Stockholm fest loaded with local fare

A record number of Swedish films unspool

A record number of nine new Swedish films — five features, four shorts — will unspool during this year’s Stockholm Intl. Film Festival. In addition, seven upcoming features will be presented to the audience in a series of Work in Progress seminars.

“We chose our films for the competition from an international point of view, and the fact that there are four Swedish films in the lineup this year points to the strength of the Swedish cinema,” says fest topper Git Scheynius. “And for the first time ever, there is a Swedish documentary in the competition lineup.”

That docu, “Mr Governor,” is helmed by first-time feature director Mans Mansson. The film depicts the life of Anders Bjorck, a controversial conservative politician who is governor of the county of Uppsala, which is north of Stockholm.

Mansson and his crew of two got access to Bjorck and have attempted to make an intimate portrait of the man and his job. “Mr Governor” follows in the classic cinema verite tradition, eschewing any Michael Moore emphasis on the filmmaker himself.

The fest also features the world premiere of Manuel Concha’s comedy “Manana,” starring well-known thesps like Mikael Segerstrom and Helena af Sandeberg.

The other Swedish films in the competition are already well known from different fests:

“Involuntary” by Ruben Ostlund had its world premiere in this year’s Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival and has gone on to win numerous awards at other international festivals.

Love story “Les grandes personnes — Grown Ups” was also shown at Cannes. It is a Swedish-French co-production, helmed by Anna Novion and shot in the archipelago at the Swedish west coast.

“Downloading Nancy” is a drama made in the U.S. by Swedish helmer Johan Renck. The film had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Four Swedish shorts will be featured in the short-film competition. They include Bjorne Larsson’s “The Fur,” Andreas Tibblin’s “Good Advice,” Johan Lundh’s “Konvex-T” and Emil Klang’s “Disappearing.”

In the fest’s Work in Progress section, filmmakers show excerpts from projects currently in post and then take questions from the audience after their respective unspoolings. A few Swedish films made that cut. They include Marlind/Stein’s Hollywood-made thriller “Shelter,” starring Julianne Moore; Teresa Fabik’s “Princess”; Lisa Siwe’s “In the Roof the Stars are Bright”; Beata Gardeler’s “In the Shadow of Warmth”; Alexander Brondsted’s “Original”; Jonas Jonason’s “Guidance”; and Petra Revenue’s “The King of Karaoke.”

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