The 35th Gothenburg International Film Festival (27 Jan.–6 Feb.)

2012-01-27. Published in What's Going On?
by Nils Pasi

The 35th Gothenburg International Film Festival opened its doors to the public today. Between 27 January and 6 February a staggering number of productions from all around the world are at cinemas, libraries, lecture halls and wherever there's a projector and room for an audience. This is a unique chance to see many independent productions and international films that normally don't make it into the Swedish cinemas. All you need is a festival pass (30 SEK), and the tickets (80 SEK/ticket) – both of which can be bought at any of the festival cinemas.

The Gothenburg International Film Festival is generally short, just over one week, but short as it may be, a huge number of films are shown each year. This is made possible due to the many cinemas around Gothenburg participating in the festival, some of which I didn't even know existed. Thus, not only do you get to see films you wouldn't normally be able to in Sweden, but you also get to see many of the old cinemas that aren't normally active any longer!

I keep saying that the films shown at the festival are different from those usually found at the big cinemas in Gothenburg. This is true, because at the film festival, you will find many smaller productions and independent films that aren't usually deemed profitable enough for the big cinemas. There are also the international productions. In Sweden, the vast majority of all films shown at the cinema come from the USA or the UK. We do get a few european films from time to time, and occasionally a Japanese or Chinese production. But during the festival, you get the chance to watch films from Africa, Korea, Russia, Singapore – just to mention a few countries whose films never make it to Sweden.  Last year, I watched three films belonging to that category: Sawako Decides, a Japanese movie, Rolling home with a Bull, and Secret Reunion from South Korea. All three were good, and Secret Reunion exceptionally so.

Of course, one of the reasons I could see Japanese and South Korean movies at the film festival, and not miss out on the plot, is that the films have subtitles. That's hardly unique in Sweden, but I do want to point out that these are english subtitles, not the typical Swedish subtitles you find outside the film festival. So, there's no need to know Swedish in order to enjoy the movies!

Lastly, I come back to something I mentioned pretty close to the top, namely that the festival is fairly short. In fact, it ends on Monday (6 Feb.). It is still possible to catch a film, but don't wait around too long! Check out their Official Website if your interested,and browse the list of movies from across the globe to find something that suits you!

/Nils, team 2012