One of the highlights of the Swedish capital’s busy cultural calendar, the Stockholm International Film Festival lights up silver screens each November. View debut features from indie directors along with big-name productions at the 2015 edition.
A festival with vision
The Stockholm International Film Festival is relatively new, founded in 1990 by a trio of film enthusiasts. The inaugural festival got its start with a screening of David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, a fitting standard-bearer for the program’s decidedly offbeat sensibility.
The festival has always aimed to improve Sweden’s access to high-quality cinema and nurture up-and-coming talent. Speaking to FilmFestivalLifeLine in 2013, program coordinator Johannes Palmroos said, “We have an expanded industry program right now for new talents. There is one that is called Stockholm Debut for young directors wanting to make their feature debut. We have workshops for three days during the festival… finding new talent and getting these new voices out there. That is really our focus and I would say one-third of our line-up are debuts; that is really important for us.”
Set to be announced in full during a press conference on October 20, 2015, the festival line-up will feature works from more than 60 different countries. If you're staying at our Radisson Blu Airport Terminal Hotel, Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, the city’s cinemas are just a short ride away on the Arlanda Express. Six of the festival's movies for this year have already been announced:
- The Here After by Magnus Von Horn: a film about a man returning from prison to his former community, where he finds that his crimes have not been forgotten.
- The Wolfpack by Crystal Moselle: a buzzworthy documentary about the Angulo brothers, who grew up isolated in an apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
- Medieterranea by Jonas Carpignano: a timely drama about African immigrants who have journeyed to northern Italy.
- Taxi Tehran by Jafar Panahi: a unique snapshot of life in Tehran from the viewpoint of banned Iranian filmmaker Panahi, who becomes a taxi driver.
- Summer of Sangaile by Alante Kavaite: a dreamy reflection on young love, in which two teenage girls meet at an aeronautical show.
- She’s Wild Again Tonight by Stina-Fia Sandlund: a modern version of the Swedish classic Miss Julie, this film stars actress Shima Niavarani alongside Gustaf Norén, the front man of Swedish band Mando Diao. It’s the third film in production by the festival’s fund for female directors and will make its international debut here.
The Stockholm International Film Festival doles out a number of prestigious awards, the weightiest (quite literally) being the Bronze Horse. This prize statue is inspired by a Swedish folklore figure and tips the scales at 7.3 kilograms. Past Bronze Horse honorees include directors David Lynch and Wes Anderson. Up-and-coming talent is recognized with the Telia Film Award, which helps films to secure Swedish distributors, and the Rising Star, which is awarded to a young Swedish actor or actress.
This year’s new Stockholm Impact Award will include a prize sum of SEK 1 million, to be awarded to filmmakers who “dare to challenge and raise pressing issues," says festival director Git Scheynius. "The Stockholm Impact Award will be one of the world’s largest international awards and put Stockholm on the map."