In the wake of Russia’s invasion, the Stockholm International Film Festival will turn the spotlight on Ukraine during its next edition which kicks off on Nov. 9.
As part of the focus nation program, Stockholm will host film screenings, director visits as well as masterclasses highlighting the country’s cinematic successes. Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who won last year’s best film award at Stockholm for his movie “Rhino” and could not attend the ceremony due to the pandemic, has been invited to the 2022 edition.
“Rhino” depicts Ukraine’s criminal world in the 1990s.
“We appreciate your support and position,” said Sentsov in a statement reacting to the festival’s invitation. “We look forward visiting Stockholm after the victory,” added the director who is currently standing on the frontlines to defend his country along with other filmmakers.
Stockholm said the focus on Ukraine is a “direct consequence of the unacceptable Russian invasion and the terrible war being waged in this now.” The festival said it “wants to shed light on the uncertain future that the Ukrainian film industry is now facing and Ukraine needs all the support we can show and contribute to.”
The Nordic fest also said it won’t screen any Russian state-funded films at this year’s festival “as long as the current war is ongoing.” Beatrice Karlsson, Stockholm Film Festival’s head, said the “decision is regrettable but a necessary mark in a time like this — Russia’s actions are unacceptable.”
Stockholm Film Festival Junior, which will run March 28-Apr. 2, has also launched a campaign together with Save the Children for children affected by the war.