“This has been the year of documentaries, above all, and we have broken all attendance records,” said Anna Serner, CEO of The Swedish Film Institute, at a press conference, according to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
Call Girl, a controversial thriller loosely based on a late 1970s political scandal in Sweden, pulled in the most nominations, including best picture, best screenplay and best director, after a jury of 46 members secretly voted to determine Sweden’s best achievements in film for the previous year.
The actual scandal involved then Justice Minister Lennart Geijer, who was rumoured to have bought sex from an under-aged prostitute, while serving under Prime Minister Olof Palme.
Daily Dagens Nyheter in 1977 wrote about a secret memo from the police to Palme sharing information that Geijer, along with several other high-ranking officials, may be frequenting a brothel with connections to a foreign intelligence service.
In the film, however, it is not the justice minister but a prime minister who has sex with an under-aged prostitute, prompting the son of Palme to report the film to Sweden’s Chancellor of Justice (Justitieskanslern) for slander.
Call Girl’s director, Mikael Marcimain, was nominated for best director and the film got a nod for best picture.
Other nominations for best picture included Searching for Sugar Man, a tale of two South Africans seeking more information about mysterious 1970s rock ‘n’ roller Rodriguez, and Eat Sleep Die, a film about the struggles of a young eastern European immigrant who loses her job in Sweden.
The Last Sentence (Dom over död man) and Searching for Sugar Man each took six nominations, with Eat Sleep Die (Äta sova dö) claiming five.
Other nominations included Best Actor: Johannes Brost in Janne in Avalon, Bengt C.W. Carlsson for Good Luck and Take Care of Each Other (Lycka till och ta hand om varandra) and Matias Varela for Easy Money II (Snabba cash II).
Best Actress nominations went to Pernilla August for her role in Call Girl, Nermina Lukač for Eat Sleep Die (Äta sova dö) and Linda Molin for her role in Bitch Hug (Bitchkram).
Awarded annually since 1964, the Guldbagge, or Golden Beetle, is the Swedish Film Institute’s award for achievements in film from the previous year. The beetle-shaped award was designed by Swedish sculptor Karl Axel Pehrson.