Zozo wins Nordic Council Film prize
by Annika Pham
The winner of this year’s prestigious Nordic Council Film Prize 2006 is Swedish film Zozo [+see also:
film profile] by Josef Fares. The prize will be awarded during the annual session of the Nordic Council in Copenhagen on November 1. Two-thirds of the total amount of SEK 440,000 (€47,500) – which is to be divided equally between the director, scriptwriter and producer – will go to Fares, who also wrote the script, and one-third to producer Anna Anthony (Memfis Film).
The jury, which consisted of members from all of the Nordic countries, said about the film: “‘Zozo is a poignant and pertinent film about a child’s survival strategy in the face of war, grief and an alien culture. The film uses a broad range of idioms and combines a strong, realistic story with visual poetry, imagination and humour. It gives an accessible and insightful view of current conflicts and by drawing creative sustenance from different film cultures it offers an innovative approach to traditional Nordic films about growing up”.
Zozo, which was Sweden’s candidate for the 2006 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is the third feature film by popular director Fares, who is of Lebanese origin.
His association with Memfis Film began with his pilot film Cool Guys and was followed by the critically acclaimed box office hit Jalla! Jalla. After that, Josef directed Kops, which proved equally popular with audiences, garnering 775,000 admissions in Sweden. Both films were distributed in over 20 countries.
Producer Anthony met Fares in 1999: "Lukas [Moodysson] tipped me off about him. I rang up and later he came and showed me his short films. I liked them. They were action packed, technically skilful and very amusing", she recalls. As a result, Anthony and Memfis Film decided to support Cool Guys and has since backed all his projects.
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