The 2014 Stockholm International Film Festival award winners
The jury of the 25th Stockholm International Film Festival has made their decisions. For the third year running, the winner of the Bronze Horse Award is a female director. This year, female filmmakers make up the majority of the award winners.
This year's jury is Daniél Espinosa (head of jury), Debra Granik, Johannes Bah Kuhnke and Erika Wasserman. Together they have faced the difficult task of deciding which films will be presented with awards. Below are the winners, and the justifications:
Best film: Girlhood by Céline Sciamma
In this film’s energetic storytelling style, a young woman goes through several epic transformations. Marieme charges forward through snares and dead-ends, not knowing where to go, but determined to survive. Girlhood fills a gap in the stories that get told about Paris. As Marieme relates to the diverse characters in her world, the acting and directing strike complex notes. Ultimately, we see this young woman as a whole person, and we wonder and care about what will happen to her next.
Best first film: A Girl at my Door by July Jung
In this debut, the filmmaker has brought a fresh eye to characters and environments we have not seen before. There is an existential excitement in seeing the intersection of basic human needs, and in deciphering behaviors that we don’t understand fully, which nevertheless has shocking consequences.
Best script: Nima Javidi for Melbourne
When a character makes choices that are hard to understand, the challenge is to put ourselves in that character’s place. This film compels us to reflect, reminding us to dwell on the ramifications of our own actions. It is an affirmation of how complicated it is to be a responsible human being.
Best actress: Jasna Zalica, These Are The Rules
Defying cliché, without exaggeration. Naked honesty. This actor embodies soulful restraint, leading us to feel for and with this character and her husband. Her work is a powerful testament to how a good story and an unflinching performance bring us close to the experience of an individual in an unfamiliar place and situation.
Best actor: Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, These Are The Rules
The jury is celebrating the remarkably high calibre of acting in this year’s selection, a feast of powerful performances. We want to highlight the work of an actor who artfully draws on life experience, with a strong, compassionate presence, using small gestures acutely, and developing palpable on-screen chemistry with his acting partner.
Best cinematography: Crystel Fournier for These Are The Rules and Girlhood
In a time of technological bells and whistles, we are impressed with the elegance of two films in which photography responds to and enhances the story. The jury was torn between vivid depictions of teenage women in Paris and the profundity of a stoic older couple in Croatia. Amazingly, both films were the work of the same brilliant cinematographer – Crystel Fournier for These Are The Rules and Girlhood.
Honorable mention – best cinematography: Hooman Behmanesh for Melbourne
Special mention to a cinematographer who worked tirelessly and precisely to make one apartment a labyrinth of the psyche. This is the cinematographer of Melbourne.
Best music: Luke Abbott for The Goob
The prize for music in film goes to a film that used music coming from the culture in which it was set. It managed to use diverse music in a way that respects us as viewers -- giving us space to think our own thoughts and feel our own feelings.
Best short film: The Chicken by Una Gunjak
A film that manages to make the audience experience the complex reality of war through the eyes of a 6-year old girl. The sensitive direction gives space for the young actors to shine. A birthday, a chicken, a window, a girl’s hands and face, sometimes the smallest details says more than any grand explanation.
Telia Film Award: 10.000 Km av Carlos Marques-Marcet
This year’s winner stands out as a result of its take on the present moment, which is both original and moving. Through its playful tone and raw narrative it tackles something unique about our time, something it displays offering both opportunities and difficulties.
FIPRESCI best film: Hungry Hearts by Saverio Costanzo
For its use of unexpected imagery to tell a compelling arc of paranoia and helplessness in a modern world. Thanks to excellent performances and writing, this film is a devastating and fascinating dissection of mutating basic human instincts and self-preservation.
Stockholm Rising Star: Julia Ragnarsson
With a liberating sense of fearlessness this year’s Rising Star winner has delivered two completely different performances in two features this year. With intelligence and a palpable sense of pleasure for her work she turns the expected into the unexpected. This year’s winner is Julia Ragnarsson.
Stockholm Achievement Award: Uma Thurman
Ever since her earliest roles, Uma Thurman has displayed an ability to portray and project the perfect and fantastical, while giving glimpses of the humanity that lies within. Every performance is exciting, enthralling and ferocious and a gift to audiences worldwide.
Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike Leigh
Every new Mike Leigh feature is an invitation to a glimpse into lives so fully formed and vivid with a cast of actors who portray not characters, but breathing, living people. This year's Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a filmmaker who iscomfortable humanizing master artists, abortionists and people who others would shy their gaze from. Mike Leigh is a true cinematic humanist, an exceptional director of actors and a master of improvisational filmmaking.
Stockholm Visionary Award: Roy Andersson
Ever since his breakthrough with A Swedish Love Story, Roy Andersson has refined a distinctive cinematic expression he shares with no other director. Roy Andersson’s films are characterized by an insistent search for a perfect tone – every image, gesture and line of dialogue mediates through humor and seriousness both humanity’s greatness and fallibility.
1 km Film-scholarship: Hot Chicks by Ninja Thyberg
This year's winner has demonstrated the ability to capture the present in less than 15 minutes. The director refuses to give easy answers and displays a willingness to challenge her audience. In her next film she aims to visualize issues such as the creation of identity, the need to be recognized and our uneasy longing to meet societal norms.
Honorable mention – 1 km Film: Chat with Me by Tia Kouvo
The jury would like to acknowledge a director who depicts something we rarely get to see on the big screen; love and desire that gets very little attention in Sweden today. A director who depicts what we might do when our repressed emotions have to be released and how we break away when our lives keep us prisoners.
Ifestival Award: A Spark at Darkest Night by Paul DeSilva
Voted for by the 2014 Stockholm Film Festival audience.
Press images of the award ceremony and winners:
Christel Lindgren, press manager
The 25th Stockholm International Film Festival November 5-16 2014.
Stockholm International Film Festival started in 1990 and is today one of the leading competitive film festivals in Europe. The festival takes place every year in November with more than 200 films from more than 60 countries. More than a festival: we organize exclusive screenings and the popular Summer Cinema – an outdoor mini-festival. Every year in spring the Stockholm International Film Festival Junior brings the latest films to youngsters between 6 and 16 years of age.
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