Gabriela Pichler’s second feature, Amateurs (Amatörer), has been awarded the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film at the Göteborg Film Festival, where it received its world premiere during the opening ceremony.
In Amateurs, the small town of Lafors hopes to reverse its economic drought by attracting a German discount supermarket, and local teenagers are asked to produce films to promote the area. The films don’t turn out quite as expected, so the project is called off, but two young girls decide to continue working on their documentary regardless.
The jury said in its deliberation that the award was being presented “for its vibrant, nuanced and intelligent portrait of a small town in contemporary Sweden, which embraces different generations, backgrounds and mediums.”
This year’s FIPRESCI Critics’ Award was presented to And Breathe Normally, written and directed by Ísold Uggadóttir, who recently won Best Director at Sundance for this film set at the edge of Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula where two women’s lives intersect for a brief moment while trapped in unforeseen circumstances.
Meanwhile, the Ingmar Bergman Award for best debut went to Menina by Cristina Pinheiro, an autobiographical story about a ten-year-old girl growing up in a Portuguese family in southern France, where half of the family feels at home while the other half yearns for another home.
Finally, the Audience Prize for Best Nordic Film went to What Will People Say by Iram Haq, in which a young woman’s life becomes a nightmare when she is found by her father in her room with a boyfriend. Until that moment she had maintained a double life with her friends in Oslo in the evenings, whilst being the dutiful daughter at home to her Pakistani family.