Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs was awarded the Bronze Horse for Best film at the 2015 Stockholm International Film Festival. In Louder Than Bombs “an upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently.”
Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano was also a big winner, taking the awards for Best First Film, Telia Film Award, and Best Actor for Koudous Seihon.
The complete list of awards for 2015 Stockholm International Film Festival
Best film: Louder Than Bombs by Joachim Trier
The prize for best film goes to an aesthetic masterpiece, a film that innovatively uses all cinematic components to move freely between present, past, dream and imagination. With this tightly woven family drama, the director gradually patches together our broken inner places and makes us visible to ourselves – and to each other.
Best first film: Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano
The prize goes to a director who takes us on a journey to a place where reality triumphs with its hidden contempt. An unsentimental yet tender film about dreams, struggles and hopes for a better life that at the same time mirrors the contemporary state of the world. The director has with this knockout of a debut created a multifaceted and pressing real-life drama that leaves no one unaffected.
Best director: László Nemes, Son of Saul
The award goes to a film that makes us hold our breath and instead become part of the film’s own pulse. With furious pacing, constant motion, a consistently subjective point-of-view and with long, meticulous and masterly executed sequences, the director takes a whole new perspective on a subject that has been depicted countless times, but never with this intensity – and never this good.
Best script: Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour, Mustang
The writers of this film depict a serious topic with both humor and warmth. It is a touching story of sisterhood, an empowering film that challenges patriarchal oppression with its stale views on female sexuality. Conservative values are placed in opposition to modern society, the life within each of us – and every person’s right to their own bodies.
Best cinematography: Manuel Dacosse, Evolution
The prize for best cinematography goes to a cinematic masterpiece, a story that could as well take place in the subconscious as on a metaphorical plane or another planet. A hauntingly beautiful universe distilled through the lens of a master, with a singular visual expression that provokes goose bumps in the soul.
Best actress: Julija Steponaityte, The Summer of Sangaile
The prize for best female lead goes to an actress who illuminates the screen with her absolute presence. It is a subtle yet multifaceted acting we are witnessing, at the same time cool and vulnerable, arrogant and passionate. She makes us curious – and we want to see more!
Best actor: Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea
The prize for best male lead goes to an actor who owns the story in every scene. It’s a portrait of a fighter, a street-smart survivor and a fellow human, who opens our hearts on his journey through a torn world full of dangers. He manages to convey a feeling of hope and faith in humanity in the midst of the brutal reality of the story.
Best documentary: Behemoth by Liang Zhao
Abandon all hope you who enter here. This filmmaker digs deep inside the bowels of its subject, showing us the monster of greed hiding in our destructive civilization. This film unveils hell right here on earth in a beautiful, emotive and poetic way. Through the power of great imagery, storytelling and empathy we are given a chance to perceive and finally end this abuse of the earth than of each other. Pure and utterly necessary.
Stockholm Impact Award: Leena Yadav, Parched
Through superb acting giving a unique insight into the minds and hearts of women in rural India told with colourful, sensual cinematography. This film is a paradoxical celebration of life in tough circumstances, creating both anger and joy, giving fuel for debate as well as hope for change when addressing a burning question that affects, not half, but the whole of our society.
Best short film: A Few Seconds by Nora El Hourch
In a very unique and bold way of storytelling the director manage to show how much humanity in the characters in such a short time. There are so many layers of emotions in this film. We are excited to discover this new talent in her future work.
Stockholm Rising Star: Aliette Opheim
This year’s Rising Star is awarded an actor who inhabits a deep sensibility as well as an immense power. Who delves into diverse roles with great courage and integrity. With the sense of carrying a secret.
Telia Film Award: Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano
With a warm, humanistic touch Jonas Carpignano has written and directed a film with acute relevance and unexpected humour. Populated by brilliantly crafted and depicted characters with complexity, throughout the story, with an outstanding Koudous Seihon in the male lead. A beautiful film that humanizes what it is to live in the world today and offers a unique glimpse into experiences shared by many of the people fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea.
FIPRESCI best film: Macadam Stories by Samuel Benchetrit
The FIPRESCI award goes to Samuel Benchetrit’s Macadam Stories (Asphalte), an insightful, melancholic and tender comedy, filled with quirky deadpan humour. Three separate stories are seamlessly interwoven around the theme of urban loneliness and the longing for human connection, all beautifully drawn, highly nuanced and perfectly paced, while the excellent performances allow the characters humanity to shine through the cracks.
Stockholm Achievement Award: Ellen Burstyn
An icon of contemporary American cinema, a bold actress with great integrity, who has given life to groundbreaking characters. Her performances have left a lasting impression with a relentless struggle for independence and freedom.
Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephen Frears
This year’s receiver of the Lifetime Achievement Award is a filmmaker who is not afraid to take a stand for those who exist at the margins of society. Regardless of what form the story takes, Stephen Frears shows us that he is a director with a genuine curiosity for people’s life stories.
Stockholm Visionary Award: Yorgos Lanthimos
This director gives us a perspective that is both challenging and headstrong. His films offer the audience an unpredictable cinematic trip that forces us to discover an inconvenient reflection of our own behaviour, logic and desires. And yet we cannot stop looking, identifying and yes, very oddly smiling.
1 km Film-scholarship: I turn to you by Victor Lindgren
Two siblings are forced to experience the implosion of their parents’ relationship. The director poses an inconvenient question to us in the audience, can a child’s will to survive overcome the self-destructive desires of the parent. The film seamlessly connects refined form with emotional impact and the director shows great courage and promise.
iFestival Award: Tisure by Adrian Geyer
Voted for by the 2015 Stockholm Film Festival audience.