THE FESTIVAL

 
 
Comedy is an underestimated and sometimes unfairly treated genre even though it appeals to large audiences and very often asks serious questions that calls for reflection and discussion. Some sensible social, political and religious matters wouldn’t even reach certain sections of our society if the gates weren’t opened with the help from a disarming laughter. Comedy film can open up for dialogues and reach into even the most remote of hearts.

When the International Comedy Film Festival was initiated in 2014 our vision was to create a unique arena and to investigate what makes people laugh in different cultures. What makes an Ethiopian roar? What makes people in Chile choke with laughter? What do they giggle at in Nigeria? Through humor and laughter we can get to know each other much better! Through the festival we wanted to interpret different cultural codes, make different kinds of humour visible and create meetings across all kinds of borders. And attract new groups of people to the cinemas, among them all our new Swedes, many of them growing up with a different kind of distorting mirror then the one we usually meet in comedies in Swedish cinemas.

In many countries locally produced comedies have been box office hits and the most popular films among the audiences. These hilarious comedies, from all over the world, we now want to invite and share with the Stockholm audience!  Films, from countries whose humour has only on rare occasions been laughed at in Sweden. Through the International Comedy Film Festival it will happen.

During the past three years we have seen guests from all over the world, including Turkish megastar Perran Kutman, Iranien megastar Bahareh Rahnama, Afghan megastar Hamida Abdullah and national legends such as Gösta Ekman and Birgitta Andersson. A mix of Swedish and international comedians such as Johan Glans, muslim comedian Shazia Mirza, British comedian Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones’ diary) and Peter Settman have entertained the audience on a number of occasions.

Another successful session was when the Minister of Education, Gustaf Fridolin, and former EU minister Birgitta Ohlsson participated in a panel discussion around politics and humour. In 2016 a special focus was dedicated to the celebration of the recently deceased Swedish comedian, actor and director Magnus Härenstam, with, among others, the director Lasse Hallström as a guest.

 

In 2017 we celebrate the 4th festival.

The main focus will be Comedy, politics and power. How can comedy be used to obtain power in today's politics and society? And what kind of power does humour and comedians have? In the United States Donald Trump is made fun of in Saturday Night Live  – and hates it – but in other countries as in Saddam Husseins Iraq, satirists were sentenced to death, and in others, like in Beppe Grillo’s  Italy, comedians become politicians.

Another focus will be Comedy and women. Why do we still see comparably few women within the comedy genre? Do female comedians have a lower status than male and, in that case, why? And how can we change that?

The 4th International Comedy Film Festival will take place October 19–22 at Sture Cinema and Scandia, in Stockholm.

 

The International Comedy Film Festival

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