Sweden's Goteborg Film Festival Unveils Gender Neutral Acting Award

Dionysos Films
Miia Tervo's 'Aurora' will open the 2019 Goteborg Film Festival Jan. 25.

Goteborg's Best Acting Dragon Award will go to the best performance by an actor or actress in the Swedish festival's Nordic Competition section.

Sweden's Goteborg Film Festival took a step towards gender parity on Tuesday, announcing a new, gender neutral acting prize, which it will present for the first time this year.

The Dragon Award Best Acting honor will be presented for the best performance by an actor or actress in the Swedish film festival's main Nordic Competition section.

Goteborg this year will also host the fourth edition of the Audentia Award — the prize for female directors first introduced in 2016 as part of a push to promote greater gender equality in the European film industry. The Audentia honor was previously hosted by the Istanbul Film Festival (2016), the Locarno Film Festival (2017) and the Toronto Film Festival (2018). The honor comes with a cash prize of $34,000 (€30,000).

Goteborg on Tuesday also announced its official lineup, which featured a strong showing by female talent, including such Scandinavian directors as Anne Sewitsky, Mia Engberg and Tuva Novotny.

Finnish filmmaker Miia Tervo — who attracted attention with her award-winning 2009 short Little Snow Animal — will open the 2019 Goteborg Film Festival and its main Nordic Competition section with Aurora, her feature film debut. Blind Spot, the directorial debut of actress turned director Tuva Novotny (Annihilation, Eat Pray Love); Lucky One, the feature  debut of acclaimed documentarian Mia Engberg; and Anne Sewitsky's period biopic Sonja —The White Swan, on figure skating pioneer turned Hollywood star Sonja Henie, are among the section's other highlights.

Goteborg's international competition selection includes Rafiki — the lesbian love story from Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu, which was banned by the country's government — Mia Hansen-Love's Maya, which premiered in Toronto, and Golden Youth from French director Eva Ionesco (I'm Not a F**king Princess).

But Goteborg — which runs from Jan.25 – Feb. 4 — will also be celebrating one of Scandinavian's leading men. Danish star Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Doctor Strange) will be honored with the festival's Dragon Award for lifetime achievement.