Movie Magazine International

Stockholm International Film Festival, November 8-18, 2001

Special Report By Moira Sullivan

Larry Clark's Bully walked away with Best Film at the 12th Stockholm International Film Festival awards, hosted by the Swedish pop singer phenomena, Thomas Dileva, a bearded man with a spiritual message in an evening gown.The film received mixed reviews at Venice this year and the Stockholm Festival audience was warned in advance to see this film with an open mind. Based on a true story about a brutal murder of a teenager in the south,the Best Actress award went to Rachel Minor for her portrayal of Lisa Connelly. Honorable mention went to Hedwig and the Angry Inch by James Cameron Mitchell,the superbly made rock musical about an East Berlin drag show artist.

The jury which awarded the prize to Bully slightly apologized about the selection of a film which has been overdone thematically today: sex, drugs,violence and youth. For the past 10 years a major percentage of the films have been selected with this theme at Stockholm International film festival and this year it started to feel tiresome. Stockholm programmers claim they cannot afford to see films at other festivals beyond their budget which would otherwise break this thematic dominance, especially films made by women which stand for only 10% of the selection.

Two films made by women were part of the international competition this year: Iles Flottantes (Floating Islands) by Nanouk Leopold of the Netherlands aboutthe trials of three women who are close friends ( interviewed by Movie Magazine International in a special program of the Stockholm festival) and Rain by Katherine Lindberg about a woman at the edge in a small southern town, a filmproduced by Martin Scorsese. Rain's principal photographer Vanja Cernjulwon the Best Cinematography award. Léa Pool's Lost and Delirious won over the Stockholm audience for Best Film about two young women who fall in love at a Canadian boarding school and the conservative forces which pull them apart.

The specialty of the Stockholm festival is to award the first, second and third film by a director. This year Michael Cuesta's L.I.E. which stands for 'Long Island Expressway' won for Best Film. Paul Franklin Dano who plays Howie Blitzer also won the Best Actor award for portraying a 15 year old boy who becomes friends with a male teenage hustler and his gay kingpin Big John ( BrianCox).

The FIPRESCI International Critics Award for best film went to Quitting, a Chinese film based on the true story about the popular B-movie actor Jia Hong Sheng who became a drug addict and was rehabilitated, thanks to the commitment of his parents and sister. The film, a true story where the original actor and his family play themselves, is part documentary, part narrative.The Norwegian Elling by Petter Naess was also awarded with Best Script(Axel Hellstenius) and a FIPRESCI award for the Northern Lights section, a film about two roommates at a Norwegian mental institution who must learn to live independent lives. This year's Stockholm festival was most successful in terms of attendance with many screenings completely full.

One of the special sections this year featured new Bollywood films. Hollywood occupies only 5% of the Indian market whereas Indian cinema is produced in 39 Indian languages and Bollywood films are the most popular. The patent formula for these films is a combination of romance, comedy, action, and fantasy set to musicand dance. Every film has at least one star, six songs and three dances. Some of the actors in this genre can find themselves working in up to 10 films at the same time. Nasrullah Queshi, the coodinator for the Bollywood section spoke with Movie Magazine in conjunction with the Stockholm report.

The most conspicuous absence was that of master director Jean Luc Godard whose Bronze Horse will be sent to him by mail.

© 2001 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 11/01

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