Chinese activist to visit Stockholm for first time

A jury led by Chinese activist Ai Weiwei is set to hand out one million kronor at this year's Stockholm Film Festival to a director who has made an impact in the world of movies.

Chinese activist to visit Stockholm for first time
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The dissident artist will visit the Swedish capital for the first time during the festival – which will see 190 movies from more than 70 countries be shown from November 11th-22nd – organizers revealed on Tuesday.

“It is an honour for the Stockholm Film Festival to once again be working with Ai Weiwei, a constant defender of freedom of speech and one of today's most influential artists,” said Git Scheynius, head of the festival, in a statement.

Ai, an outspoken critic of the Chinese regime, has been involved with the festival in previous years but has never before visited Stockholm.

Organizers also revealed they had bestowed the prestigious Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award upon British director Stephen Frears – the creator of several critically acclaimed films including 'High Fidelity', 'The Queen' and 'Philomena'.

Frears will attend the festival in Stockholm in November, organizers said.

Uma Thurman at the Stockholm Film Festival in 2014. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Meanwhile, the Stockholm Achievement Award – which was last year awarded to Hollywood diva Uma Thurman – will go to American actress Ellen Burstyn, who has starred in films such as 'Interstellar' and 'Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore'.

“An icon of contemporary American cinema, a bold actress with great integrity, who has given life to groundbreaking characters,” read the press release.

The Stockholm Film Festival is in its 26th year and is Sweden's biggest film festival.