The 27th Stockholm International Film Festival, Northern Europe's leading film event premieres award-winning Hungarian director Roland Vranik's latest feature, THE CITIZEN, which considers the many nuances of integration through the means of an unorthodox love story.
Hungary's Oscar Entry and EFA Awards contender KILLS ON WHEELS will be on show in the Twilight Zone selection.
Altogether six "bold films on pressing contemporary issues" have been invited to compete for 1 million SEK Impact Award - announced the organizers during the press conference held in Stockholm. More than 190 films from over 70 countries will be screened during the festival from 9 to 20 November on various venues.
Award-winning Hungarian director Roland Vranik's third feature film considers the many nuances of integration through the means of an unorthodox love story The Citizen follows Wilson, who, after losing his entire family to the horrors of war and making the perilous journey to Europe as a political refugee, settles for a sedate life as a security guard in a Budapest shopping center. However, Wilson is driven by a quest: to become a model Hungarian citizen and to do so at any cost.
With a script co-written by the acclaimed writer and fellow Hungarian Iván Szabo, »The Citizen« poignantly dwells on some of the most complex issues of modern society. With Spartan use of technology, a naturalistic and pared-down mise-en-scene and by employing mostly unprofessional actors, director Roland Vranik emphasizes the complexity of human emotion and lets the universal vulnerability of the heart mirror the equally universal vulnerability of humanity.
Roland Vranik (1968) / After graduation in 1987, he worked on several diploma films, shorts and national/international feature films as production manager and director's assistant in Budapest. Later he worked in the Netherlands where he directed four films and collaborated in several productions made by the students of the Dutch Film Academy.
In 2000 he received a grant from the Balázs Béla Studio (BBS) and directed and wrote the experimental short film DOMINATOR 2000. The same year he was director's assistant of WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES directed by Béla Tarr.
He also made some 30 spots and video clips before directing his first feature film FEKETE KEFE (BLACK BRUSH) in 2005, the main prize winner of the Hungarian Film Week in 2005.
Stockholm Impact Award is a collaboration between the Stockholm Film Festival and the City of Stockholm with the purpose to support headstrong filmmakers who are not afraid to bring up burning topics in contemporary society. The prize of 1 million SEK is intended as a support for the further work and development of new film projects.
The prize designed by influential contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, is not only beautiful; it has a political meaning as well. Attached to the prize is following text written by Ai Weiwei: Grass is the most common and ignorable part of our landscape but it covers everywhere and never stops growing. Grass is small, fragile and flexible, yet it is strong and persistent when being stepped on.
The award design is one segment of grass made of indestructible spikes. It also refers a central theme in Ai’s recent work, Grass Mud Horse.
Because of a similar pronunciation, the word “grass” in China has become a tongue in cheek substitute for the word. The Chinese character for grass is “cao” and can be found in words “caoch angdi”, the district in Beijing, which houses Ai’s studio, and “caonima” which means alpaca.
Over the past several years, the alpaca has become the face of “grass mud horse” a popular Chinese internet meme. Pronounced roughly the same way as a common obscenity, the “grass mud horse” has become a widespread symbol of defiance.
Ai Weiwei embraces the “grass mud horse” as a vehicle to prod the government while underscoring the essential absurdity of its systematic censorship.
Stockholm International Film Festival started in 1990 and is today one of the leading competitive film festivals in Europe.