Enlightening January - Program Release

Today, January 10, the programme of the 31st Göteborg International Film Festival is released. The festival of 2008 offers a programme where 450 short, feature and documentary films from 67 countries will be screened during ten days. On top of that you wil find around 40 seminars, the Nordic Film Market and a festival tent full of events, concerts and parties.

"After the 30th jubilee last year we wondered how we ever were going to make it even better. Now we have!" says festival director Marit Kapla.

Opening film will be Jens Jonsson's The Ping Pong King, which will be the first contestant in the Nordic Competition. Closing film will be Iskariot by Miko Lazic.

This year we will focus on an exciting film country: Mexico, in the section New Mexico. During the last years the number of interesting films coming from Mexico have increased. At the Oscars in February 2007, the Mexico born trio Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), Alejandro González Ińárritu (Babel) and Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) on the stage. Time has come for the next generation of Mexican filmmakers to step forward.

In the section New Mexico the festival will screen eleven films. The six new feature films are all debuts and very different from each other, ranging from the colourful and lively Bad Habits to the strict and precise The Influence. Two documentaries, three retrospective films and one short film make the section complete.

For the 9th year in a row the Nordic Film Market, the festival's market place for new Nordic films and TV, presents closed screenings for specially invited buyers, distributors, and festival programmers from all over the world.

The Swedish programme Swedish Images/Svenska Bilder, includes a total of 150 films. The film year of 2007 is examined and the programme also includes eight brand new feature films and 106 short films.

In addition to the films the Göteborg International Film Festival programme presents seminar programme Cinemix. Cinemix 2008 includes 40 seminars and examines subjects such as how films affect our lives, documentary in Bosnia, The Bergman day an Master Classes with Julie Taymor, Gael García Bernal, Nik Powell and Hou Hsiao-hsien.

All the sections in the programme:

The Festival award to "a debutant who in his film treats an existential theme with a dynamic or experimental approach to the cinematic means of expression". Five classy international debutants! Opening film: The Class, by Ilmar Raag.

Eight new Nordic feature films are in competition for the festival's Nordic Film Prize - SEK 100 000 and Ernst Billgren's lovely mosaic dragon! Opening film: The Ping Pong King by Jens Jonsson.

Brace yourself for anything from drug debts to dance bands and tree huts when seven Swedish feature films and a mini series get their premičre. Also: 106 short films - for example the sequels to Hating Gothenburg and Falkenberg Farewell, the directorial debuts of Tomas Norström and Gurra G and an animation about the murder of Anna Lindh that has received a lot of attention. We also look back, going through the cinema year of 2007 - as well as two newly restored films from 1968! Opening film: The Last Things, by Levan Akin.

The best of the latest from our four Nordic neighbours. As usual, Denmark is well represented with films like Echo and White Night but don't miss the Norwegian comedy The Art of Negative Thinking! Opening film: White Night by Jannik Johansen.

At the 2007 Oscars, Mexico took centre stage, represented by Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) Alejandro Gonzalez Ińarritu (Babel) and Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), who have all made brilliant international careers for themselves. But their home turf is bubbling with new exciting directors willing to cut their own path. We present six feature film debuts, including that of successful actor Gael García Bernal - who is visiting Göteborg for the festival. Two documentaries, three gems from Mexican film history and a short film. Opening film: Deficit by Gael García Bernal..

Big films, big directors, red carpet and premičre atmosphere! Opening film: Lust, Caution by Ang Lee.

New films from directors whose cinematic art is always an event in itself. Bernard Émond, Werner Herzog, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Dorota Kedzierzawska, Jirí Menzel, Takashi Miike, Jacques Nolot, Manoel de Oliveira, Ermanno Olmi, Rosa von Praunheim, Svetlana Proskurina, Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Wayne Wang. Opening film: Encounters at the End of the World by Werner Herzog.

Animation to the max featuring the best animated films of the year. This year's animator in focus is Koji Yamamura, and the American feature film Year of the Fish by David Kaplan.

The silent film era still inspires us. Three black and white and silent, or at least not very talkative, gems! Opening film: The Aerial by Esteban Sapir.

POST 9/11
Last year brought a wave of films dealing with how the terrorist attacks on 9/11 still affect our world. You'll find three of the most powerful ones in this section. Opening film: Battle for Haditha by Nick Broomfield.

