What a festival!
Stockholm International Film Festival 2022 has come to an end. Behind us are twelve sparkling days full of great film experiences, parties and director's talks. The audience found their way back to the cinemas and what meetings there were with our visiting directors!
The Stockholm International Film Festival opened with the Nordic gala premiere of Tarik Saleh's »Boy from Heaven«, where the film's star, Fares Fares, received the Stockholm Achievement Award. Barely two weeks later, the film festival was rounded off with the year's closing film »Master Gardener« by Paul Schrader, who was present in the theater via a link from New York.
Joining us the packed Skandia cinema, however, was the director and screenwriter Sir Sam Mendes, who received the Stockholm Visionary Award and talked about his work with »Empire of Light« during his Face2Face conversation. The festival was also visited by Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, who, together with actors Lola Corfixen and Angela Bundalovic, presented the TV series »Copenhagen Cowboy« at Bio Capitol. The Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Sir Anthony Hopkins, who could be seen in Florian Zeller's »The Son«.
Sam Mendes Face2Face conversation with moderator Jakob Åsell at cinema Skandia.
The strong Nordic film year was manifested not least by Ali Abbasi winning the Bronze Horse for Best Film with »Holy Spider«, as the first Swedish director in the festival's history, and whose central figure Mehdi Bajestani also won the award for Best Male Actor. Both Tarik Saleh and Ali Abbasi shared their experiences from behind the camera through their Masterclasses during the Stockholm Industry Days.
The award for Best Director went to the actress Frances O'Connor for the costume drama »Emily«, the Documentary Award went to Laura Poitras for her Nan Goldin portrait »All the Beauty and the Bloodshed« and the statuette for Best Actress went to Annabelle Lengronne for »Mother and Son«. This year's competition jury had the Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov in the role of Honorary Chairman. Since winning the Bronze Horse last year, he has been faced with a completely different reality, trading the camera for weapons to defend his homeland against the Russian invasion.
Director Tarik Saleh and actor Fares Fares (»Boy From Heaven«) in connection with the festival opening at Skandia.
As this year's country in focus, the war in Ukraine was reflected through a series of powerful documentaries and feature films, such as the Oscar entry »Klondike« whose screenwriter and director, Maryna Er Gorbach visited the festival for a Face2Face conversation. We also received a greeting from the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
Another country that left a strong mark on this year's festival was Iran. This was not least noticeable through the Bronze Horse winner »Holy Spider«, which depicts a real court case in Iran's holy city, Mashhad. In addition, five out of twelve prizes are awarded to films and filmmakers with an Iranian connection. A number of film personalities and international festival guests also gathered for a demonstration on the red carpet and outside the Iranian embassy, in support of the country's women's uprising and jailed filmmakers.
Twelve intense days of film and festivities are behind us. 300 film screenings of 130 films from all corners of the world, Face2Face talks, industry days, panel debates and parties. When the curtain fell after our last screening, we felt great joy at having completed another fantastic festival together. We would like to say a big thank you to all visitors, directors, guests, partners and volunteers! We are so happy that so many people came and filled the theaters once again after all the restrictions of the pandemic.
Thank you for this year's festival!
“The fest features an outstanding line-up of films, with many filmmakers in attendance and opportunities to connect. I found the sold-out audience at my screening and Q&A both knowledgeable and highly engaged. It made for a very memorable experience. Thank you!”
Jason Loftus, Director, »Eternal Spring«
“It's the kind of festival that leaves you feeling inspired. I'll be back for sure.”
Andrea Pallaoro, director »Monica«
“Thank you for making home for me far from my home and bringing important message about Ukraine to your great audience”
Evgeny Afineevsky, director, »Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom«
"It's the best festival I was a guest at, thank you to the jury and the organizers"
Annabelle Lengronne, Best Actress for her role in »Mother and Son«
Top from left: Gala opening. Award ceremony: Alexej Manvelov, Erika Wasserman, Ali Abbasi (winner for Best Film). Winner for Best Actor Mehdi Bajestani. Face2Face conversation with Nicolas Winding Refn. First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska. Gala opening: Mansour-Jacques Hagerstrand Jallow, Fares Fares, Tarik Saleh. Face2Face conversation with Sir Sam Mendes. Winner for Best Actress Annabelle Lengronne. Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 recipient Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Photo: Thomas Persson and Ulf Berglund.