Finding Hope at the Stockholm Film Festival

Kendra Valentine shares some highlights from the 2014 Stockholm Film Festival.

Mr Turner Photo: © 2014 Thin Man Films-All Rights Reserved

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the Stockholm International Film Festival kicked off with yet another incredibly well curated program surrounding all things cinema: not least of which included a roster of the world’s best films of this year.

The Stockholm Film Festival is held in November each year, providing Stockholmers a perfect relief against the dwindling presence of sunlight and the crisp cold of the coming winter.

The festival commenced in grand style with the unveiling of ice sculptures designed by world-renowned subversive Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whom once again was prevented from attending the festival by Chinese authorities. This gesture appropriately reflected the theme of this year’s festival: Hope.

It seems that the theme of ‘hope’ found itself pleasantly alluded to in this year’s choice for Best Film as well with the film “Girlhood” by Céline Sciamma. The film follows the transformation of a young black Parisian woman whom propels herself through seemingly dead ends with determination.


LEFT: American actress Uma Thurman was awarded the ‘Stockholm Achievement Award 2014| Photo by Rodrigo Rivas Ruiz, RIGHT: Lauren Bacall Dedication 2014 | Photo by Leif Erik Nygårds

Although the film program has so much to offer in itself, one should not forget about the enriching events and seminars that also surround the festival.

For example, ‘Filmstaden’ located in the historic former film studio complex in Solna, hosted a storytelling lecture by film writer and historian Mikaela Kindbloom on the late Lauren Bacall; and Mark Cousins, the filmmaker known for his documentary series “The Story of Film” held a special seminar entitled “The Amazing Mark Cousins Film Show” in which he guided participants through the history of the Stockholm Film Festival in true storyteller style.

These and many other events comprised the festival and gave participants a wealth of insightful entertainment.

Next year’s festival is already on the agenda.

Young Sophie Bell by Amanda Adolfsson | Photo by Petrus Sjövik

Young Sophie Bell by Amanda Adolfsson | Photo by Petrus Sjövik

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Author: Kendra Valentine

Stockholm-based Boston-native Kendra Williams-Valentine is a creative at heart with an entrepreneurial spirit. She is currently developing a children's media concept and book, as well as copywriting freelance and maintaining the food blog:
She has been involved with Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and was selected for the inaugural inter-disciplinary class for their White Label program. There she represented SSES at London Business School for the European Business Plan of the Year competition with her business plan for a food product she developed.
She has previously worked as a Production and Producer's Assistant on major feature films for studios such as Warner Bros. and Universal in the US, as well as commercials.

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