27th Stockholm International Film Festival
Sweden, November 9 - November 20 2016
A leading film festival in Scandinavia, enjoying a long cooperative relationship with FIPRESCI, the Stockholm International Film Festival presents every year some 200 films from 70 countries, focusing on debut features, young filmmakers and new trends in world cinema. With over 100 sold-out screenings, the 27th edition of the festival hosted around 90 filmmakers from various parts of the globe and more than 60 face-to-face meetings between directors and Swedish audiences. As this year’s Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award honoured Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather trilogy, the iconic image of Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone, employed as the face of the festival, could be seen all throughout the city. Another renowned guest, the French filmmaker François Ozon, accepted the Stockholm Visionary Award, previously bestowed to the likes of Wes Anderson, Roy Andersson, Jacques Audiard, Luc Besson, Peter Greenaway and Wong Kar-wai.
Ken Loach’s second Palm d’Or winner, I, Daniel Blake, opened the festival, in the British director in attendance, and was the most watched film during the festival, thus receiving the Stockholm Audience Award. The central theme of the 27th edition was identity, tackled in a Spotlight program, but also in numerous other films screened during the festival. For the main competition (18 films), the Bronze Horse, deemed the “heaviest film award in the world”, went to Godless (Bezbog), the first feature of the Bulgarian director Ralitza Petrova. Alongside the documentary competition (15 films) and the short film competition (12 films), the festival also included the Stockholm Impact competition, launched last year, in which six films fought for the award of one million SEK (over 100,000 euros), one of the largest film prizes in the world, accompanied by a statuette designed by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Three new sections (Icons, Discovery and Documania), together with an American Independents showcase, made this year’s festival program more diverse and powerful. Some of the other highlights were the Stockholm Rising Star competition for local young acting talents and the Dedication program honouring reputed Italian filmmaker Ettore Scola, who had passed away last January.
As in the previous years, the FIPRESCI jury focused on the Open Zone section (24 films from would-be to has-been directors). This year’s FIPRESCI Prize was awarded to American Honey, Andrea Arnold’s poignant portrait of a disillusioned and disoriented generation. (Mihai Fulger, edited by José Teodoro)