Feature debut The Sunfish to compete in Göteborg

FESTIVAL. "I grew up in a remote part of Denmark, and perhaps that's why I had to make the film," says director Søren Balle about his debut feature "The Sunfish" selected for competition at the Göteborg film festival. Three Danish documentaries are also in competition.

Announcing their programme for this year's line-up, the Göteborg International Film Festival has invited The Sunfish by newcomer Søren Balle. The film is to take part in the main Dragon Award competition, marking the film's world premiere.

An adaptation of an awardwinning play, "The Sunfish" is a character-driven drama about a middle-aged fisherman, Kesse, whose wife has left him and who is struggling to make ends meet in a barely profitable business. On the one hand is the temptation of off-the-books fishing and quota fraud, on the other hand is the call of a captivating female marine biologist researching fish populations whom the other fishermen consider their mortal enemy. The conflicting attractions force Kesse to seriously reconsider his life.

"For me, it is not the politics, but the individual who is front and centre. The film's main character, the fisherman Kesse, is struggling to keep up with a world that is moving rapidly on without him," says Søren Balle who grew up in the Northern part of Jutland, in a setting similar to that of "The Sunfish". 

"Sunfish" is Søren Balle's feature film debut and is developed under New Danish Screen, the Danish Film Institute's talent programme. 

Three Danish documentaries in competition

Three Danish documentary films are in competition at the festival. Berit Madsen's Sepideh, Anna Eborn's Pine Ridge and Karen Stokkendal Poulsen's The Agreement are all in the run for a Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary.

The Nordic showcase series includes seven Danish titles: Mikkel Nørgaard's The Keeper of Lost Causes, Nils Malmros's Sorrow and Joy, Daniel Joseph Borgman's The Weight of Elephants, Anne- Grethe Bjarup Riis's Catch that Dream, Annette K. Olesen The Shooter, Andreas Johnsen's Ai Weiwei the Fake Case, and Erlend E. Mo's Four Letters Apart.

Also selected for the festival are Gudmundur A. Gudmundsson's Whale Valley (Cannes 2013), Dorte Bengtson's The Shadow Animal, and the two graduation films Boy by Julie Bezzera Madsen and Oasis by Carl Marott.

Göteborg International Film Festival 24 January – 3 February 2014