A Palme D’Or and Best Screenplay in Cannes, four European Film Awards, a Crystal Bear and a Teddy Award in Berlin, a Swedish Academy Award shortlisting, two Golden Globe nominations, awards in Venice, and a strong presence generally at leading film festivals around the world. Along with audience blockbusters at cinemas worldwide. 2022 will certainly go down in history as a year when Swedish film was everywhere.
Film journalist and author Jan Lumholdt has summed up this golden year in a recent article on Filminstitutet.se, which can be found HERE.
Lumholdt talks about a new high point in film history. In one paragraph he mentions Ingmar Bergman, Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller, Mai Zetterling, Jan Troell, Bo Widerberg, Arne Sucksdorff and others, all of whom have made a strong impression in European cinematic art, and whose films are constantly in demand among cinematheques and film festivals around the world – especially today as their works have been digitized by the Swedish Film Institute.
The international film year began tentatively with an almost completely digital Sundance Festival in the US, where Maria Loohufvud and Love Martinsen’s Calendar Girls competed in the documentary section. Swedish documentaries have enjoyed a prominent position at the festival over the years. Lumholdt also highlights Swedish children and youth films’ regular appearances and awards at the Berlin Film Festival. There were various restrictions surrounding this year’s festival, but that didn’t stop Sanna Lenken winning her second Crystal Bear, this time for Comedy Queen. At the same festival, Magnus Gertten won a Teddy Award for Nelly & Nadine. Both films were recently nominated for Swedish Guldbagge Awards.
With the spring came a return to a more normal situation for film, as in 2019 before the pandemic. When the Cannes Film Festival announced its programme, no fewer than two Swedish films were in competition for the Palme D’Or: Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness and Tarik Saleh’s Boy from Heaven. Ali Abbasi’s Danish-German-Swedish-French Holy Spider was also competing. All three titles won awards, and Östlund won his second Palme D’Or.
Swedish feature film debutants won awards and mentions. Ninja Thyberg received the Women in Motion Young Talent Award in Cannes this year (her film Pleasure was chosen for the Official Selection in the fully digital festival in 2020), and Isabella Carbonell was in Venice with Dogborn.
Triangle of Sadness was a success at the Toronto Film Festival, and Boy from Heaven bagged the biggest prize with the largest financial amount at the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck. The European Film Academy’s 4,000 members clearly loved Triangle of Sadness, awarding it as many as four statuettes at the spectacular European Film Award ceremony in Reykjavik in mid-December.
Even since then the above Swedish films have done very well at cinemas abroad, but it is also worth noting that several genre films have also enjoyed international success. Science fiction in Norrköping will soon be screening in at least 24 countries, in the shape of UFO Sweden by Crazy Pictures, currently at Swedish cinemas.
So what’s the outlook for next year? There is much to suggest that the success of Swedish film is set to continue. More about that coming soon, in a press release near you.
Happy New Film Year!
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