Swedish documentaries open and close the festival

- Bollywood divides it in two

Nahid Persson Sarvestani's documentary The Queen and I will be the opening film of the 32nd Göteborg International Film Festival and the first film in the Nordic competition. Over a week later the festival closes with Jesper Ganslandt's and Martin Degrell?s documentary Filmen jag inte pratar om längre. Two exciting films which further emphasize the focus on documentaries on the festival of 2009.

- Nahid Persson Sarvestani and Jesper Ganslandt have made two completely different films which reflect their personal languages and further strengthen their positions as two of Sweden's most interesting filmmakers, says Festival Director Marit Kapla.

Thirty years ago Nahid Persson Sarvestani participated in the revolution that overthrew the monarchy and the Shah of Iran. In The Queen and I she investigates an unexpected subject: Farah Diba - the wife of the Shah. The two year long documentation of her former antagonist, results in many conflicts, but also surprises and new unknown facts. The film depicts a meeting between two women who have a lot more in common then they first suspected.

Nahid Persson Sarvestani, who was born in 1960 in Shiraz, Iran, is an acclaimed and awarded Swedish-Iranian director. Her documentary Prostitution Behind the Veil won the award for best international news documentary at the TV festival in Monte Carlo, Monaco, 2005.

The Queen and I is produced by RealReel Doc AB. The Queen and I is also in competition at the Sundance festival and will premiere in Swedish cinemas on the 13th of February 2009. The film will open the 32:nd Göteborg International Film Festival at the cinema Draken, January 23 at 5.30 pm.

- To open such a big festival with one's documentary and to participate in the Nordic competition is just so fantastic. I am especially happy that the film will be screened exactly 30 years after the revolution in Iran. The film does not only tell the story of the ex queen Farah. It tells the story of my, and other Iranian's, life. The ones living in exile as well as the ones forced to live under oppression in the country, says Nahid Persson Sarvestani.

Filmen jag inte pratar om längre (the film I no longer talk about) is a documentary about an interrupted film production. An inexperienced group of friends with loads of IT money behind them start to make a film. But when the IT economy collapses so does the film. We see scenes from the actual film, documentary footage from the shooting, and interviews with the group members about their life today. But as always with Jesper Ganslandt behind the camera it is not easy to grasp what is reality and what is fiction.

Jesper Ganslandt was born in 1978 in Falkenberg, Sweden. His feature debut was Falkenberg Farewell, which premiered in 2006, and was screened at the festivals in Venice and Toronto. In 2007 Jesper Ganslandt wrote the book "Reflektioner av regissören" for the festival magazine Filmkonst. The short film Jesper Ganslandt's 114th Dream was screened at GIFF 2008, and the concert film Skinnskatteberg was recently screened in Swedish cinemas.

Martin Degrell was born in 1976 in Karlskrona. He is a film critic and journalist, active on the popular blog Weird Science.

Filmen jag inte pratar om längre is produced by Fasad AB. It is the closing film of the 32nd Göteborg International Film Festival and will be screened at the Draken cinema, Saturday January 31 at 3.00 pm.

Farah Khan's Bollywood drama Om Shanti Om, will be the centrepiece of the festival. The centrepiece will be celebrated with a grand Bollywood party in the Festival tent on Tuesday January 27. The film will be screened at the Draken cinema the same day at 3.00 pm. Om Shanti Om is a modern Bollywood film delivering the usual song and dance explosion but also works as homage to the Bollywood of the 70's with loads of cameos by famous Bollywood stars. The film became a blockbuster in India.

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