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The 2017 award ceremony

The 2017 Lenin Award and Robespierre Prize were given out April 8th at Varberg Theatre. A crowded auditorium payed homage to the filmmaker Stefan Jarl and journalist Anna Roxvall.

Lasse Diding and Jonsereds Proggorkester at Varberg Theatre. Photo: Olle Asp

Lasse Diding was master of ceremonies as usual and, in the usual order, there was musical entertainment from the house band Jonsereds Proggorkester led by Bosse Stenholm. The secret guest performer turned out to be Americo Appiano, himself a product of resistance from fascist Chile under Pinochet, who payed tribute to Fidel Castro with songs by Silvio Rodríguez and Victor Jara. 2016 Lenin Award winner Mikael Nyberg gave a celebratory speech to Stefan Jarl, who was also congratulated by former award-winners like Mikael Wiehe and Roy Andersson.

In his acceptance speech, Stefan Jarl said that he sees the Lenin Award as an encouragement for continued work and that the prize money makes it possible for the new film Aftonland (later renamed Dying days of summer) to be completed. Nobody at Varberg Theatre had been able to avoid being affected by the terrorist attack on Drottninggatan the day before, and Stefan Jarl expressed himself as follows: “I feel both shocked and confused this day after the terrorist attack in Stockholm, which affected me deeply. The scenes that took place on Drottninggatan could have been a scene from the film we are now editing.” In the speech, he also spoke, among many other things, about how the film “Decency” was stopped from showing in SVT since it had the bad taste to criticize capitalism.

“I’m very touched by the fine motivation”, said Anna Roxvall in her acceptance speech, explaining that the Robespierre Prize money goes straight to the struggling Burundian journalists who are imprisoned or killed because of what they are writing.

At Hotell Gästis, the celebration of the award-winners continued all night to music by Jonsereds Proggorkester, led by legends Bosse Stenholm and Bernt Andersson.