We had a chance to do an interview with Melissa Lindgren, program director and curator of Tempo Festival, to get full insight to a festival that is unique in its type in Stockholm and in Sweden.
Tempo is a cross-disciplinary festival, that focuses on documentary story telling, representing film, audio, trans-media and photo, and it runs from the 7th to the 13th of March.
Every year the festival has a new topic. This year’s topic is ¨Power¨ focusing on the political side of power, concentrating mainly on the uneven distribution of power and how it affects us in the society with consequences such as racism, sexism and homophobia. The topic is also taken down to a more personal level, like the power you have over yourself and over your own body.
¨It’s a very powerful theme to work with as well because you can connect it to many different films and power can be discussed in a lot of different levels.¨ says Melissa Lindgren
Tempo’s opening night on the 7th of March will roll out the red carpet at Folkoperan on Hornsgatan with the film Kiki by Sara Jordenö, which just recently premiered at Sundance. It’s about the Kiki scene in New York, which is a scene built by LGBT youth of colour and their main expression is ball dancing and ball room. The film introduces us to some of the individuals within the scene, how they express themselves, the ¨male¨ power from the normative society and their personal coming out stories.
This edition of the festival brings us around 100 documentaries. The festival centre is at Södermalm, with screenings at Biograf Victoria on Götgatan and Filmstaden Söder at Medborgarplatsen. Most of the master classes and seminars will take place at Bio Rio, and these are open to everybody who purchases a festival card – you just need to show up!
They have great guests who will talk about the theme and cover it on different levels and connections to the society. Some of the guests are: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, director of Sonita. She’s an Iranian film-maker, who made a film about Sonita, a super talented raper from Afghanistan who is living as a refugee in Teheran and her dream is to become an international rapper. She of course has a lot of challenges because she lives in Iran, where it’s forbidden for women to sing and at the same time she confronts her personal situation being a refugee from Afghanistan. Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami will come to present her film and she will hold a deep conversation about representing women who are not living in a privileged situation such as we are. Her film is competing in the international documentary competition.
In the festival the films compete in different categories, and these are: Feature Length Swedish Film competition, Short Swedish Film competition, New Voice competition, Pitch Price, for projects in development and Radio Price, for short audio documentaries.
The Tempo festival has quite a wide range of documentaries, they try to have a very broad program in terms of representation, styles and creative direction. There’s everything from very traditional documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution by Stanley Nelson, a historical overview of the political fight in the US; to very creative documentaries like When the Earth Seems to be Light by the young Georgian directors Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze and David Meskhi, which is very beautifully shot; and more into the experimental kind of documentary about this skater culture in Tbilisi.
And of course there is a large Swedish program, in which they want to showcase the best that Sweden has to offer. Swedish documentary cinema is very strong, some already established filmmakers and debuting directors are coming to present their films at the festival.
About 60% of the films will be introduced by their creators.
From the seminar and masterclasses program, Melissa Lindgren highlighted 3 different master classes: one by Cecilia Uddén, the foreign correspondent in the Middle East for the Swedish Radio, who will be talking about her work and her challenges. Secondly, Marcus Linden, a renowned Swedish film-maker who makes hybrid pieces by mixing a lot of documentary and drama in his work. And also New Zealand filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly who’s been 20 years in the industry, her new film A Flickering Truth is also nominated to the international award, she’ll speak about the film, her career and about being a woman and working in quite rough and conflicted areas.
For more information about Tempo Festival’s program log on to tempofestival.se/en/. And make sure you purchase your festival card to have a secure spot at the screenings, seminars, master classes, cocktail-mingle-nights with the filmmakers and more!
All images used with authorisation and facilitated by the Tempo Documentary Film Festival.