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Film fan to spend a week watching films on isolated island for Swedish festival

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Sweden’s Göteborg Film Festival have launched a new experience for their 2021 festival, inviting one fan to spend a week alone on an isolated island watching their films.

The chosen fan will spend a week in a lighthouse-turned-luxury hotel and cinema on the tiny Pater Noster island off the west coast of Sweden, where they’ll be able to watch up to 60 films from the 2021 Göteborg Film Festival line-up.

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“You have everything you need — great food, great drink, a nice bed — this isn’t about survival,” the festival’s artistic director Jonas Holmberg said of the experience. “But you can’t bring anything with you: no phone, no computer, not even a book. You can watch the waves and you can watch the films.”

Fans are able to apply for the experience via the festival’s website here.

Speaking of what he expects from the winning applicant, Holmberg said: “They have to be a film enthusiast; they have to agree to record a daily video blog about the experiment; and they have to be emotionally and psychologically suited to spend a week in this kind of isolation.”

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Cinema in Madrid. Credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Holmberg went on to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged the festival to be more creative with their experiences for the 2021 festival, adding: “We are all watching films in isolation now and that changes our relationship with movies.

“We have seen new types of films resonate in this lockdown period, and films take on a different meaning. A scene where people hug a stranger feels very different in a moment when you can’t do that yourself.”

Also on offer as part of Göteborg 2021 will be one-person film screenings at cinemas, ice hockey stadiums and more in the city, many of which will feature introductions from cast and directors.

“It will be a strange experience, having a gala screening for one person,” Holmberg said, “but that’s also part of the new world we are in, that places famous for being crowded and full of life are now suddenly empty.”

2021’s Göteborg Film Festival will be held online from January 29 to February 8.

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