Stockholm: ‘Mediterranea’ Opens Politically-Charged Festival


The 26th edition of Stockholm Intl. Film Festival opened last night, Nov. 10, with the gala screening of Jonas Carpignano’s “Mediterranea.” The film, about two Burkina Faso refugees struggling to survive in Italy, won Cannes Critics’ Week and makes an apt choice for Stockholm, not only because the director competed at Stockholm last year with his short “A Ciambra,” but also since Migration is this year’s spotlight at the festival.

Nine feature films are programmed in the special section, while other titles screening at the festival deal with similar issues.

During its Nov. 11-22 run, Stockholm will screen 200 films from more than 60 countries.

“Mediterranea” unspools in the main competition, where 21 first, second and third-time directors are vying for the Bronze horse, including Joachim Trier, who’s the most established helmer in the selection. His “Louder Than Bombs,” which competed at Cannes, is also festival’s mid-point film. Among newcomers to the competition lineup are Laszlo Nemes with “Son of Saul” and Magnus von Horn with “The Here After.”

More female than male directors are represented in the competition, including Marielle Heller with “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” Lucile Hadzihalilovic with “Evolution,” Deniz Gamze Erguven with “Mustang” and Alice Winocour with “Maryland.”

Jury members are producer Mimmi Spang and directors Christian Zubert, Arab Nasser and Peter Gronlund, whose “Drifters” was presented as a work-in-progress at last year’s festival, and won a special mention at San Sebastian this year..

For the first time there will be another Bronze horse handed out to the best documentary. Among 20 selected titles are Sundance winner “Wolfpack.”

Seven titles with strong social and political impact will compete for the new Stockholm Impact Award, which carries a cash award of 1 millon krona ($115,000). The Impact jury comprises Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, director Ida Panahandeh and theater director Linus Tunstrom.

The Open Zone section, for more established directors, has programmed Berlinale winners “Taxi Teheran” and “Aferim!” plus several French pics including “Land Legs,” “The Measure of a Man,” “Marguerite,” “Valley of Love,” “Macadam Stories” and “Diary of a Chambermaid,” while Todd Haynes’ Oscar hopeful “Carol” closes the festival.

Director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose film “The Lobster” played in Cannes to much buzz, will receive Stockholm’s Visionary Award, followed by a screening of his the sci-fi tinged pic. Helmer Stephen Frears will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, and his latest feature, “The Program,” will also screen.

Ellen Burstyn will be on hand to accept the Achievement Award.

The full competition lineup:

“As I open my eyes,” Leyla Bouzid
“The Chosen Ones,” David Pablos
“Clever,” Federico Borgia, Guillermo Madeiro
“The Daughter,” Simon Stone
“The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” Marielle Heller
“Efterskalv,” Magnus von Horn
“Evolution,” Lucile Hadžihalilovic
“Free in Deed,” Jake Mahaffy
“Lazy Hazy Crazy,” Luk Yee-sum
“Louder Than Bombs,” Joachim Trier
“Maryland,” Alice Winocour
“Mediterranea,” Jonas Carpignano
“Mustang,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven
“Nahid,” Ida Panahandeh
“Neon Bull,” Gabriel Mascaro
“Price of Love,” Hermon Hailay
“Son of Saul,” László Nemes
“The Summer of Sangaile,” Alanté Kavaïté
“Sworn Virgin,” Laura Bispuri
“Tikkun,” Avishai Sivan
“The Wednesday Child,” Lili Horváth

Stockholm Documentary Competition:

“An Open Secret,” Amy Berg
“The Amina Profile,” Sophie Deraspe
“Behemoth,” Liang Zhao
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” Stanley Nelson
“Bolshoi Babylon,” Nick Read, Mark Franchetti
“Cartel Land,” Matthew Heineman
“Chuck Norris VS. Communism,” Ilinca Calugareanu
“GTFO: Get the F&#% Out,” Shannon Sun-Higginson
“The Hunting Ground,” Kirby Dick
“Italian Gangsters,” Renato De Maria
“My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did,” David Evans
“North,” Çayan Demirel, Ertugrul Mavioglu
“Our Last Tango,” German Kral
“Palio,” Cosima Spender
“Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict,” Lisa Immordino Vreeland
“The Propaganda Game,” Álvaro Longoria
“The Seventh Fire,” Jack Pettibone Riccobono
“The Swedish Theory of Love,” Erik Gandini)
“Welcome to Leith,” Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker
“The Wolfpack,” Crystal Moselle

Stockholm Impact Lineup:

“Baba Joon,” Yuval Delshad
“White People,” Lisa Aschan
“Honor Thy Father,” Erik Matti
“Mekko,” Sterlin Harjo
“Parched,” Leena Yadav
“Tomorrow,” Cyril Dion, Mélanie Laurent
“Yo,” Matias Meyer


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