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Today, we proudly present the competing films in the Tempo Short Award – Tempo’s competition category for the best short documentary film! The competition is organized in collaboration with the Swedish Film Institute, and the prize consists of 40,000 SEK. In addition, the winning director receives a technology check worth 10,000 SEK from Dagsljus Rental Equipment. The short film with the most thoughtful and creative sound design is also rewarded 60,000 SEK to be used at Momento Studio and is equivalent to two weeks of work with a sound designer.

We are also thrilled to present the competing short films in New Doc – a talent award for emerging Swedish filmmakers. The winning director receives a prize of 50,000 SEK, which is awarded in collaboration with BoostHbg, Film Stockholm AB, Film i Dalarna, Film i Sörmland, Film i Öst, Förvaltningen för kulturutveckling/Västra Götalandsregionen/FilmCloud, Filmregion Sydost, Region Uppsala, Region Gävleborg, Film på Gotland, Region Värmland, Region Västmanland och Kultur i Halland – Film. 

In New Doc, where we have received a record number of submissions, we are looking for exciting new voices. With Tempo Short Awards, we get the chance to see established filmmakers expand their style or try something new. Some of the directors have had their breakthroughs in previous years’ Tempo festivals, says Nayeem Mahbub, editor for New Doc and Tempo Short Award.

Nayeem continues,
At times, there is a discussion whether a film even should be considered a documentary. That’s good. Documentary film is never just one thing, and I hope we can showcase that in this year’s festival.

The following films are competing in the Tempo Short Award:

A Queer Bird in the Middle East
Director: Naures Sager

Iraqi-Swedish director Naures travels around the Middle East to explore his roots, accompanied by his boyfriend Michael. Back in Sweden, his family is worried and warns him about potential consequences of being gay in an Arab country. With humor and warmth, the film combines theatrical visuals with a social media aesthetic. The result is a complex tapestry of identities, tested in both playful and thoughtful ways.
Director: Daniel Aguirre

The public discourse has become increasingly aggressive, and Daniel witnesses this firsthand when he encounters an angry man on the street. The storyteller is the “leftie queer” Daniel, accused by the angry man of throwing stones in the city. After the accusation, he is shocked and calls his mother in Colombia, who says that barking dogs do not bite. But does it hold the truth? The search becomes a reflection of the present, showing both angry men and helpful fellow human beings.

Daniel Aguirre won New Doc at Tempo 2022 with his film Pink Rider.

Body Framed
Director: Yuliya Antonova

“Can I think of my body as beautiful?” “Must I think of my body as beautiful?” Several women reflect on their relationship with their own bodies and how it has evolved over time. The idealization of the female body is a cliché with few exceptions. However, in this film, the deafening noise of self-loathing appears to have subsided. A collage of scars, wrinkles, muscles, and pounds creates a refreshing and unfiltered portrait of bodies.

En hyllning till skogens konung
Director: Kim Sundbeck

A carpenter is commissioned to create a sofa that honors both the king of the forest – the moose –  and the client, an extremely wealthy forest patron. The carpenter has been working on the furniture for eight years, but disaster is just around the corner. Kim Sundbeck has written an original and visually appealing nature-lyrical thriller about an intriguing story that occurred a Century ago.

I samma båt
Directors: Mervi Junkkonen and Mia Malviniemi

When Rauno revisits his childhood memories at sea, it happens in the form of an exquisite choreography. A pas de deux that he creates with his hands, along with a dancer who offers creative dance sessions to elderly residents at home. Through the dance, we are transported to the twelve-year-old Rauno’s maiden voyage with his father, and the dramatic events that took place out at sea. A journey with mishaps that led to a Finnish record in cursing.

Paradise Water
Director: Debora Elgeholm

Each year, Lourdes’ magical spring is visited by six million – more than double the number who visit Mecca.  A collage of voices and carefully composed images provides a different perspective on the pilgrims. Their prayers to higher authorities are not only health-related, but also about a neighbor’s annoying music, obtaining a desirable job, or finding love. But it is important to pray the right way.

The Building and Burning of a Refugee Camp
Director: Dennis Harvey

Sami, Hasiballah, and Simon have all managed to make life almost bearable in the makeshift refugee camp on Sandwith Street in central Dublin. They cook for each other, cultivate, and paint banners in an improvised art studio. Alongside Irish left-wing activists, they demonstrate to get shelter during the asylum process. But when the right-wing anti-immigration activist and self-proclaimed citizen journalist Philip Dwyer shows up, the situation quickly deteriorates.

