Göran Persson spent his time building a small fortress in a field at Hörby in Skåne, where the locals could seek shelter if the Russians came. The man who took the problem into his own hands is portrayed through interviews with his former neighbours.

The Göteborg gathering, which every year launches 80 new Swedish shorts, had included eight contenders for the Startsladden; the Audience Choice Award went to Swedish director Amanda Kernell’s Northern Great Mountain, about a 78-year-old Sami woman who is not happy about her roots but who, under pressure from her son, reluctantly decides to return to Lapland and the Northern Great Mountain for her sister’s Sami funeral.

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