Kaly Halkawt becomes the first recipient of The Ingmar Bergman Script Award

28 June 2024

Photographer: Yanina Isla

At the closing ceremony of the 20th edition of Bergman Week at Fårö in Sweden, it was announced that Kaly Halkawt is the first recipient of the newly established Ingmar Bergman Script Award, a collaboration between SF Studios and the Bergman Center, for her feature film script Donia's World (Swedish title: Donias värld). The award aims to encourage emerging filmmakers and screenwriters to write scripts for feature films with high artistic ambitions, aiming to reach a broad audience.

"Donia's World is a contemporary story about clashing identities – and about faith, doubt and freedom. Donia is a young wannabe Muslim who, in her spiritual and religious quest, tries to create a future for herself without denying her heritage. With a sense of purpose and an ability to engage her audience, Kaly Halkawt writes with a personal voice, bringing to life a vivid scenario for her characters," the jury's statement read.

Kaly Halkawt is a screenwriter living in Stockholm. Alongside her writing, Kaly is a doctoral student at the department of Child and Youth Studies at Stockholm University. In 2021, her debut book Astera and the Basketball Shoes (Bonnier Carlsen) was published, with illustrations by Sofia Falkenhem. Kaly has also been an episode writer for the series Halva Halva and currently has two feature film scripts in development.

Donia's World is a dramedy about 30-year-old slacker Donia, who becomes unexpectedly pregnant with her new boyfriend Francis. The pregnancy upends her sense of identity. She decides to explore her Muslim heritage, which leads to conflicting demands between who she wants to be and what her religion requires of her.

”It feels really great to receive this award. Ever since I watched Cries and Whispers on a scratched rental DVD in my teens, I have been fascinated by Bergman's existential curiosity, and how as a filmmaker, he was never afraid to ask difficult questions. I have definitely been inspired by his artistic courage and religious doubts in writing Donia's World, even though there might be more humor in it than in Cries and Whispers”, says Kaly Halkawt.

SF Studios and the Bergman Center have collaborated for many years to preserve the legacy of Ingmar Bergman. As part of this collaboration, The Ingmar Bergman Script Award was launched during Bergman Week last year. Sixty-six scripts were submitted to the competition, and the jury's work has been ongoing since February.

The Ingmar Bergman Script Award will be presented annually during Bergman Week at the Bergman Center. The script must be an original story in feature film format in either Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Finnish, with a clear ambition to reach a broad audience. The selected screenwriter will receive a financial grant of 50,000 SEK for their work and an opportunity to be coached by a recognized filmmaker/director/screenwriter.

Applications for next year's edition are now open with a deadline of February 21, 2025.

Read more about The Ingmar Bergman Script Award and the application process at www.sfstudios.se/theingmarbergmanscriptaward
Read more about the Bergman Center at www.bergmancenter.se
Read more about the Bergman Week at https://www.bergmancenter.se/bergmanveckan/

For more information, please contact: 
Jesper Larsson, Communications Specialist, SF Studios, jesper.larsson@sfstudios.se, +46 73 359 96 06
Isabel Nylund, Film Development Lead, SF Studios, Isabel.nylund@sfstudios.se, +46 72 514 15 95

About SF Studios:
SF Studios, established in 1919, is one of the world’s oldest film companies. Today SF Studios is the leading film studio in the Nordic region with its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and offices in Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki. The company is producing and distributing feature films and TV series as well as providing the streaming services SF Anytime and Blockbuster. SF Studios is part of the leading Nordic media company Bonnier.