2020-02-19 15:26Press release

Swedish films at the Berlin Film Festival

Always Amber by Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen will have its world premiere at the Berlinale. Photo: Story ABAlways Amber by Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen will have its world premiere at the Berlinale. Photo: Story AB

Always Amber, Sune – Best Man, Roy Andersson and a Niki Lindroth von Bahr retrospective are some of the highlights at this year's Berlinale, which will also feature a panel exploring the road ahead for the 50/50 by 2020-movement with a keynote by Anna Serner, CEO of The Swedish Film Institute. Here is your guide to all the Swedish films and events at the festival, which starts on February 20.

Welcome to the Swedish press conference, Sunday February 23

A press meeting is arranged during the festival where all the Swedish films listed below will be presented, in the company of directors, producers and actors.

Time: Sunday, February 23 at 7:00 – 7:45pm
Venue: Café Einstein Stammhaus, Kurfürstenstraße 58
Please RSVP to osa@filminstitutet.se

Always Amber (Panorama)

At the age of 17, Amber Mastracci opted for the gender-neutral Swedish pronoun “hen” and began consulting a therapist specialising in gender identities. Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen’s long-term observational documentary Always Amber spans three years and portrays not only Amber’s transition, but also the friendship with Sebastian. Supporting each other during their transitions, the two are for a long time inseparable. Their friendship breaks apart when they first experience romantic love, yet each remains a presence for the other. Possessed of a pop icon-like sense of style, Amber’s social-media-savvy circle of friends celebrates a spectrum of fluid identities and the value of the close ties that can only emerge from this freedom.

Always Amber which will have its world premiere in the Panorama section is the documentary feature debut for both directors. Hietala's previous short film My Gay Sister won the Teddy Award at the 2017 Berlinale. Always Amber was produced by Göran Hugo Olsson and Melissa Lindgren for Story AB, with support from the Swedish Film Institute. International sales are handled by Wide House.

Sune – Best man (Generation Kplus)

A new instalment in the massively popular film franchise, this is the second Sune film in a row that is competing in Berlin (last year saw Sune vs Sune in Generation Kplus). The film, written and directed by Jon Holmberg, was recently nominated for four Swedish Guldbagge Awards, including Best film and Best director. Sune – Best Man was produced by Malin Söderlund and Linus Stöhr Torell for Unlimited Stories, with support from the Swedish Film Institute. International sales are handled by Global Screen.

Something to Remember (Generation 14plus)
Roy Andersson in conversation with Niki Lindroth von Bahr (On Transmission)

The Berlinale turns 70 and celebrates with the special section On Transmission. Seven notable directors are invited and will in turn each bring a guest to share stories, experiences and knowledge. Swedish director Roy Andersson, winner of the 2019 Silver Lion in Venice for his latest film About Endlessness, will be in conversation with acclaimed director and animator Niki Lindroth von Bahr whose new short film Something to Remember will compete in Generation 14plus.

The Berlinale will also feature a special screening of Roy Andersson’s masterpiece A Swedish Love Story (which world premiered at the 1970 Berlinale) as well as a retrospective of Niki Lindroth von Bahrs short films: Tord and Tord (2010), Bath House (2014), and The Burden (2017) which has screened at over 70 film festivals to date and has won numerous prizes including in Toronto and Clermont-Ferrand. International sales for Something to Remember are handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Shooting Star: Levan Gelbakhiani

Dancer and actor Levan Gelbakhiani (b 1997) is chosen as Georgia’s Shooting Star. Gelbakhiani rose to fame after starring as the lead in director Levan Akin’s celebrated Swedish film And Then We Danced (2019). The controversial drama, about forbidden love between two male dancers at a Georgian dance company, had its world premiere at Cannes 2019 and has since then scooped up awards at several festivals, including Best actor for Gelbakhiani at Odessa, Minsk, Sarayevo and Valladolid, as well as an EFA nomination. And Then We Danced recently screened in Sundance and won four Swedish Guldbagge Awards, with Gelbakhiani picking up Best actor.

Panel: 50/50 A Roadmap for the Future (EFM Horizon)

Co-hosted by the Swedish Film Institute, the panel will explore the road ahead for the 50/50 by 2020-movement. From its beginnings as a call to action for gender parity in the funding schemes of films in Sweden, it has grown to become a global movement which embraces the entire filmic eco-system, working towards the increased representation and structural inclusion of other equity-seeking groups.

Participants: Anna Serner, CEO, The Swedish Film Institute (keynote speaker); Dame Heather Rabbatts, DBE, Chair of Time’s Up UK; Delphyne Besse, Co-Founder and Co-President, Collectif 50/50. Additional panelist TBC. Moderator: Wendy Mitchell, Contributing Editor, Screen International and Screen Daily

Time and place: Sunday, February 23, 2:00 – 3:15pm at Berliner Freiheit, Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin.

Press are invited to cover the event. Please RSVP to petra.kauraisa@filminstitutet.se by Thursday, February 20.

The Swedish Film Institute in Berlin:

Jan Göransson, Head of Press: jan.goransson@sfi.se, +46-70-6030362
Per Perstrand, Communications Officer: per.perstrand@sfi.se, +46-70-4916113

About The Swedish Film Institute

The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897.


Jan Göransson
Head of Press
Jan Göransson
Per Perstrand
Communications Officer – Press
Per Perstrand