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Göteborg Ingmar Bergman to Present Award to Film Debutant

The International Ingmar Bergman Debut Award is one that seeks to highlight new international filmmaking talents. The award will be presented for the first time at the Göteborg International Film Festival, which is to be held from January 26 – February 5, 2007.

“The award is a way of encouraging young filmmakers to deal with really important issues at a time when the film industry has more and more assumed the shape and form of a butchery and fornication business!” says Ingmar Bergman.

Ingmar Bergman himself made his debut film Crisis in 1946 and is one of the world’s most acclaimed and respected filmmakers. His attitude and artistry are still a major influence on young directors worldwide. When the Göteborg International Film Festival decided to institute a new debut award, it was only natural to seek to involve the now 88-year old legend. “We are extremely proud that Ingmar Bergman has allowed us to use his good name in this connection,” says festival director Jannike Åhlund. “Not only is he a Swedish icon in the eyes of the outside world, but he is also a permanent benchmark to all artistically aware filmmakers.”

The International Ingmar Bergman Debut Award will be presented for the first time during the upcoming Göteborg International Film Festival, at the festival’s closing ceremony on February 3. The prize consists of one week's stay at the Bergman Week on Fårö during the summer of 2007, and also a beautiful engraved stone from Ingmar Bergman's own beach there.

The nominees are…

The following five young film directors are nominated for the award, which will go to: "a director making his or her debut with a film dealing with existential issues in a broad sense and displaying a dynamic or experimental awareness of the cinematic means of expression".

• Andrea Arnold, from the UK, for Red Road
45-year-old Andrea Arnold won the jury award in Cannes, 2006, with this drama, shot in Glasgow, about obsession and revenge. The film is the first of three making up the new Danish Lars von Trier project “Advance Party”, where all the participating filmmakers are to use the same characters, played by the same actors. Andrea Arnold made three short films before she won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2006.
Contact: Brian Coffey +44-1414450400

• Joachim Trier, Norway, for Reprise
Joachim Trier was born in 1971 and trained at the National Film and Televison School in England. He has directed several short films, for example Procter, which was nominated for a European Film Award in 2002. Reprise is a film with many characters and parallel stories, about young people in the city of Oslo, paralysed by their great freedom of choice. The film is considered part of the “Norwegian wave”, which first appeared at Cannes in 2006.
Contact: Stine Oppegard, stine.oppegaard@nfi.no +47 90859638

• Marta Novákóva, Czech Republic, for Marta
Marta Novákóva was born in 1975 and comes fresh out of the film school FAMU with this film, which has attracted attention all over the world. Marta is a psychological drama about a father and son, living in a remote cottage in the middle of an undefined war zone, and what happens when the balance between the two men is disturbed after they find a wounded female soldier in the forest.
Contact: Eva Pospisilova, eva@freshfilms.cz +42 0777808655

• Boris Khlebnikov, Russia, for Free Floating
Boris Khlebnikov was born in Moscow in 1972. He graduated from the Film Theory Department of the Russian Film Institute (VGIK) and worked as editor and TV film director at Nikita Mikhalkov’s Tri-Te studio. Khlebnikov, being part of the Russian new wave, enjoyed great success with the film Road to Koktebel, which he co-directed with Aleksei Popogrebski. Free Floating is a film in the same quirky “minimalist” style, about a young man – in a hamlet by the Volga – drifting aimlessly from one job to another.
Contact: Dimitri Pleskov, p.d.s@mail.ru +79166085514

• Ágnes Kocsis, Hungary, for Fresh Air.
Ágnes Kocsis was born in Budapest in 1971. She made several shorts before her feature debut, which has been highly rated at several international film festivals. Fresh Air is a drama about a mother and daughter and their inability to communicate, and Kocsis is described as a promising young auteur in the same school as Jarmusch, Akerman and the Dardenne brothers – no doubt for her focus on working class women’s lives.
Contact: Anna-Maria Basa, annamaria.basa@filmunio.hu +36 13517760

Joining Ingmar Bergman on the jury are the directors Agnieszka Holland and Jafar Panahi, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Bergman scholar Maaret Koskinen, and the film producer Stephen Ujlaki, who was Ingmar Bergman’s assistant in the late 1960s.

Bergman calls the award “a tribute to the singular art of the twenty-four frame” and emphasizes the importance of preserving quality and a reflective approach to the art of film, its aims and its possibilities in the future.

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