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New record for Bergman Week 2008 on Fårö

On the eve of the Bergman Week 2008 on Fårö, a record result in terms of visitors and sales was noted by the Bergman Week organisers. This year's programme was a bit expanded in comparison with last year's, containing more talks with former Bergman collaborators and a few more lectures on Bergman-related topics. Most of these were sold out.
- The interest for Bergman's work has if anything grown since Ingmar's passing away last year, Jannike Åhlund, one of the organisers comments. This year we were happy to greet visitors from all over Sweden and Europe. International media interest was also considerable with journalists, critics, documentary filmmakers from Brasil, USA, Germany, Netherlands and Italy attending.
The new bus tours to Bergman film locations on the island attracted a lot of interest - the three bus tours sold out instantly. Now the tour includes visits to several of the locations used for the feature films Bergman shot on Fårö - Through a Glass Darkly, Shame and Persona among them.
The local summer cinema Roy was turned into a premiere cinema when honorary guest Jan Troell screened his new film Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moment to public acclaim. It was an emotional moment when Troell received a five-minute-long standing ovation after the screening and spectators were visibly moved by the film.
Margarethe von Trotta, this year's international guest at Bergman Week, told visitors during a moderated conversation how the experience of seeing The Seventh Seal in her Paris youth, had struck her with chock-like effect, an experience that made her decide to become a filmmaker herself. During her stay on Fårö and neighbouring island Gotland, von Trotta also got the opportunity to visit some medieval churches as possible locations for her upcoming production of medieval saint and composer Hildegard from Bingen.
Matti Bye and his musicians (Bye also composed the music to Troell's film) wrapped up the Bergman Week with a live concert featuring Bye's original music to Ingmar Bergman's favourite films of all times: Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage - a film Bergman saw at least once every summer in his own cinema at Fårö.
A panel discussion on the last day of the Bergman Week dealed with the question of the Bergman heritage at Fårö. Representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the local city council and Ingmar Bergman's family participated. The two venues envisioned by the group promoting the idea of a Bergman Center are the school of Fårö (now empty) and Bergman's home on the island, Hammars. Eva Nypelius, County Mayor of Gotland, said that the school most likely will be made accessible for the purpose of a Bergman Center. Daniel Bergman, Ingmar's son, said that the intention of the nine children is that the house be sold before the end of 2009. But, Daniel added, "the highest bid is not necessarily the best".
The Project Group for A Bergman Center will now engage in an in-depth project study, a process which will be finished 2009.
The dates for next Bergman Week on Fårö are June 23-28.
For more information www.bergmanveckan.se

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