Stockholm International Film Festival

The Stockholm International Film Festival (Swedish: Stockholms filmfestival) is an annual film festival held in Stockholm, Sweden. It was launched in 1990 and has been held every year since then during the second half of November, and focuses on emerging and early career filmmakers. The winning film in the international competition section is awarded the Bronze Horse (Bronshästen), and it awards a number of other prizes.

Stockholm International Film Festival
Stockholm International Film Festival
LocationStockholm, Sweden
English filmmaker Mike Leigh at the 2014 festival, with actor Olle Sarri, festival director Git Scheynius, and actress and director Alexandra Dahlström
Ai Weiwei's ice sculptures at Norrmalmstorg during the Stockholm Film Festival 2014



The Stockholm Film Festival was founded in 1990 by the three film enthusiasts Git Scheynius, Kim Klein, and Ignas Shceynius. The first festival took place over four days, with its opening film being "Wild at Heart" by David Lynch. In 1994, the Stockholm Film Festival took a step into the digital age as the first film festival in the world with its own website.

David Lynch visited the festival for the first time in 2003 to receive the Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award, 13 years after Wild at Heart inaugurated the very first edition of the Stockholm Film Festival.

The Stockholm Film Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009 by screening films on a specially made ice screen in Kungsträdgården. Susan Sarandon, who attended the festival to receive the Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award, helped to unveil the canvas before the screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". At the festival's 30th anniversary celebration in 2019, several tons of ice were yet again transported from Torneälven, 1227 km to the capital to recreate the ice canvas in Kungsträdgården.

In 2011 the Stockholm Film Festival Feature Film Award was inaugurated, which funds a feature film for an unestablished female director.

When director and actor Peter Fonda arrived at the festival as chairman of the jury in 2012, he made his entrance in style, escorted to the Skandia cinema by an entire motorcycle gang.

The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei was part of the festival jury in 2013, but could not be present as he was under house arrest in his home country. He created the work of art "The Chair of Nonattendance" which was sent to Stockholm; an empty chair that is impossible to sit in. The collaboration inspired the establishment of the Stockholm Impact Award; one of the world's largest film prizes, which was awarded for the first time in 2015 in collaboration with the City of Stockholm. The prize is awarded to filmmakers who raise important societal issues.[citation needed]

In 2021, due to the COVID pandemic, the Stockholm Film Festival pivoted to a hybrid model using a video-on-demand platform provided by Shift72. This initiative included a unique partnership with Polestar to show films on their Android Automotive system, creating the world’s first in-car film festival.[1]

The festival has been visited by hundreds of filmmakers and since its inception, including Dennis Hopper, Lauren Bacall, Gena Rowlands, Charlotte Rampling, Susan Sarandon, Ang Lee, Andrea Arnold, David Cronenberg, Roman Polanski, Terry Gilliam, David Lynch, Claire Denis, Elia Kazan, Céline Sciamma, Francis Ford Coppola, Wong Kar-Wai, and Uma Thurman.



Since its start the Stockholm International Film Festival has focused on supporting new talents through competitions and scholarships. As many as a third of the films selected for the competition are made by a debuting director and by directors who have made fewer than three films.

The festival hosts seminars, gala screenings, and opportunities to meet actors and filmmakers. It also organises mobile film workshops for children and teenagers, screenings for festival members throughout the year as well as the Stockholm Film Festival Junior, an annual film festival for children and youth during the spring. The main goal of the Stockholm Film Festival Junior is to provide access to quality films from every corner of the world for young audiences – films that otherwise would not reach the mainstream film repertoire. All screenings are free of charge for everyone between 6 and 19 years old.

Since 1990, the Stockholm International Film Festival has also been the host of Summer Cinema, an outdoor cinema open to the public during August in Stockholm. Summer Cinema has taken place in different venues in the Swedish capital, for example, Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Berzelii Park, and Rålambshovsparken.

