Last night at the Skandia movie theatre, Ken Loach, one of Europe’s biggest film directors, was in charge of cutting the inaugural celluloid ribbon and thus initiating the countless activities of Stockholm Film Festival this year.
Loach was accompanied by Stockholm Film Festival’s director Git Scheynius during his inaugural speech.
The director of films like Kes, The Wind That Shakes The Barely, presented his latest production, I, Daniel Blake, which earned him a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film presents a critique of the social system in England, which does not differ too much from the one we have here in Sweden. Without a doubt, it touched the audience present in the beautiful Skandia theatre to the point of tears.
Right after the screening, a conversation between the audience and Ken Loach gave the opportunity to dig deeper in the subject of the film, which revolves around how difficult it is for the less fortunate individuals in our society to get the help that the system promises for them to subsist and to which every citizen should be entitled.
¨If people gets organized, yes, there is hope, but if people just sit and feel sorry for themselves, then there is not¨, said Ken Loach, talking about how people can help each other and make a bigger difference, instead of hoping for the help to come in time solely from the system.
Loach also expressed his views on independent cinema, which could be great but it still needs more support, not only from the theatres or distributors, but also from the audiences, whom the industry really needs to connect with.
Among the questions coming from the audience, Loach‘s style of filming in a chronological way was brought up. The director said that his films are that way because of “the surprise factor” he likes to keep when filming. That way his actors don’t have a clue of how the story is going to end, but also sometimes they don’t even know everything that’s going to happen in a specific scene they’re filming. He used one of the scenes from I, Daniel Blake, as an example. Katie, one of the characters, goes to a food bank to get charity food for her and her children. She’s so hungry that right after turning a corner she opens a can of beans and desperately starts filling her mouth with the food, in front of the surprised eyes of all the other actors who had no idea that she was going to do that. I think this is just amazing! The level of original reactions achieved this way cannot be beaten!
Earlier that day when I went to pick up my press accreditation from the festival offices at Hotel Kungsträdgården, little did I know that the man standing next to me in the lift was Ken Loach, himself! So funny that we can sometimes know who a person is, but not quite know how they look. right?
The festival will continue its activities until the 20th of November. More than 190 films will be screened and over 50 film directors and actors will be present holding Face2face meetings with the audience. So check out the program here.