Female directors win big at the Stockholm International Film Festival
by Marta Bałaga
- Jasmin Mozaffari’s feature debut, Firecrackers, has triumphed at the 29th edition of the Swedish festival, while new films by Eva Trobisch, Crystal Moselle and Nadine Labaki turned heads once again
Canadian filmmaker Jasmin Mozaffari won the hearts of jurors Beatriz Seigner, Soheil Beiraghi, Sofie Palage, Tomas Hanzon and Ulf Rollof at this year’s edition of the Stockholm International Film Festival thanks to her compelling drama Firecrackers, about young friends Lou (Michaela Kurimsky) and Chantal (Karena Evans) trying to escape their small town.
The film earned Kurimsky the Best Actress gong and was named Best Film for, as it was argued, “its originality in portraying the love between two friends, for its urge for freedom, autonomy and loyalty in a violent world, and for bringing us to situations in a way that we have never seen before. It’s a perfectly directed film where all elements come together in a unique universe of its own.” Alba August, the breakthrough star of Becoming Astrid [+see also:
interview: Alba August
interview: Pernille Fischer Christensen
film profile], was named the Stockholm Rising Star, and Iranian director Asghar Farhadi was given the Stockholm Visionary Award, while Mary Harron and Gunnel Lindblom were celebrated for their entire body of work.
Eva Trobisch was named Best Director for All Good [+see also:
film profile], while Skate Kitchen by Crystal Moselle (who was also on this year’s Stockholm Impact Award jury), about a female skateboarding crew in New York, won Best Debut “for its freshness and innovation in taking risks and challenging stereotypes, and for being authentic in depicting love, friendship and youth, with its honest and complex characters”.
Nadine Labaki’s festival favourite Capernaum [+see also:
film profile], continuing its triumphant march that began with its premiere at Cannes earlier this year, was awarded for its script, which Labaki wrote with Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Kesrouani, Georges Kabbaz and Khaled Mouzanar. Victor Polster was chosen as Best Actor for his transformative performance in Lukas Dhont’s Girl [+see also:
interview: Lukas Dhont
film profile], and the coveted Stockholm Impact Award – plus a cash prize of 1 million SEK – went to Beatriz Seigner for Los Silencios [+see also:
film profile], a truly original take on the refugee crisis.
In the documentary competition, Vitaly Mansky proved unbeatable once again with his shocking exposé Putin’s Witnesses [+see also:
interview: Vitaly Mansky
film profile], featuring unique footage that he shot back in 2000 as a member of the president’s campaign team. “At a specific moment in time, and through unique and extraordinary access that would seem impossible nowadays, the director shows us how power works in private. Through the ordinary, day-to-day details of rulers of a country – and you cannot come much closer to a president than this – he also tells us a lot about what is happening in the world today,” explained jurors Maud Nycander, Ognjen Glavonić and Stina Gardell. “What makes this film really special is the personal story at its core, in which the director speaks very honestly and openly about his own responsibility, and the importance of reflection and acknowledging your own role in the process of shaping reality.”
The festival ran from 7-18 November.
Here is the complete list of winners at the 29th Stockholm Film Festival:
Firecrackers – Jasmin Mozaffari (Canada)
Skate Kitchen – Crystal Moselle (USA)
Michaela Kurimsky – Firecrackers
Hiroshi Okayama - Jesus (Japan)
Best Short Film
Judgement – Raymund Ribay Gutierrez (Philippines)
Best Short Pitch
Badet – Disa Östrand (Sweden)
Stockholm Rising Star
1 KM FILM 2018
1 KM FILM 2018 Honourable Mention
Ernst De Geer
Stockholm Visionary Award
Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award
Stockholm Achievement Award
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