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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Sweden

Paradise Is Burning wins Best Film at the Guldbagge Awards

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- Seven gongs have gone to Shame on Dry Land, with other victors including The Gullspång Miracle and Together 99

Paradise Is Burning wins Best Film at the Guldbagge Awards
The winners from the Paradise Is Burning team, with producer Nima Yousefi hugging leading actress Bianca Delbravo and director Mika Gustafson immediately to their right (© Pelle T Nilsson/SPA)

An all-time record was set at the 2024 Swedish Guldbagge Awards when seven trophies out of nine nominations – of which, curiously, none was for Best Film – were awarded to the same contender. Axel Petersén’s dark tale of sordid criminality in sun-drenched Malta Shame on Dry Land [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Axel Petersén
film profile
]
, which premiered at Toronto last year, landed key awards for Best Director, Best Lead and Best Supporting Male Actor as well as an array of technical prizes, plus Best Score.

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Best Film went to Mika Gustafson’s Venice- and London-awarded Paradise Is Burning [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mika Gustafson
film profile
]
, the story of three kid sisters living a highly unsupervised existence while their mother is away (for good?), simultaneously doing their best to keep the social services at bay. In a heartfelt acceptance speech, directed straight at the award committee’s highly controversial new restriction on any amateur being eligible for prizes, producer Nima Yousefi immediately handed the Guldbagge over to the film’s main acting trio, Safira Mossberg, Dilvin Asaad and Bianca Delbravo, all of them street-cast first-timers. “While they miss a formal education, they show that talent has no boundaries,” stated Yousefi. The resulting applause, courtesy of an assembled national film industry, felt unanimously affirmative.

Another memorable 2023 favourite, Maria Fredriksson’s Tribeca winner The Gullspång Miracle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, won the Best Documentary Award, while Lukas Moodysson’s Together 99 [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
won for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, for Anja Lundquist. Amidst strong competition in the Best Actress category, winning out over names like Karin Franz Körlof and Lena Olin was Iranian-born Marall Nasiri, who was rewarded for her performance in Opponent [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Milad Alami
film profile
]
, which earned her the same award in Seattle in 2023. Carrying 71 names of imprisoned Iranian females tattooed on her body, she pleaded for attention and solidarity for her cause.

The warmest reception of the evening was probably reserved for a face that has been seen and cherished by generations of Swedes and non-Swedes alike, as the accolade for achievements in the field of youth cinema, the Gullspira, was received by Inger Nilsson. Fifty-five years ago, in 1969, at the age of nine, she appeared on television screens as Pippi Longstocking, that super-strong and highly unsupervised young heroine from Astrid Lindgren’s books, and would go on to make several feature films that would travel the world. The accolade was thus fully deserved – and she was an amateur at the time, at that.

Here is the full list of winners:

Best Film
Paradise Is Burning [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mika Gustafson
film profile
]
- Mika Gustafson (Sweden/Italy/Denmark/Finland)

Best Director
Axel Petersén – Shame on Dry Land [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Axel Petersén
film profile
]
(Sweden/Malta)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Marall Nasiri – Opponent [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Milad Alami
film profile
]
(Sweden/Norway)

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Joel Spira – Shame on Dry Land

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Anja Lundqvist – Together 99 [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Sweden/Denmark)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Wagelin – Shame on Dry Land

Best Screenplay
Lukas Moodysson – Together 99

Best Cinematography
Josua Enblom – Shame on Dry Land

Best Editing
Robert Krantz – Shame on Dry Land

Best Costumes
Karen Fabritius Gram, Pierre Vienings – Hammarskjöld [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Sweden/Norway/Denmark)

Best Sound/Sound Design
Andreas Franck – Shame on Dry Land

Best Make-up
Tove Jansson, Eva von Bahr, Love Larsson – The Conference

Best Original Score
Baba Stiltz - Shame on Dry Land

Best Set Design
Linda Janson – Black Crab

Best Visual Effects
Nora Berecoechea, Stefan Rycken – The Abyss (Finland/Sweden)

Best Documentary Film
The Gullspång Miracle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Maria Fredriksson (Sweden/Norway/Denmark)

Best Short Film
Leila – Fariba Haidari

Lifetime Achievement Award
Actress Marie Göranzon

The Gullspira (for achievements in children’s film)
Actress Inger Nilsson

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