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Nordeste Wins Best Film at Stockholm

Juan Solanas' Nordeste won the Best Film award at the Stockholm International Film Festival (Novemeber 17-27). Solanas received the Bronze Horse award at a star-studded ceremony at Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm, the hub of the festival for the press and visiting directors and actors including Park Chan-wook, whose film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance closed the festival. The award was presented to Solanas by Eva Fröling, acclaimed dramatic actress from Ingmar Bergman films and actor Sven Wolter. Solanas said he was honored to receive the award in the country where one of his favorite directors resides. The film also garnished acting awards for both Carole Bouquet and Aymrà Rovera. Nordeste which debuted at Cannes in "Un Certain Regard" concerns the subject of child trafficking where Bouquet plays a French woman who travels to Argentina to adopt a baby. Rovera plays Julia, a single mother trying to survive.

Me and You and Everyone Else by Miranda July took home the Best Debut film, which is the award that is perhaps the distinguishing feature of the Stockholm fest. The award goes to a director's first film. July easily acquired the prize by capturing the heart of the audience and jury, with completely sold out screenings at the festival. Sometimes films that debut at other film festivals don't necessarily work in other venues, but for July who has also won awards at Sundance and the coveted Camera d'Or at Cannes in May,Me You and Everyone Else is a testimony about versatility and appeal. July was enthusiastic about the film's reception in Stockholm. "In the USA the film has already gone to DVD so its wonderful to see it getting approved in Stockholm", said July. The film will premiere in Stockholm January 6th. The film is a colorful tableau of believable characters, that explores today's art world, and intimacy across all ages.

The Stockholm festival is noted for showcasing innovative and cutting edge by directors who are acclaimed for their independence and this year is no exception. Directors like David Cronenberg and Terry Gilliam are ground breaking directors that were honored this year. Gilliam remarked on winning the Visionary Award --a "Bronze Horse" that weighs close to four kilograms, "maybe little Greek men are hiding in here like the Trojan horse and will come out and attack me in my sleep". David Cronenberg admitted that the subject matter of his films was "too weird for Hollywood" but that maybe with his latest film A History of Violence"´ that opened the festival that might change. Park Chan Wook is also a 'renegade' director that made a trilogy of 'revenge films' just to prove that he could. But revenge according to the South Korean director is often about the "transference of guilt". The film sparked off the best FACE2FACE debate of the festival - "Female Revenge" with a panel of Swedish critics and cinema studies experts. Park Chan Wook would certainly agree that revenge may not respect gender, but actually masks a repressed anger that has no healthy outlet in society.

The entire list of awards at the festival:

Best Film
Nordeste by Juan Diego Solanas
According to the jury: "A film that is remarkably mature in everything from theme, vision and execution. It has the firm courage to ask difficult questions, without feeling the need to answer them for us, without ever straying from the path into cheap sentimentality or shock values".

Best First Film
Me and You and Everyone We Know by Miranda July
The Jury¹s motivation:
"With great anticipation and high hopes for the future, the jury award for best directorial debut is awarded to a clear voice, talking to us in a unique tone".

Best Script
Annie Griffin ­ Festival

Best Cinematography
Adrian Tan ­ Be With Me

Best Actress
Carole Bouquet and Aymará Rovera ­ Nordeste

Best Actor
Vincent D'Onofrio ­ Thumbsucker

Best Short Film
Sons of Tû: The God of War by Taika Waititi

Star! Audience Award
Storm (Stockholm XVI Competition), by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein.

1 km Film Scholarship
The Voice by Johan Söderberg

Made in Stockholm
Death by Heart by Malin Erixon

Jameson Short Film Awards 2005
Mebana by Daniel Wallentin

FIPRESCI Jury Best Film
Be With Me by Eric Khoo

Northern Lights
Accused by Jacob Thuesen

Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award: David Cronenberg
"With a mind-blowing visual aesthetic, David Cronenberg has penetrated mass phenomena in modern society as well as the mind and body of the individual. David Cronenberg has through his cinematic career created an own cinematic genre".

Stockholm Visionary Award: Terry Gilliam
"Terry Gilliam receives the Stockholm Visionary Award for his unique inventiveness, which has captured the hearts and minds of film enthusiasts everywhere. In uniting suspense, satire and visual virtuosity, his pioneering film art shows that reality can be as deceptive and false as imagination can be true. Through his daring and unquenchable creative power he has defeated the mighty windmills of the film industry".

World Wide Winner Award
Best film iFestival selected by the online film audience.
The Forest and 7 Illustrations Around the Name of a Tree by Malin Erixon

Festival Jury
Daniel Alfredson (Director and Chief at SVT Fiction), Pelle Almqvist (Musician), Rodrigo Garcia (Director), Helena af Sandeberg (Actress), Orvar Säfström (Film Critic)

FIPRESCI Jury (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique)
Caroline M. Buck (Film Critic and Film Historian), Frédéric Ponsard (Journalist and Film Critic), Alf Kjetil Walgermo (Writer and Journalist)


Moira Sullivan, Nordic Correspondent

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