Country Focus: Sweden
Local films boast 145 international wins in 2009
by Annika Pham
18/12/2009 - On Monday, the Swedish Film Institute (SFI) invited local producers and filmmakers to celebrate the record 145 international awards given out to 56 shorts, documentaries and feature films in 2009, up by 62 wins from 2008.
Many festival programmers who have been viewing Nordic films over the last couple of years agree that within Scandinavia, it is no longer Denmark but Sweden that produces the most innovative films. This year, the sheer volume and diversity of Swedish films celebrated at world festivals was a clear testimony of this trend.
On the feature film side, the most awarded films were Ella Lemhagen’s Patrik Age 1.5 [trailer] and Fredrik Edfeldt’s The Girl, with 12 and 10 wins respectively. Other festival hits were Thomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In [trailer, film focus] (five awards) and Jan Troell’s Everlasting Moments [trailer].
The short animation film Slaves by Hanna Heilborn and David Aronowitsch picked up 13 international awards, while the most successful Swedish short filmmaker was Patrik Eklund with Instead of Abracadabra (shortlisted for an Oscar 2010 nomination) and Seeds of the Fall.
“2009 has been quite a record year for Swedish cinema abroad,” said Pia Lundberg, head of the SFI International department. “Several artistically challenging films attracted lots of attention at world film festivals and at the same time the Millennium films ruled the box office in several countries.” She also pointed out the controversy that surrounded the Swedish documentary films Videocracy [trailer] by Erik Gandini, The Queen and I by Iranian filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani and Bananas! by Fredrik Gertten.
Attendance figures for domestic films are not available yet but the 2.3m admissions for the three Millennium films will undoubtedly push the local film market share to historic levels.