New international chief in Göteborg and 99.6% of audience 'will return'
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
22/02/2012 - ”2012 will be a great year for Scandinavian film worldwide,” said Nordic Film Market director Cia Edström, as Sweden’s Göteborg International Film Festival – the largest showcase in Scandinavia – wrapped its 34th edition earlier this month (February 4). ”Especially the 19 titles in the works-in-progress section had a strong response.”
Having lost two venues, the festival had expected a drop in ticket sales, and this materialised, down from 130,620 to 128,097. But the occupancy rate went up from 60% to 63%, and the festival counted 33,284 visitors, up 2% on 2011. In an audience poll, 99.6% said they will return next year - in 11 days, the festival showed 429 films from 80 countries at 750 screenings; 25 seminars had 8,000 participants.
”Göteborg has become the place to launch new projects,” explained Sweden’s Svensk Filmindustri International Managing Director Ann-Kristin Westerberg, who introduced Danish directors Kathrine Windfeld’s Agent Hamilton: In the Interest of the Nation [trailer] and Bille August’s Marie Krøyer [trailer] at the Nordic Film Market and continued sales at the European Film Market in Berlin.
”The works-in-progress programme always attracts a lot of interest, and this has also been the case this year,” agreed Miira Paasilinna, head of Sweden-Finland’s Yellow Affair. "Norwegian director Arild Andresen’s The Orheim Company) [trailer] winning the festival’s top prize - the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Feature – did not exactly damage our promotion efforts,” added Michael Werner, topper of Sweden’s NonStop Entertainment sales, who also went on to Berlin.
Well ahead of next year’s festival, which takes place from January 27-February 6, Göteborg has named Jonas Holmberg (pictured) – editor-in-chief of the FLM film magazine – as new chief of international programming, to assist Artistic Director Marit Kapla. He replaces Andreas Degerhammar, who after five years has been named head of distribution at Sweden’s TriArt Film.