Stockholm’s annual International Film Festival rolled out its red carpets yesterday and YLC’s own industry insider Claire Duffy is here to guide us through the six ‘must-sees’ of the event.
The Stockholm Film Festival kicked off last night with a gala screening of Steve McQueen’s ’12 Years as a Slave’, and thus began the annual bonkers week-and-a-half of screenings, interviews, seminars, workshops, parties, meetings and the odd moment of sleep and eating in between. I’ll be reporting on it all for you right here, and collapsing in a pitiful heap under my duvet with a giant pile of toast when it’s all over.
The festival takes over Stockholm’s cinemas, screening 170 films from over 40 countries, in addition to masterclasses, Face2Face interviews with visiting filmmakers (one or two hosted by yours truly), and more opportunities to schmooze than you can shake a stick at with nightly industry mingles. I can’t promise I’ll make all 170 films, but I can promise I’ll do my darndest.
For those of you who won’t even try to make all 170, here’s a selection of films screening this year that caught my eye:
12 Years as a Slave, a historical drama based on Solomon Northup‘s 1853 memoir about his years in slavery. It’s the third collaboration between director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender, and also stars one of the most exciting young actors around, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who has already been tipped for an Oscar for his role as Northup.
For those in Peril: Writer/director Paul Wright’s feature debut is about the impact of a fishing tragedy on a tightknit Scottish community, and was lauded at the Cannes and Edinburgh film festivals earlier this year. It features onetowatch young actor George MacKay and the incredible Kate Dicke (handy hint: if Kate Dicke is in something, go and see it).
The Reunion (Återträffen) is a documentary-fiction blend by (and starring) Swedish conceptual artist Anna Odell, is a study of bullying and social ostracization. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I think it’s this year’s ‘One to Have and Opinion on’, so worth checking out if only to sound in the know at dinner parties.
A Texas Love Story: The second feature from directortowatch David Lowery was developed at the Sundance Institute’s Writing and Producing Lab, and, appropriately, is about an outlaw couple (Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck) on the run in 1970s Texas. It was selected to compete in the International Critics’ Week and Cannes Film Festival this year.
Autumn Blood: Written and Directed by Markus Blunder, Autumn Blood won Best Feature Film at the San Diego Film Festival earlier this year, and stars Swedish actors Peter Stormare and Gustaf Skarsgård. It is described as equal parts drama and thriller, and is about a young brother and sister in a remote community who keep their mother’s death a secret in order to avoid being split up.
Grand Central: This ‘working class melodrama’, director Rebecca Zlotowski’s second film, premiered at Cannes this year, and has received rave reviews for its direction and acting. Zlotowski was nominated for the ‘Un Certain Regard’ award at Cannes, and won the Grand Prix at the Calbourg Romantic Film Festival.