Debut film Persona Non Grata world premieres in Göteborg

GÖTEBORG. Lisa Jespersen's debut feature film, 'Persona Non Grata', premieres in competition at the Nordic region's leading festival in Gothenburg, this year launched digitally from 29 January. The comedy drama about Laura who tries to find herself far away from her family is joined by Thomas Vinterberg's 'Another Round' and Jonas Poher Rasmussen's 'Flee'.

When the Göteborg Film Festival opens from 29 January, the line-up will include the world premiere of Lisa Jespersen's feature film debut, 'Persona Non Grata'. The comedy drama will run in the main competition, Dragon Award Best Nordic Film.

With its regional focus, the Göteborg Film Festival is considered an important international window on new Nordic talents. This year, the festival is held as a digital event where both audiences and professionals participate online.

Thomas Vinterberg's drama 'Another Round' has also been selected for the Nordic feature film competition, while the festival has chosen Jonas Poher Rasmussen's 'Flee' for the Nordic Documentary Competition. The animated story of a refugee's journey to Denmark will be getting its European premiere following the world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Danish names this year also include Maja Jul Larsen and Kim Fupz Aakeson, who are both in competition for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for best TV script, for the DR series 'Cry Wolf' and the Norwegian HBO production 'Welcome to Utmark', respectively.

Debut film about finding your place

'Persona Non Grata' is a humorous drama about Laura who has distanced herself from her family in the countryside and has moved to Copenhagen to be a writer and live the bohemian lifestyle. When she is forced to return to her childhood home to participate in her brother’s wedding, she discovers that he is about to marry her worst childhood enemy Catrine. Laura realises that Catrine has taken over her place in the family, and now she feels a strong need to get it back. 

Rosalinde Mynster plays Laura, and the film features Bodil Jørgensen and Jens Jørn Spottag as her parents. The cast also includes Anne Sofie Wanstrup, Thomas Hwan, Adam Ild Rohweder and Jesper Groth.

Lisa Jespersen wrote the script with Sara Isabella Jønsson, who also co-wrote Jespersen's 2017 graduation film 'September' from the National Film School of Denmark. Jønsson, who graduated as script writer from the film school in 2019, co-wrote Daniel Dencik's two feature films, 'Gold Coast' (2015) and 'Miss Osaka' (2020).

Daniel Mühlendorph, Lisa Jespersen's co-graduate in 2017, is producing 'Persona Non Grata' for Hyæne Film, the company behind Ulaa Salim's debut film ‘Sons of Denmark’ from 2019 and Gigis' 'Blockhagen' from 2020. 

‘Persona Non Grata' is supported by the Danish Film Institute's talent programme New Danish Screen. The film is set to release on 1 July as part of the nation-wide Biografklub Danmark cinema club.

Watch films on a desert island

The Göteborg Film Festival has received special attention due to a sensational invitation that pushes the concept of isolation to extremes:

One single film enthusiast gets the opportunity to spend a week alone on the small Swedish island of Pater Noster, a good distance off Marstrand north of Gothenburg.

Here, the solitary guest will stay in the island's old lighthouse, which has been converted into a hotel, watch 60 films from the festival programme and record a video blog every day. See more about applying no later than 17 January

Similar 'Isolated Cinemas' open in Gothenburg, where you can win one ticket to one film as the only guest for the screening that evening. These take place in the sports arena Scandinavium, which can normally accommodate 12,044 guests, and in the cinema Draken with a total of 708 seats.

The Göteborg Film Festival runs from 29 January to 8 February. Read more at