Jonas Holmberg will step down at the Gothenburg Film Festival

Jonas Holmberg will step down at the Gothenburg Film Festival

Jonas Holmberg will step down at Sweden’s Gothenburg Film Festival next year, following his 10th anniversary as artistic director of the main Nordic festival.

Holmberg took over at Gothenburg in 2014, succeeding Marit Kapla. In her decade at the helm, she helped the Swedish event become the first major A-list film festival to achieve full gender parity across its lineup (in 2020) with equal numbers of films directed by men and women. Over the years, Holmberg has also become known for his headline-making gimmicks, including social experiments such as the “coffin cinema” in 2019 where moviegoers were locked in a specially designed sarcophagus with a film projected inside the coffin ; a COVID-era extreme social distancing event in 2021 where a single movie fan spent a week watching movies in a converted lighthouse on a rocky island off the west coast of Sweden; and last year’s experiment, in which a professional hypnotist performed mass hypnosis on the gala audience, only breaking the spell after the screening.

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Along the way, Holmberg has also transformed Gothenburg into a hybrid event, with a digital platform alongside its in-person screenings and its standalone streaming service, Draken Film, now Sweden’s leading VOD platform for art house films. The Göteborg Film Festival board has started the search for her replacement.

“The next festival will be my tenth as artistic director. It was a difficult decision, but it seems like a good time to step down,” Holmberg said. “We have successfully navigated the pandemic and both the Göteborg Film Festival, together with our industry platforms Nordic Film Market and TV Drama Vision, “Draken Film, they are thriving. I will be leaving colleagues I admire and have learned a lot from, but first we will organize one last festival together. We are working hard to turn the 47th Göteborg Film Festival into something extraordinary.”

Gothenburg is Scandinavia’s largest film festival, attracting an annual audience of around 270,000, with around 2,000 industry attendees. The 47th Göteborg Film Festival runs from 26 January to 4 February 2024.