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STOCKHOLM 2022 Awards

Holy Spider scoops Stockholm’s Bronze Horse

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- Ali Abbasi’s explosive venture into darkest Iran has won the Best Film and Best Actor Awards at the Swedish gathering

Holy Spider scoops Stockholm’s Bronze Horse
Holy Spider director Ali Abbasi (left) and jury member Alexei Manvelov during the awards ceremony (© Thomas Persson)

“A punch in the gut of an oppressive belief system, an eye–opener and an emotional cinematic experience that awakens an internal revolution in us”. So read one particularly passionate paragraph in the motivation of the 2022 Stockholm International Film Festival jury, consisting of director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, producer Erika Wasserman and actor Alexei Manvelov, who unanimously presented the top prize, the Bronze Horse, to Holy Spider [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ali Abbasi
film profile
]
and its director, Ali Abbasi. Abbasi’s explosive venture into the dark episode of the killings of 16 sex workers in the Iranian city of Mashhad in 2000-2001 opened at Cannes and was recently chosen as Denmark’s 2023 Oscars submission. Also awarded at Stockholm was Holy Spider’s male lead, Mehdi Bajestani, for his performance as the chillingly righteous serial killer, cheered on by many a countryman at the time for his “street-cleansing” mission. Both recipients were on hand to receive their massive trophies (weighing in at 7.3 kg, making them the world's heaviest film prizes). In his acceptance speech, Abbasi stressed, “This is not a conflict about politics; this is a conflict about basic human decency.”

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The Award for Best Documentary went to this year’s Venice Golden Lion winner, Laura PoitrasAll the Beauty and the Bloodshed, while Frances O'Connor got the Best Director Award for her Brontë biopic Emily [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, and Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s Beautiful Beings [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
film profile
]
won Best Screenplay. The First Feature Prize was awarded to Indonesia’s Makbul Mubarak and his impressive debut, Autobiography [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. Earlier on in the festival, Special Career Awards were given to Fares Fares, Sam Mendes and Anthony Hopkins. Announced slightly later than the other prizes, the Audience Award went to The Banshees of Inisherin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Martin McDonagh. A special focus on the cinema of Ukraine was a central theme, and the festival also arranged a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy, where film professionals such as Ali Abbasi, Tarik Saleh, Rojda Sekersöz, Bahar Pars and Gizem Erdogan showed their support for the ongoing struggles for human rights and artistic freedom in Iran.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Bronze Horse for Best Film
Holy Spider [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ali Abbasi
film profile
]
- Ali Abbasi (Denmark/Germany/Sweden/France)

Best Director
Frances O'Connor - Emily [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(UK/USA)

Best First Feature
Autobiography [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Makbul Mubarak (Indonesia/Poland/Germany/Singapore/France/Philippines)

Best Screenplay
Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson - Beautiful Beings [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
film profile
]
(Iceland/Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands/Czech Republic)

Best Actress
Annabelle Lengronne – Mother and Son [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Léonor Serraille
film profile
]
(France)

Best Actor
Mehdi Bajestani - Holy Spider

Best Cinematography
Balthazar Lab – La Jauría [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Colombia/France)

Best Documentary
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed – Laura Poitras (USA)

Audience Award
The Banshees of Inisherin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Martin McDonagh (Ireland/UK/USA)

Best Short
File – Sonia K Hadad (Iran)

Nikon Short Film Competition (60sek)
Trust – Mira Hilfon Liungman (Sweden)

1 KM FILM Award Scholarship
SaraKlara Hellström
1 KM FILM Honorary Mention
André Vaara

Works in Progress Award
Pride Is Not Available in Your Region - Maksym Nachonechnyi (Ukraine)

Rising Star Award
Sara Shirpey

Achievement Award
Fares Fares

Visionary Award
Sam Mendes

Lifetime Achievement Award
Anthony Hopkins

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