Irish Abroad: The Lobster and The Survivalist head to Stockholm International Film Festival

The 26th Stockholm International Film Festival, which opens on November 11th with Italian director Jonas Carpignano’s feature debut Mediterranea, has announced a lineup that includes 190 films from 70 countries. The festival concludes with a screening of Todd Haynes’ Carol on November 22nd.

Northern Irish film The Survivalist, from director Stephen Fingleton, will play three times at the festival, with its Swedish premiere on November 11th.

the-survivalist_imageThe Survivalist is a dystopian thriller set in a time of starvation, where a lone man lives off a small plot of land hidden deep in forest, protecting his crop from intruders with his shotgun and improvised traps. But the long years alone have taken their toll on him, and he is beginning to lose his grip on reality.

The Survivalist stars Irish actors Martin McCann (’71), Andrew Simpson (Good Vibrations), and Olwen Fouere (This Must be the Place), as well as Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac). Derry native Fingleton was shortlisted for Oscar with his most recent short film SLR, and developed the script through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus scheme. Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones and David Gilbery produced and financed the film through The Fyzz Facility, with support from NI Screen and the BFI.

In addition the Stockholm Visionary Award will be awarded to the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. He will attend Stockholm International Festival with the Swedish premiere of his Irish co-production The Lobster to receive the Bronze Horse and meet the audience during an exclusive Face2Face.

the-lobster_image The Lobster is a love story set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel.  There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days.  If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods.  A desperate Man escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules.

The film is the English language debut of Greek director Lanthimos, and stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz with a supporting cast including Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C.Reilly, Olivia Colman and Ashley Jensen. The Lobster is written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou and produced by Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Yorgos Lanthimos. Executive Producers are Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross and Sam Lavender with Isabel Davis as the lead executive for the BFI Film Fund. The film was developed by Element and Irish finance for the film came from the Irish Film Board with Rory Gilmartin as the lead executive for the IFB. It is currently playing in Irish cinemas.

Since its start the festival has focused on bringing forth and supporting new talents through competitions and scholarships. A third of the films selected for the festival are made by a debuting director and only directors who have made less than 3 films are selected for the competition. This year sees, for the first time, more films by female directors compete for the top prize, the Bronze Horse, than by male directors.