Here, we're talking big productions, mass scenes, battles and costumes! Opening film: The Sovereign's Servant by Oleg Riaskov.

Four Swedish film critics and three foreign ones (representing the FIPRESCI jury at the festival) have each selected a film, whose first screening they will personally introduce. Several of the directors of these films will also be present. Opening film: Little Moth by Tao Peng.

This year's section is better than ever, featuring everything from The Beatles, Lou Reed and Joy Division to Youssou N' Dour and French musical. Opening film: Lou Reed's Berlin by Julian Schnabel.

From Spanish horror in The Orphanage to PVC-1, a Columbian terror drama shot in a single take. The single common denominator for these films is that they are breathlessly thrilling. Opening film: The Trap by Srdan Golubovic.

A selection of the best loved and most awarded films that have been screened at film festivals around the world in the past year. Opening film: Lars and the Real Girl by Craig Gillespie.

Films about art, media, photography and film. Rewarding encounters with people who have influenced the world of images, like Andy Warhol and Annie Leibovitz. Opening film: My Kid Could Paint That by Amir Bar-Lev.

Filmmakers who challenge our weary eyes, who tell a tale in a new way. A selection of different stories, where form is as important as content. Opening film: Stone Time Touch by Gariné Torossian.

Five years ago we screened Cristian Mungiu's debut Occident - last year he won the Palme d'or in Cannes with 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days. Meet tomorrow's great film hope here! Opening film: Soul Carriage by Conrad Clark.

There are a thousand ways of depicting "reality". We show you some 30 of these, guaranteed nonfiction all. But the truth is always in the eye of the beholder. Opening film: Dust by Hartmut Bitomsky.

For those of you who hate all categorization and prefer an unconditional journey through the United Nations of film! Opening film: Actresses Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi.

Our tribute to our Honorary President Ingmar Bergman, who passed away this summer. This retrospective is the biggest one ever in Sweden, as far as his own films are concerned. It began on Jan 1 and will end on Feb 3. Don't miss this unique opportunity to see Bergman in the cinema!

Chiefs of Communications: Camilla Larsson
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Press assistant: Karin Andersson
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Guest list (so far..) 31:st Göteborg International Film Festival.

Stéphane Lafleur - director, CONTINENTAL - A FILM WITHOUT GUNS (Canada)
Ilmar Raag - director, THE CLASS (Estonia)
Céline Sciamma - director, WATER LILIES (France)
Ann-Kristin Reyels - director HOUNDS (Germany)

Nordic Competition
Ole Bornedal - director, JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY (Denmark)
Patrik Eriksson - director, Ruben Östlund, Erik Hemmendorff, producerer, EN ENASTĹENDE STUDIE I MÄNSKLIG FÖRNEDRING (Sweden)
Jens Jonsson - director, THE PING PONG KING (Sweden)
Tomas Alfredson - director, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Sweden)
Petter Nćss - director, GONE WITH THE WOMAN (Norway)

Nordiskt light
Jannik Johansen - director, WHITE NIGHT (Denmark)

New Mexico
Gael García Bernal - director, DEFICIT, producer COCHOCHI (Mexico)
Pablo Cruz - producer, DEFICIT and COCHOCHI (Mexico)
Michel Lipkes - director, THE LEGLESS BOY CANNOT DANCE, and Programme director of theh film festival of Mexico City. (Mexico)
Pedro Aguilera - director, THE INFLUENCE (Mexico)

Philippe Ramos - director, CAPTAIN AHAB (France)

Pen-ek Ratanaurang - director, PLOY (Thailand)
Hou Hsiao-hsien - director, FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON (Taiwan)
Jiri Menzel - director, I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND (Tjeckien)

David Kaplan - director, YEAR OF THE FISH (USA)
Koji Yamamura, animatör i fokus (Japan)

Silent Inspiration
Jamie Hook - producer BRAND UPON THE BRAIN (Canada)

Critic's week
Ulrich Seidl - director, IMPORT/EXPORT (Austria)
Arthur Dong - director, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE (USA)

Music Nonstop
Julie Taymor - director, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (USA)
Tim Perkis - director, NOISY PEOPLE (USA)
Jérôme Laperrousaz - director, MADE IN JAMAICA (France)

