This week marks the start of Stockholm's 26th International Film Festval. The festival, which starts on Wednesday and will continue through the 22nd of November, offers 190 world premieres, parties and special guests such as actress Ellen Burstyn (the Exorcist mom!) and the artist Ai Weiwei. It's easy to lose track of what to watch in a jungle of amazing films but fret not – we've collected ten gems below you shouldn't miss.
The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos
If you've seen Lanthimos' film Dogtooth, you know you're in for a unique brand of on-screen fucked-upness. The Lobster has the director's trademark dystopian atmosphere and it's probably not a film you want to bring a date to. The film takes place in the future where people are forced to choose a partner in a hotel for a certain number of days. If they don't succeed, there will be grave consequences.
Carol by Todd Haynes
With Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the leading roles in this romantic drama, you know you're in for something good. Carol is about two women developing a strong friendship and falling in love with each other. We follow them through a romantic awakening that ends up in something devastating when one of the women is put in a position where she has to choose between her child and her new-found love.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Marielle Heller
Sleeping with your mom's boyfriend has probably never been as cutely portrayed as in this coming-of-age film. The movie is about 15-year-old Minnie, a typical teenager in many ways, except that she sleeps with her mom's boyfriend and records diary entries about it. Set in San Francisco in the 1970's this film brings you the story of a young woman's sexual awakening and Alexander Skarsgård as a hunk/creepster.
Behemoth by Liang Zhao
Behemoth is a Chinese documentary about the industrial impact on the rural Mongolian pastures. The film portrays the grim reality of human lives and nature being set aside for the new industrial design that lacks any type of consciousness. A film about humans becoming the victims of our own greed and how our species tends to destroy everything it touches, because we're idiots.
The Wolfpack by Crystal Moselle
Probably one of 2015's best and most bizarre documentaries, The Wolfpack centers around six brothers in New York City who have spent their entire lives locked up in an apartment by their father. Since they haven't had the chance to socialize with anyone outside their immediate family, they've taken to learning about life from films. A surreal, sad and weirdly hopeful documentary. A couple of the brothers will visit the festival this year, more information can be found on the festival's website.
Alena by Daniel di Grado
This Swedish lesbian sci-fi film is a must if you enjoy creepy stories told in a visually delicious way. With an all-girl boarding school as a backdrop, this film does a great job turning school corridors and teen bedrooms into sinister places. Weird teachers, the gorgeous Swedish fall, and a feast of teenage drama gone really, really wrong.
The Swedish Theory of Love by Erik Gandini
This documentary offers the viewer a unique insight into how the Swedish government implemented the model of a "society full of independent citizens" and what the outcome of that ideology did to the country. Gandini's film shows us how too much independence can spill over into paralyzing loneliness and sadness. A film that will leave you with the urge to hug every stranger you see on the street.
Walking Distance by Alejandro Guzmán Alvarez
A Mexican made film about an obese man named Frederico who lives a lonely life. Because of his weight, Frederico is restricted to a life inside the four walls of his home. He passes his day making jewelry and getting weekly visits from his annoying sister. His life seems to be at a stand-still - until he finds the joy of photography and starts communicating with the outside world in his own special way.
The Wait by Piero Messina
If you love Juliette Binoche (and who doesn't, seriously?) you'll love this film where Binoche delivers one of her strongest performances ever as the grieving and mysterious mother, Anna. Anna lives a still and quiet life in an enormous Sicilian villa. One day Anna is surprised by her son's girlfriend who has come to meet him and spend the easter holidays with him. The only problem is that Anna's son is dead. And Anna can't bring herself tell the girlfriend. Make sure to bring tissues to this film.
Baba Joon by Yuval Delshad
Baba Joon in Persian translates to "darling dad". In this film, that expression and the feeling of having a loving father get's lost in the tumultuous relationship between 13-year-old Moti and his strict father, Yitzhak. The father wants his son to take over the family turkey farm, but his son has other plans. Baba Joon is Israel's contribution to the Oscars 2015.