The Conquest of Space
Director: Albin Biblom

Dogs, cats, and frogs are just some of the animals that have been sent into space. The chimpanzee Ham survives a 16-minute journey into space and a crash in the Atlantic, paving the way for Yuri Gagarin, who a few months later becomes the first human in space. The film offers fascinating and historical footage dated between 1947-1972 and is a tragicomic story that raises several ethical questions about the relationship between humans and animals.

The Conquest of Space is also exhibited at Centrum för fotografi.

Here are the films competing in the talent award New Doc:

Directors: Golaleh Azad and Faheemah Moosajee

Sweden is statistically one of the world’s safest countries. But is Sweden safe for everyone? Driven by hatred and racism, a man smears feces on the faces of three young women on a tram in Gothenburg. What drives a person to commit such an act? What are the thoughts of the three women who were attacked? The film is a gripping story about refusing to let someone take away their dignity and the right to exist.

Director: Olga Krüssenberg

Locals’ stories testify to memories of a changing environment. Svalbard is located on the periphery of the world map while also being at the epicenter of climate change. The magically glittering snowscapes interact with a mysterious eeriness, and the cold of winter is palpable as it sinks in. In Svalbard’s spectacular Arctic landscape the small human is juxtaposed against the great power of nature.

Musen martyr
Directir: Ylva Ottervald Flygare

A child speaks to his mother about violence, abuse, and martyrdom. When musen Martyr becomes sad and drinks from a small bottle, the atmosphere at home becomes unsafe and frightening. From the child’s perspective, emotions of shame, fear, hatred, and understanding are depicted in an animated hybrid format that highlights a challenging life situation. By portraying the perpetrator in the form of a woolen mouse, the sympathy for the child becomes as present as it is tragic.

Orden hittar hem
Director: LéaCati Vallier

A box filled with forgotten letters in a second-hand store evolves into a story that raises many questions but offers fewer answers. Perhaps the answers to the questions lie in the director’s grandmother’s saved letters? With a combination of filmed material, animations, and scanned letters, the filmis an investigative tale about the mysteries and traces that the written word can leave for future generations.

Party Queens
Director: Björn Rallare

Hard rock and chicken farming have a common denominator spelled Hampus Klang. Alongside his life as a touring guitarist in the heavy metal band Bullet, Hampus is driven by a burning passion to win awards at chicken exhibitions, preferably with his own breed, Party Queens. When the heart of the home – the egg incubator – makes its entrance, there is no turning back. A warm story about living one’s dream and finding happiness in two completely different worlds.

Projekt pappa
Director: Camilla Jämting

Camilla is fundamentally like her father. They both enjoy challenging and stretching gender roles, albeit from opposing sides of the patriarchy. She is an artist and a feminist, and he is a pickup artist who teaches other men how to succeed on Tinder. Camilla uses her moral compass to navigate difficult conversations, which take a humorous turn as father and daughter open up during icy topless walks inspired by adventurer Wim Hof. What does it take for a relationship to survive in today’s cancel culture?

Director: Ahmad Al Shehabi

“If they see that I am filming, they will execute me.” With a camera in hand, Ahmad’s sister Manal documents the family’s escape from the war in Syria. Ahmad is 13 years old, and Manal is 18 when the family flees to Sweden. Ten years later, the material is turned into a film in which they discuss their thoughts and memories, as well as the importance of documenting their story despite the potential consequences. Despite the nightmare scenarios of the escape, there is room for love and laughter.

Yellow is the Color of Happiness
Director: Cherine Karam

Marc works at the second-hand store Depot-Vente, where he designs accessories made of chains. Like a butterfly in an urban environment, Marc and his friends add color to their surroundings. Through a metaphorical analogy of how the unique transformation of a butterfly larva emerges, The film is a time-travel that follows Beirut from morning to night. At the same time, the idea is challenged – are not we humans also part of an ecosystem that can develop into graceful new beings if we choose to blossom?

Tempo Documentary Festival takes place from March 4th to 10th. The entire program will be released on Wednesday, February 14th. All nominated films will be screened during the Tempo Documentary Festival, both in cinemas in Stockholm and digitally. The awards will be presented at the closing ceremony on Saturday, March 9th.

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