The drama, a coming-of-age tale amid the political upheaval in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, was picked by festival visitors at the 2021 Stockholm Festival, which wrapped on Sunday.
Belfast beat out Nordic favorite The Worst Person in the World, a romantic drama from Norwegian director Joachim Trier which was a prize winner in Cannes and is Norway’s official contender for the 2022 best international feature Oscar. Other awards favorites in the running in Stockholm included Pablo Larrain’s Lady Di biopic Spencer, Jane Campion’s western The Power of the Dog, Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers and Maria Schrader’s German Oscar contender I’m Your Man.
Belfast, which stars Jude Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this year, where it also won the people’s choice award, considered an Oscar harbinger. Belfast is also a favorite for the British Independent Film Awards, with 11 nominations.
Stockholm’s festival-goers voted on the audience award in person in theaters or online, selecting Belfast from among the 100 titles that screened at the 2021 event, which had opened on Nov. 10.