The Stockholm Industry Days of the festival are held at Filmhuset, home of the Swedish Film Institute. Here, works-in-progress are presented, and master classes and seminars are held.[2]



Bronze horse: Best film


The winning film in the international competition section is awarded the Bronze Horse (Bronshästen). At 7.3kg (16 lb) the Bronze Horse is the heaviest film award in the world. It is also a paraphrase of a national design icon, the Swedish Dala horse, and was created by artist Fredrik Swärd.

The following films have received the top honour at the festival, the 7.3 kg Bronze Horse statute for best film.[3]

Year Film Director
1990 The Natural History of Parking Lots Everett Lewis
1991 Europa Lars von Trier
1992 Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino
1993 1, 2, 3, Sun Bertrand Blier
1994 Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino
1995 Institute Benjamenta Brothers Quay
1996 Pretty Village, Pretty Flame Srđan Dragojević
1997 Unmade Beds Nicholas Barker
1998 The Wounds Srđan Dragojević
1999 Les Convoyeurs Attendent Benoît Mariage
2000 Ali Zaoua Nabil Ayouch
2001 Bully Larry Clark
2002 Irréversible Gaspar Noé
2003 Schultze Gets the Blues Michael Schorr [de]
2004 Innocence Lucile Hadžihalilović
2005 Northeast Juan Diego Solanas
2006 Sherrybaby Laurie Collyer
2007 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days Cristian Mungiu
2008 Frozen River Courtney Hunt
2009 Dogtooth Yorgos Lanthimos
2010 Winter's Bone Debra Granik
2011 Oslo, August 31st Joachim Trier
2012 Lore Cate Shortland
2013 The Selfish Giant Clio Barnard
2014 Girlhood Céline Sciamma
2015 Louder Than Bombs Joachim Trier
2016 Godless Ralitza Petrova
2017 Jeune Femme Léonor Serraille
2018 Firecrackers Jasmin Mozaffari
2019 Song Without a Name Melina León
2020 Berlin Alexanderplatz Burhan Qurbani
2021 Rhino Oleg Sentsov
2022 Holy Spider Ali Abbasi
2023 The Settlers Felipe Gálvez Haberle

Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award


Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award is given as an honour for a lifework within cinema.

Stockholm Visionary Award


Stockholm Visionary Award was instituted 2004 to note visionaries within modern film.

Stockholm Achievement Award


Audience Award


The peoples choice.

Year Film Director
2000 Boys Don't Cry Kimberly Peirce
2001 Lost and Delirious Léa Pool
2002 Japón Carlos Reygadas
2003 The Station Agent Tom McCarthy
2004 Oldboy Park Chan-wook
2005 Storm Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein
2006 Little Miss Sunshine Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
2007 Juno Jason Reitman
2008 Involuntary Ruben Östlund
2009 The Cove Louie Psihoyos
2010 Waste Land and This Is England '86 Lucy Walker/Shane Meadows
2011 50/50 Jonathan Levine
2012 Call Girl Mikael Marcimain
2013 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen
2014 Mommy Xavier Dolan
2015 Mustang Deniz Gamze Ergüven
2016 I, Daniel Blake Ken Loach
2017 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Martin McDonagh
2018 Capernaum Nadine Labaki
2019 Jojo Rabbit Taika Waititi
2020 Dinner in America Adam Rehmeier
2021 Belfast Kenneth Branagh
2022 The Banshees of Inisherin Martin McDonagh
2023 Poor Things Yorgos Lanthimos

Rising Star Award


The Rising Star Award is awarded to an actor who has made distinctive achievements in film and has the ability to become tomorrow's star. The purpose of the award is to highlight an actor early in their career.


  1. ^ "Stockholm International Film Festival Case Study". Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  2. ^ Lumholdt, Jan (13 November 2023). "Stockholm gears up for its industry activities". Cineuropa. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  3. ^ "Awards and Winners - Stockholms filmfestival". Stockholm International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010.