24th Stockholm International Film Festival
Sweden, November 6 - November 17 2013
Freedom was the theme of the 24th Stockholm Film Festival, which kicked off November 6th 2013 with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, a film which was part of the main competition for the ‘heaviest festival prize in the world’ — the bronze horse. The competition consisted of 20 movies from ‘new and groundbreaking directors’. Ironically, one of the members of the jury, Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, was not able to attend the festival, because his country has stripped him of his right to travel. There was of course a video message from the provocative artist, which was shown before the start of every festival screening. The screenings were very well attended by Swedish film lovers, with almost all screenings fully booked. Stockholm boasts more than 50 cinemas, and the film festival screened in 8 of them. More than 160 films were presented in ten different sections, including American Independents, Asian Images, Latin Visions and online films in ifestival.
The Stockholm Visionary Award, which in the past has been handed to the likes of Wes Anderson, Wong Kar-wai, Luc Besson and, last year, Jacques Audiard, was this year presented to Peter Greenaway. The Lifetime Achievement Award, in previous editions awarded to Jan Troell, Isabelle Huppert, Susan Sarandon and Charlotte Rampling amongst many others, was now given to filmmaker Claire Denis.
The FIPRESCI Jury was asked to give an award to a film from Open Zone, a specially created section: 21 movies from established directors of films which, for the most part, had already had their share of success at other festivals. The jury was unanimous in their decision to award the prize to Nebraska, directed by Alexander Payne, a seemingly understated road movie which, in an unsentimental yet touching way, explores the dynamics of family relationships. (Nicole Santé)
Stockholm International Film Festival: www.stockholmfilmfestival.se