Horror and Suspense
Michael Kang - director, WEST 32ND (USA)
Tzahi Grad - director, FOUL GESTURE, (Israel)

Festial Favourites
Johanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze - directorer, SAVIOR'S SQUARE (Poland)
Roman Borisevich - producer, SIMPLE THINGS (Russia)

New Visions
Lech Majewski - director, GLASS LIPS (Poland)
Serge Bozon, director, LA FRANCE (France)
Gariné Torossian - director, STONE TIME TOUCH (Canada)

Dimitri Karakatsanis - director, SMALL GODS (Belgium)
Max Lemcke - director, CASUAL DAY (Spain)
Threes Anna - director, THE BIRD CAN'T FLY (Netherlands)
Michel Kammoun - director, FALAFEL (Lebanon)
Conrad Clark - director/ Wendy Kuan, producer, SOUL CARRIAGE (China)
Zoe Cassavetes, Sebastian Chenut - director/filmmusik, BROKEN ENGLISH (USA/France)
Col Spector - director, SOMEONE ELSE (Storbritannien)

Pankaj Kumar - director, PUNCHES N PONYTAILS (Indien)
Alexandru Solomon - director, COLD WAVES (Romania)
Robert Cannan and Corinna Villari McFairlane - directorer THREE MILES NORTH OF MOLKOM (Storbritannien)
Emmanuelle Demoris - director MAFROUZA - OH NIGHT! (France)
Martin Dusek, Ondrej Provaznik - directorer, Aleksander Furtula, producer, A TOWN CALLED HERMITAGE (Tjeckien)
Carmen Castillo - director, RUE SANTA FÉ (France/Chile)

Five Continents
Riri Riza - director, THREE DAYS TO FOREVER (Indonesia)
Jamie Babbitt - director, ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTE (USA)
Sergio Castilla - director, TAKE THE BRIDGE (USA)
Andrzej Jakimowski - director, TRICKS (Poland)
Lionel Baier - director, STEALTH (Switzerland)
Angelina Maccarone - director, VIVERE (Germany)
Angeliki Antonio - director, EDUART (Greece)
Philippe Faucon - director, TWO LADIES (France)
Franziska Meletzky - director, Dagmar Manzel - actore, ACCORDING TO THE PLAN (Germany)

The Nordic Jury
Monika Tunbäck Hanson (Sweden)
Aku Louhimies (Finland)
Anna Anthony (Sweden)
Ragnar Bragason (Iceland)
Jřrgen Storm Rosenberg (Norway)
Sonja Richter (Denmark)

Jury - The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
Margarethe von Trotta (Germany)
Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Thailand)
Kim Rossi Stuart (Italy)
István Szabó (Ungern)

European Film Academy
Ulrich Felsberg (Germany)
Stephan Hutter (Germany)
Marion Döring (Germany)
Blenda Blethyn (Storbritannien)
Stephanie Röders (Germany)
László Kántor (Ungern)
István Szabó (Ungern)
Yves Marmion (France)
Pierre-Henri Deleau (France)
Cedomir Kolar (France)
Adriana Chiesa di Palma (Italy)
Francesco Ranieri Martinotti (Italy)
Stephan Laudyn (Poland)
Antonio Pérez Pérez (Spain)
Antonio Saura (Spain) Nik Powell (Storbritannien)
Els van de Vorst (Netherlands)
Per Holst (Denmark)

Gaston Kaboré - director, Burkina Faso. Partner of The Göteborg International Film Festival Fund. Musarait Kashmiri, Uganda. Director of Maisha Filmlab, Partner of The Göteborg International Film Festival Fund.
Nina Wähä - writer, actress, singer, Sweden. Filmkonst relay writer.
Niklas Eneblom - painter, Sweden. Festival poster artist.
Reine Brynolfsson - actor, Winter Host (Sweden)
Robert Lillhonga - director, Winter Host
Andreas Nilsson - artist, director, music videos
Hans Appelqvist - musician
Kajsa Ernst - actor, Winter Host (Sweden)
Petra Revenue - director, playwright, Winter Host
Nanna Huolman - director, Director?s Comment, KID SVENSK (Sweden)
Rebecka Hemse, DJ marathon (Sweden)
Torkel Petersson, DJ marathon (Sweden)
Krister Henriksson, DJ marathon (Sweden)
Malin Morgan, DJ marathon (Sweden)