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‘Vox Lux,’ ‘Birds of Passage,’ ‘Core of the World’ to Vie for Stockholm Impact Award

Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux,” Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s “Birds of Passage” and Natalya Meshchaninova’s “Core of the World” are among the wide range of movies competing for the Stockholm Film Festival’s Impact Award.

Other movies vying for the honor are Sergei Loznitsa’s “Donbass,” Richard Billingham’s “Ray & Liz,” Beatriz Seigner’s “Los Silencios,” Soheil Beiraghi’s “Cold Sweat” and Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s “Manta Ray.”

The selections span movies from around the world, from Iran to Brazil to Russia, and are meant to be singular, politically minded films reflecting today’s world in innovative ways. The central theme of this year’s roster is the impact of armed conflicts on lives and relationships.

“In ‘Los Silencios,’ Beatriz Seigner combines the social consequences of an endless armed conflict in Colombia and the uncertain future of families with elements of a ghost story,” the festival said, while “‘Donbass’ reflects the impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and mirrors the cruel everyday life in war-torn territories.” And “Core of the World” deals with issues of “loneliness, human relationships and the fear of intimacy,” the festival said.

George Ivanov, Stockholm’s program director, said the festival sees the Impact Award as “a cinematic Nobel Prize with a fresh twist, a competition that brings together the sharpest minds in film.”

“The directors in competition are defined by a special interest in pressing issues and the ability to push the boundaries of film as an art form,” said Ivanov, who added that the Impact Award is under the patronage of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and is being backed by the city of Stockholm.

This year’s festival will also honor Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi with the 2018 Stockholm Visionary Award. Farhadi will also present his latest film, “Everybody Knows,” and participate in a talk.

Movies selected for the festival’s Spotlight section, notably Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” and Ingrid Rydberg’s “An Army of Lovers,” will address the current threat to democracy.

More than a third of the films in this year’s program are directed by women, and a third of the movies selected are feature debuts.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s program,” festival director Git Scheynius said. “We have more female filmmakers in the lineup than ever before, and we are also focusing on democracy being challenged by populism and fake news.”

The festival will screen such films as Paul Dano’s “Wildlife,” Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum,” Crystal Moselle’s “Skate Kitchen,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” and Sara Colangelo’s “The Kindergarten Teacher.”

As previously announced, Canadian filmmaker Mary Harron will be honored with this year’s Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award. She will also be on hand to present her latest film, “Charlie Says,” and participate in a talk. Gunnel Lindblom, the iconic Swedish actress, will receive this year’s Stockholm Achievement Award.

The festival will kick off with the world premiere of Anna Odell’ “X & Y,” and will close with Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.”

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