Marciman’s debut [pictured] among three new Swedish features to compete for the grand prix for Best Film at the festival, which runs Nov 7-18.

No less than three new Swedish features – two of them debuts - will compete for the grand prix for Best Film, the 7.3-kilo Bronze Horse, at the 23rd Stockholm International Film Festival, which runs Nov 7-18: Mikael Marcimain’s debut Call Girl, which will be released on Nov 9 after opening the showcase; Måns Månsson’s Roland Hassel (Hassel – Privatspanarna/Nov 23); and Karzan Kader’s first feature Bekas, (also Nov 23).

The US has also supplied three of the 20 contenders, including Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, and Ava Duvernay’s Middle of Nowhere. Among the European entries is Norwegian director Eva Sørhaug’s 90 Minutes (90 minutter).

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“We strive to find the best quality films from around the world, and this year’s programme is probably our most daring so far – here the filmmakers take greater risks than ever,” said festival director Git Scheynius today (Oct 17) in Stockholm, when she announced the selection of more than 170 premieres from over 50 countries.

“The festival is launched by a local political thriller Call Girl; the centre piece gala is US director Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, with Denzel Washington as a drunk airline pilot; and the big buzz is undoubtedly American director Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, which will close the festival after 12 days.”

Different sections of the festival comprise of Open Zone (“the hottest films created by filmmakers worldwide”), American Independents (16 new productions), Asian Images, Latin Visions, the Short Films Competition, the Twilight Zone (“for subculture films”) and Documania, an extensive choise of documentaries.

The 2012 Spotlight will explore power within politics, arts and relationships from Russia to the US and back to Korea, through 12 titles such as US director Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, which stars Redford as an anti-war activist pursued by a journalist (Shia LeBeouf), and Russian director Andrey Gryazev’s Tomorrow (Zavtra), about the Vojna resistance movement (which gave birth to Pussy Riot). German director Marc Wiese’s Camp 14: Total Control Zone follows a political prisoner in North Korea who manages to escape to the strange world of the South.