Photo: Brett Ascarelli / Radio Sweden
Festival director Git Scheynius and program director George Ivanov gave a taste of some of the roughly 200 movies that will be screened in November. Photo: Brett Ascarelli / Radio Sweden

Migration in focus at upcoming Stockholm Film Festival

"You gain something more than just looking at pictures"
2:23 min

Bringing some 200 films from 60 countries to the Swedish capital this November, the Stockholm International Film Festival this year will highlight the theme of migration.

"I think it's necessary, considering how the climate is right now. We need those stories behind the refugees, we need to reflect on this issue," festival director Git Scheynius told Radio Sweden.

Last year, the Italian director Jonas Carpignano competed with a short film in the festival but also expressed that he would like to screen his feature film Mediterranea there the following year.

"We saw the film and saw that this is a great subject," said Scheynius, holding it up as a paragon of authentic filmmaking. "The whole film . . . it's not any false tone ever, and that's what it takes to make a film on this subject."

Mediterranea took about five years to make and will open this year's festival.

Documentary and feature films encompassed by the theme of migration include the French movie Adama, directed by Simon Rouby; the Italian and Austrian movie Lampedusa in Winter by Jakob Brossman; the Canadian movie The Waiting Room by Igor Drljaca.

The festival will also host the world premier of a Swedish and Romanian film entitled They Call Us Beggars (I jakt på ett bättre liv), directed by Caroline Kernen and Tova Kurkiala Medbo, in which the two young directors follow the lives of two women who had come to Stockholm from Romania to try to scrape together money to give to their families at home.

Aside from the theme of migration, the festival will screen a host of movies treating other subjects from horror to love. Various film competitions will also take place, and the British director Stephen Frears, who is receiving a Lifetime Acheivement Award, and the American actor Ellen Burstyn, who is getting the Stockholm Acheivement Award, will also be in attendance.

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