It is time for Stockholm’s International Film Festival 2020, returning to our cinema screens and now even home screens with a a total of 75 films from 42 countries screening from 11th to 22nd of November. Your Living City was present a the press conference where festival director Git Scheynius presented this year’s festival highlights and unmissable films.
“Big news for this year’s festival is that it will be a hybrid festival with both physical screenings in cinemas and digital screenings via our tailored platform Festival on Demand, through which film lovers throughout Sweden can see a large number of films when and where they want. This will help us reach the whole country and become the whole Sweden’s Film Festival 2020.” Git Scheynius, Stockholm Film Festival director.
You will find all the available Festival on Demand films marked in the program. You can find this year’s program magazine here.
This year’s Spotlight theme is Out of Order – a natural connection to the bizarre world situation. A film that convincingly highlights this year’s theme, is the documentary Greta by Nathan Grossman. Another documentary, 76 Days, captures an apocalyptic existence in the middle of the epidemic in Wuhan. The Danish thriller-drama Shorta depicts the burning subject of police violence, and in the Mexican film New Order, a political explosion is portrayed under the direction of Michel Franco. All films from this year’s Spotlight share one thing common – a deep understanding of an otherwise incomprehensible year.
Stockholm Film Festival has also chosen Italy as this year’s focus country. In March this year, Italy became Europe’s epicentre for the spread of COVID-19, thus becoming the first on the continent to be seriously affected by the pandemic, which quickly resulted in a total lockdown. Many countries followed, including France, which was also forced to cancel this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival. At the same time, it was Italy who also brought us the good news that the Venice Film Festival, despite the pandemic, would take place. With fantastic Italian films such as Matteo Garrone’s Pinocchio, The Truffle Hunters, Nowhere Special, The Ties and Thou Shalt Not Hate, the Stockholm Film Festival defies travel bans and takes Italy to the cinemas in Stockholm.
Additional highlights from this year’s program have previously been awarded with some of the film world’s finest awards, including Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Woman Who Ran which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and New Order, the festival’s central film, by Michel Franco which won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Other critically acclaimed films that are also part of this year’s program are Gunda, Servants and Apple.
The Stockholm Film Festival brings us new strong voices such as Edson Oda who directed Nine Days, Azra Deniz Okyay with Ghosts and Spring Blossom by the 20-year-old Suzanne Lindon who directed, wrote the script and acted in the film.
Read more about this year’s films and book tickets here.
Previous editions of the Stockholm Film Festival have traditionally brought us a broader program with double the amount of films, but this year a smaller number of films have been produced and large parts of the global film industry have stopped their productions completely. Stockholm Film Festival director, Git Scheynius, tells Your Living City about the struggles and the highlights of producing this year’s festival.
The prestigious Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 honours the actress, director, author (and former model) Isabella Rossellini for long and faithful service to the film industry. In connection with the festival, an exclusive Face2Face is arranged where Isabella Rossellini participates in a conversation with Stig Björkman.
Multiple Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen is awarded the Stockholm Achievement Award 2020. In this year’s edition of the Stockholm Film Festival, Mortensen makes his debut as both director and screenwriter with the complex and psychological drama Falling, where he also masters the lead role.
The Stockholm Visionary Award 2020 is awarded to the Italian director Matteo Garrone. He moves freely across genre boundaries and is today one of Europe’s most interesting contemporary voices, with masterpieces such as Gomorrah (2008), Tale of Tales (2015) and Dogman (2018). This year’s festival shows Garrone’s reinterpretation of the classic tale Pinocchio.
If you’re concerned about the safety measures taken by the festival, you’d like to know that the festival will follow the advice and restrictions applied in connection with the current pandemic. A maximum of 50 people in a seated audience in the salons placed with a good distance between each place applies until further notice. Hand sanitizer is always offered on arrival and all visitors are encouraged to keep their distance, both indoors in the foyer and salon as well as outdoors adjacent to the cinema. Furthermore, visitors, and employees are encouraged to stay home if they have the slightest symptoms.
To attend the festival’s screenings you first need buy an ongoing membership and then tickets to the movies you want to see. Purchased tickets are saved on your membership. If you do not want to become a festival member, you can instead buy a Try-out ticket, which gives you a temporary membership/ticket to a screening. Read more about this year’s films and book tickets, here.
All images used with authorisation and facilitated by the Stockholm International Film Festival.