Stockholm International Film Festival is about to blow its 29th candle with an edition that will feature 159 film premieres from 60 countries during 7-18 of November. Furthermore, 40 filmmakers, actors and actresses will participate in the festival activities.
The festival has more female directors than ever, in total 22 films from the ones that are included in the competition, have been directed by women. This means more women have the chance to win in the different categories of Stockholm’s International Film Festival than in any other internationally recognised film festival.
And it is that prevalent female figure that is shaping the festival from its very beginning, on November 7 we’ll have the international premiere of the hot “X & Y” by director Anna Odell, followed by a face-to-face with the director herself. “X & Y” is an example of experimental meetings between the male and female perspectives of each other.
This year the Stockholm Film Festival has Japan as its focus country, following a wave of Japanese films that are taking the world by storm. “Shoplifter”, the winner of the Palm D’or in Cannes is headlining the country’s representation front.
“Birds Of Passage” by Colombian director Cristina Gallegos is this year’s face of the festival. It is the film’s poster you will be seeing everywhere and you’ll become familiar with the enigmatic woman with the red face makeup looking intriguingly directly at you. The film is also on its way towards a win the next Oscar gala.
It is Mary Harrow, the Canadian film maker and screenplay writer who will will be receiving the Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award this year. A chest containing films such as “I Shot Andy Warhol” and “American Psycho” compound the treasures that back up her still growing legacy. During the festival you’ll have the chance to see “Charlie Says”, Harrow‘s latest film, the highly acclaimed psychological drama in conjunction with a conversation with the director herself.
Stockholm Film Festival’s program is curated with care and dedication. Just as any other high-ranking festival in the world, its team, after watching over 4000 films every year, identifies the trends in topics that connect these films. They understand that film is an artistic expression that portrays a time and reflects the society we live in, the voice that expresses our contemporary concerns… So this year the festival curators have found that some of these recurrent topics or trends are ‘fake news’, ‘propaganda’ and ‘populism’. It is within the Spotlight section where you’ll be able to see the most representative films of these current topics . The theme has been called Democracy in Danger and it will include screenings of “Donbass” by Ukrainian Sergei Loznitsa, as well as the documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9” by Michael Moore, among others.
In the section Icons, which focuses on well-established actresses and actors, will bring us Tilda Swinton in the acclaimed “Suspiria” directed by Luca Guadagnino. Other films you should keep an eye out for are, from Argentina, “El Angel”, an incredible story soaked in a cool soundtrack and retro images with Pedro Almodovar as co-producer; the magnificently depicted “Girl”, about the young Belgian ballet dancer in transition from boy to girl, the award-winning “Chela’s heritage” about a lesbian couple from Paraguay who live on inherited money; the British “Ray and Liz” about a photographer’s self-abusive family where he himself grew up. Also not to miss out are “Diamantino” and “Climax”.
If you love documentaries, then Documania is the section for you. There are a couple of films addressing the problem of the environment to watch, but also the electrifying “Studio 54”, about the legendary disco club with the same name. The documentary follows the story of founders Ian Schraber and Steve Rubell, how they achieved the top of it all in New York and how they lost it all. In conjunction with the premiere of “Studio 54”, Swedish photographer Hasse Persson will exhibit his photographs from the club’s golden era, in which he managed to capture the atmosphere, the extravagant clothes and personalities that filled up Studio 54. Visit the exhibition at Galleri Morvitz on Hornsgatan between 2-15 November.
“We the Animals” by Jeremiah Zagar is festival director Git Scheynius‘ absolute favourite in the American independent section, which is also one of the most exciting and daring sections within Stockholm International Film Festival.
Iranian filmmaker Ashgar Farhadi will come to Stockholm to receive the Stockholm Visionary Award 2019’s Bronze Horse and to participate in a face-to-face with the public together with the screening of his latest film, the highly acclaimed “Alla Vet” (Everybody Know), on November 9 at 6pm in the Skandia cinema. “Alla Vet” was filmed in Spain with no less than Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in the main roles.
And The Stockholm Achievement Award 2018 will be awarded to the iconic actress Gunnel Lindblom. The award ceremony of the Bronze Horse will take place together with the screening of Margarethe Von Throta‘s documentary “Searching for Ingmar Bergman” on November 11 at 3pm in the cinema Skandia.
Look for Your Living City’s guide to the films not to miss at Stockholm International Film Festival 2018, coming out soon!
All images used with authorisation and facilitated by the Stockholm International Film Festival.