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STOCKHOLM 2021

Stockholm gets physical for 2021 with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Jane Campion and a spotlight on motherhood

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- As Sweden lifts its COVID-19 restrictions, the 32nd edition of the Stockholm Film Festival promises a euphoric celebration of cinema this November

Stockholm gets physical for 2021 with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Jane Campion and a spotlight on motherhood
The Hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino

As of 29 September, Sweden has lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions, allowing full indoor gatherings again. At this handy time to be bouncing back from a dampened 2020 edition, marred by audience limitations and other restrictions, the Stockholm International Film Festival presented the programme for its 32nd edition this Tuesday. “Back to normal” was the key message, and not without a feeling of euphoria, festival director Git Scheynius confessed as she and programme coordinator Beatrice Karlsson unveiled the different sections and events that will play out between 10 and 21 November. Exactly 100 films from 48 nations will be screened for full, physical audiences while also being available as streaming options for the whole country to enjoy. “Times have been strange, but there have been some creative ideas to pick up and hang onto along the way,” Scheynius duly noted.

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Brimming with A-list festival favourites, the gathering will host the Swedish premieres of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
film profile
]
, Pablo Larraín’s Spencer [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Nadav Lapid’s Ahed's Knee [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nadav Lapid
film profile
]
, François Ozon’s Everything Went Fine [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Ennio [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Leos Carax’s Annette [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Maria Schrader’s I'm Your Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maria Schrader
film profile
]
, among other recent Berlin, Cannes and Venice luminaries. Opening the festival is Parallel Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
by Pedro Almodóvar (also the designer of the logo for this year’s festival poster – sporting a curiously eye-like image that turns out to be a lactating nipple), while Joachim Trier, the recipient of this year’s Visionary Award, will present his new film, The Worst Person in the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile
]
. The other main laureates are Robin Wright and Kenneth Branagh, both being given the Stockholm Achievement Award and showing their latest directorial works – respectively, Land and Belfast [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The Lifetime Achievement Award of 2021 will go to Jane Campion, whose The Power of the Dog [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
will get an appropriately grand gala screening.

Among the contenders bringing their first- to third-time directorial efforts to the official Bronze Horse Competition, the programme presenters highlighted Maryam Moghadam and Behtash Sanaeeha’s Tribeca entry and Zurich winner Ballad of a White Cow [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Rachel Lang’s Foreign Legion story Our Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rachel Lang
film profile
]
and Jonas Carpignano’s mafia drama A Chiara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
, both of the latter having played in the latest Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Also entered in the same Cannes section was former Stockholm Film Festival volunteer Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, now a competing director at this very same festival with her acclaimed feature debut, Clara Sola [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén
film profile
]
.

The moniker of this year’s special spotlight theme (in keeping with the Almodóvar logo as well as his new film) is “motherhood”. Thirteen titles will be showcased, including Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Jane by Charlotte [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Blerta Basholli’s Sundance winner Hive [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blerta Basholli
film profile
]
. A smaller number of guests will be in town, with a sizeable array checking in digitally, while the festival’s Industry Days will take place from 16-18 November, once again promising to get back to normal with a full slate of activities. “After a year of what-ifs, maybes and possiblys, we really couldn’t have had a better outcome,” Sheynius mused contentedly. “And there’s hand sanitiser available for each of the 250 screenings – just so you know,” Karlsson assured those watching.

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