The winners of the Göteborg Film Festival 2017

Sami Blood, directed by Amanda Kernell, has won the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film at this year’s Göteborg Film Festival. The prize is worth one million SEK, which makes it one of the world’s largest film prizes. The prize is financed by Volvo Car Group, Region Västra Götaland and the City Council of Gothenburg.

 Here are all the Dragon Award winners for Göteborg Film Festival 2017!


Sami Blood tells the story of a teenage Sámi girl, Elle Marja (Lene Cecilia Sparrok), who resolves to leave behind her Sámi identity and find a new life in Uppsala.
The jury’s motivation:The award goes to a film that has a universal theme told through a painfully topical portrait of a minority struggle. The journey of the main character, the hard choices and sacrifices she has to make are not only dramatically well founded, but also manage to unfold a gripping story about identity in a harsh historical context. An impressive first film with a powerful lead performance.

This year’s jury consisted of Ita Zbroniec-Zajt, cinematographer, Hisham Zaman, director,Jacob Neiiendam, festival and artistic director at CPH:PIX and Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, scriptwriter.


This year’s Dragon Award for best documentary went to Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard for The War Show. The prize is worth SEK 100,000 and is presented by the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen).

In The War Show the radio journalist Obaidah Zytoon personally and engagingly relates how the Arab Spring and the war in Syria have affected her and her friends.

The jury’s motivation: The award goes to a monumental and uncompromising film that combines extremely strong mate-rial with a unique and persistent voice of a generation. This overwhelming audiovisual experience holds us in a tight emotional grip as we live through the lives of an extraordinary woman and her friends, experience their lust for life, love and freedom, pitched against a devastating war. This film is a punch in the face to all of us. A reminder of our co-existence.

This year’s jury consisted of Iris Olsson, artistic director at DocPoint, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, director and Fredrik Egerstrand, director.



This year’s Ingmar Bergman award for best debut went to The Impossible Picture by Sandra Wollner. The Impossible Picture is a unique story about a girl suffering from polio and her insight into the frailty of life and her grandmother’s watchful eye.

The jury’s motivation: The winner is a film that we find bold and courageous in its form. Its language of cinema is quite unique and it is able to reveal things without showing them and it has this simplicity that leads to sophisticated and profound meaning.

The jury consisted of Tran Anh Hung, director; Behnam Behzadi, director and Kerstin Brunnberg, journalist.



This year’s Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award goes to Sophia Olsson for Sami Blood.

The jury’s motivation: The cinematography of the winning film elevates the story with its elegance and simplicity. The strong visual choices support the storytelling. In a faithful way necessary dramaturgic tools are used to frame the main character in the harsh environment she is surrounded by.

The jury that elects the winner of the Sven Nykvist award is the same as the jury for Dragon Award Best Nordic Award.


This year’s critics’ award, FIPRESCI, goes to Dome Karukoski and the film Tom of Finland.

The prize is handed out by the International Federation of Film Critics and goes to one of the films in the competition Dragon Award Best Nordic Film. Tom of Finland opened the festival with its portrayal of the groundbreaking illustrator and gay icon, Tom of Finland.

The jury’s motivation:For the way the director and his team portray the life of such an iconic character, balancing a well done execution and story development, and taking us through the decades thanks to a clever use of music and production design.

The jury consisted of Victor López González and Bodo Schönfelder.


This year’s Lorens Award for best producer goes to Anton Máni Svansson, Lise Orheim Stender,Jesper Morthorst and Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, for Heartstone.

The prize is awarded in cooperation with Focus Film and Kodak, and consists of 50 rolls of 35mm film and development for the producers next film.

This years jury consisted of Jacob Niiendam, CPH PIX Festival Director, Rebecka Lafrenz Producer Garagefilm, Ali Boriri CEO Focus Film

The jury’s motivation: The award goes to a group of producers who have mastered the organic sensitivity in film. In a beautifully coherent production we get an effortless portrait of the search of one’s identity in a con-servative society. This film is a great example of a successful Nordic collaboration.


Audience Dragon Award Best Feature Film
Their Finest by director Lone Scherfig received the Audience Dragon Award Best Feature Film. During the festival week, the audience has been able to vote by text message for their favorite film in the program.




Audience Dragon Award Best Nordic Film
Beyond Dreams directed by Rojda Sekersöz was given the Audience Dragon Award Best Nordic Film. Beyond Dreams was one of the contributions nominated for the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film. The audience cast its votes in conjunction with film screenings.

Prizes That Have Already Been Handed Out

Nordic Honorary Dragon Award went to the director Lone Scherfig, who received the prize at the opening gala on January 29 at cinema Draken.

Honorary Dragon Award went to the directing brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Startsladden,best short film of the year, went to The Burden by Niki Lindroth von Bahr at the Startsladden screening on January 31. She was also awarded with the Audience Choice Award for best short film.

Angelo Award, the Swedish Church’s award worth SEK 50,000, went to Rojda Sekerzös for Beyond Dreams.

The City of Gothenburg Award, worth SEK 50,000, went to Fragility by Ahang Bashi at the screening of the festival’s closing film on Saturday, February 4.

Mai Zetterling Artist Foundation Stipend, worth SEK 200,000, went to Ahang Bashi at the festival opening on January 29 at cinema Draken.

Doris award went to China Åhlander.

Bonnie stipend went to Johanna Pyykkö.

Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize went to the Norwegian TV series Nobel and the writers Mette M. Bølstad and Stephen Uhlander.

Via GIFF press release

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.