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STOCKHOLM 2023

The Stockholm International Film Festival all set to kick off

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- Back for its 34th edition, the Swedish gathering serves up some choice world cinema, receives the best of British and looks at some not-so-true truths of our times

The Stockholm International Film Festival all set to kick off
Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos

A cherished November staple since 1989, the Stockholm International Film Festival is getting ready to light up yet another fortnight during the hazy Swedish autumn. It all starts unspooling on the night of Wednesday 8th, with little breathing space until the 19th, when a handsome selection of awards will also have been handed out, with the list topped off by the weighty Bronze Horse for the best film in the competition. In total, 130 flicks from 50 countries are on the programme for this 34th edition of the festival, brimming with guests, special themes and a few good parties to go with it all. The festival’s industry days will take place from 14-16 November, encompassing work-in-progress presentations, topical panel discussions, master classes and networking events. For the 15th year, the festival will also hold its Rising Star event, celebrating an especially deserving young acting talent on the Swedish scene bound for further on-screen greatness.

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Opening it all in spectacular fashion will be this year’s Venice Golden Lion winner, Poor Things [+see also:
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Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
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by Yorgos Lanthimos (himself a Bronze Horse recipient for Dogtooth [+see also:
film review
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interview: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile
]
in 2008); indeed, the insistent gaze of Emma Stone from that very film is this year’s official poster. Hot and handpicked highlights from the latest Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Telluride and Toronto festivals include Priscilla [+see also:
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by Sofia Coppola, Close Your Eyes [+see also:
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by Víctor Erice, The Beast [+see also:
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interview: Bertrand Bonello
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by Bertrand Bonello, The Holdovers by Alexander Payne, Me Captain [+see also:
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by Matteo Garrone, Wildcat by Ethan Hawke, Last Summer [+see also:
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interview: Catherine Breillat
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by Catherine Breillat and The Old Oak [+see also:
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by Ken Loach. Loach will additionally be presented with the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while Breillat will be getting the Visionary Award and Hawke the special Stockholm Achievement Award. The two latter helmers will be present in person, while Loach is being represented by his long-time screenwriting partner Paul Laverty, all of whom will be dispensing master classes. Fittingly coinciding with the awarding of Loach, the festival will have a special country focus on the United Kingdom, showcasing ten select titles, among them Molly Manning Walker’s Cannes-awarded How to Have Sex [+see also:
film review
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interview: Molly Manning Walker
film profile
]
, Andrew Haigh’s acclaimed fantasy-drama All of Us Strangers [+see also:
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and Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn [+see also:
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, bringing out the assorted eccentricities of the British upper class.

Another spotlight theme this year is labelled “The Other Truth” and will deal with the vagaries of truths and untruths in a hi-tech world in our days and times. AI, deep fakes and filter bubbles are explored in seven titles, including Soda Jerk’s Hello Dankness and Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario, starring Nicolas Cage. Borgli’s film is also entered in the main competition, this year consisting of 18 movies by directors with three or fewer films under their belt. The documentary competition has 13 contenders, including Ukraine’s 2024 Oscar entry 20 Days in Mariupol [+see also:
film review
interview: Mstyslav Chernov
film profile
]
by Mstyslav Chernov. Awards night is Friday 17 November.

The full programme is available to peruse here.

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