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Stockholm Festival: ‘Girlhood’ Takes Top Prize

Celine Sciamma’s “Girlhood,” above, which opened Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in May, won the top prize, the Bronze Horse, at the Stockholm Film Festival Nov. 14. Strong American contenders, such as “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler,” went away empty-handed at the award ceremony.

Sciamma’s suburban drama, which is being sold by Films Distribution, was awarded for “its energetic storytelling” and for filling “a gap in the stories that get told about Paris,” according to the jury’s remarks. The jury, led by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (”Safe House”) also included helmer Debra Granik, Swedish producer Erica Wasserman and Johannes Bah Kuhnke, star of Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure.”

Girlhood” d.p. Crystel Fournier also nabbed the prize for best cinematography, shared with her camerawork for “These Are the Rules,” the Croatian drama that also took acting prizes for stars Emir Hadzihafizbegovic and Jasna Zalica, who play a couple who loses their teenage son.

Best debut prize went to South Korean drama ”A Girl at My Door” by July Jung. Writer-director Nima Javidi was honored for his script “Melbourne.” Best score was shared between Turkish pic “Sivas” and British drama “The Goob.”

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The Fipresci prize, in the Open Zone section for more established directors, was given to Saverio Costanzo’s ”Hungry Hearts.”

The Stockholm rising star award, given to a upcoming Swedish actor, went to Julia Ragnarsson; Ninja Thyberg, who last year nabbed an award for her short film “Pleasure” in Cannes’ Critics Week, won the 1 Km Film Scholarship for her pic “Hot Chicks.”

The Telia Film Award, which grants Swedish distribution through Edge Entertainment to the winning film, went to Carlos Marques-Marcet’s “10.000 Km,” a Spanish drama nominated as European Discovery of the Year at European Film Awards.

A raft of interesting works-in-progress was also presented at Stockholm on Nov. 13 and 14, including the much-anticipated $6 million adaptation of the Swedish novel “The Circle,” helmed by Levan Akin and produced by Benny Andersson of ABBA.

Clips from this coming-of-age fantasy, set in the Swedish province, suggested a tone between “Twin Peaks” and early Steven Spielberg. Swedish actress Ruth Vega Fernandez, who stars in Mikael Marcimain’s Stockholm Festival opener “Gentlemen,” was recently cast in the film. Other pics garnering interest included Beata Gardelers’s “Flocking” and Magnus von Horn’s “The Here After,” shot by Polish d.p. Lukasz Zal, highly praised for his work with “Ida.”

 

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