For the fourth year, the Stockholm Impact Award, which comes with a prize of SEK1 million ($110,000) and a trophy designed by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, will be handed to a film playing at the Stockholm Intl. Film Festival that “reflect our times.” This year the organizers are expanding the number of titles competing to eight to allow a wider range of films and filmmakers to be considered, the fest says.
The films selected are Brady Corbet’s Venice title “Vox Lux,” starring Natalie Portman; Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s “Birds of Passage,” likely to be an Oscar contender; Sergey Loznitsa’s satire “Donbass”; Beatrice Seigner’s social drama “Los Silencios,” applauded at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes; Soheil Beraghi’s “Cold Sweat”; Natalia Meshchanninova’s “Core of the World”; Phuttiphong Aroonphengs “Manta Ray”; and Richard Billingham personal documentary “Ray & Liz.”
“[The award] is all about films that reflect our times through the perspective of visionary directors, some are established names and some relatively unknown, all truly independent,” says George Ivanov, head of programming at the festival. He mentions three films in particular: “Vox Lux,” “Donbass,” and “Birds of Passage.” “It’s an exciting competition because we seek films that push the limits of contemporary cinema both politically and artistically.”
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Last year’s winner was “Wild Roses” by Polish director Anna Jadolska, who used the prize money for the development of her next project. The award is a collaboration between the festival and the City of Stockholm.