Kirsi Nevanti - Swedish Film Institute

January 11, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: N/A
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Focus on documentaries Charon Film saves the planet Rainer Hartleb bids farewell to Jordbro Malin Andersson – The Belfast Girl

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SWEDEN HAS A PROUD TRADITION of documentary films, from the legendary Oscar-winning Arne Sucksdorff and his apprentice Stefan Jarl to all the filmmakers featured in this new issue of Swedish Film. One of the world’s premier documentary film festivals, IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) usually has a strong Swedish presence, and this year is certainly no exception. The five Swedish films in the spotlight are: The Planet, Tomorrow Never Knows, Thin Ice, The Zhang Empresses and Blue, Karma, Tiger. A disturbing close-up of a world on the verge of destruction, an intimate portrait of homeless people in Stockholm, an affectionate study of women ice hockey players in northern India, adopted girls on a journey back to their roots in China, and the animated alter-egos of real life graffiti artists. Nobody could accuse Swedish documentary films of lacking scope! In this special documentary edition we take a look at the directors behind these films. We also meet the filmmakers Rainer Hartleb, PeÅ Holmquist and Staffan Julén, whose tireless efforts in such diverse parts of the world as the Stockholm suburb of Jordbro, Gaza and Greenland are more like lifetime projects than one-off documentaries. There might also be the makings of a similar project in Malin Andersson’s Belfast Girls, a film debut based on lengthy stays in Northern Ireland. Speaking of Belfast Girls, it’s encouraging to see such a relatively high percentage of women filmmakers involved in documentaries. The new Film Agreement, which stipulates that at least 40% of all advance funding should go to women, is bound to see a rise in that percentage. Make sure not to miss our feature on Charon Film, a group of travelling filmmakers behind Sweden’s most secretive production company. Yet not for much longer, it would appear. As the highly acclaimed creators of The Planet, the world’s press will no doubt soon be beating a path to their door. Last, but by no means least, welcome to our new website,, where you can keep yourself up to date with all the latest Swedish films preparing to take on the world.


cissi elwin ceo, swedish film institute

One moment please,


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Swedish Film #9

JENNY ÖRNBORN, producer at the documentary film company, Story: What are you working on right now? “I’m making a film with Göran Olsson about the soul singer Billy Paul in Philadelphia, called Am I Black Enough For You? He’s just the coolest soul guy you can imagine.” The one who did the classic Me and Mrs Jones? “Exactly. He knew all the soul artists as well as people like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, and was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and 70s. It’s a film about him, his life, his music and about Philadelphia, which is one tough city. But out of that toughest, toughest city comes some of the sweetest, sweetest music.” What are you looking forward to in 2007? “Some of Story’s other films, such as Michel Wenzer’s New Folsom Prison about Spoon Jackson, and Gabriella Bier’s Romeo and Juliet-like documentary Collaborator,

about a married couple in the West Bank. She’s an Israeli Jew and he’s a Palestinian Muslim. It’s impossible for them to find somewhere to live, but they’re such an amazingly sweet and loving couple.” ERIK GANDINI, winner of the 2003 IDFA Silver Wolf Award for Surplus: What are you working on right now? “I’m making a documentary feature about my home country, Italy. I really can’t say anything more about it than that: it takes up some very sensitive issues…” What got you interested in those issues? “I’ve lived half my life in Italy and half in Sweden, exactly 19 years in each. It means I can look at my home country with fresh eyes.” How has life been since the world premiere of Gitmo (co-directed with Tarik Saleh) at IDFA 2005? “As long as the base at Guantanamo remains open there’s an enormous interest in Gitmo. Most fascinating of all was when it was broadcast on Al-Jazeera, where they’d dubbed all the voices, ours included, into Arabic. It’s pleasing to see the film turning up in different versions in different countries. Next up it’s the Beirut Film Festival, then a screening in the Bahamas in December. And for a Swede to be invited to the Bahamas in December, well that’s an offer you can’t refuse…”/HE

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Contents Just a moment… Erik Gandini and Jenny Örnborn reveal all


34 years on Rainer Hartleb draws a line


Fear of flying Charon Film divulge their secrets


The man without an identity Erland Josephson remains an enigma


Back to their roots Christina Höglund followed four girls to China


The documentary soldier Meet Tove Torbiörnsson, Film Commissioner


Not without my polar bear trousers! Staffan Julén knows how to travel


Everything’s handmade Welcome to a slice of life in clay


On the streets of Stockholm Whose city is this, anyway? asks Kirsi Nevanti


Eat your heart out, Robert Redford The horse whisperer and the mystery woman


Crossing film borders The Widerbergs accept no limits


Belfast bloody Belfast Malin Andersson tells the story from two sides


Meanwhile, back in Gaza PeÅ Holmquist returns to the ghetto


Alice in Wonderland The glamour dentist opens her heart


Real ice hockey And you’d never guess where it’s played


New Docus On their way to hit international markets and festivals


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staffan grönberg Director International Department Phone +46-8-665 11 39 [email protected] petter mattsson Festivals, short films Phone +46-8-665 11 34 [email protected] gunnar almér Festivals, features Phone +46-8-665 12 08 [email protected]

andreas fock Festivals, documentaries Phone +46-8-665 11 41 [email protected] stefan wittmoss Assistant Phone +46-8-665 12 47 [email protected]

swedish film institute, international department p.0. box 27126, se-102 52 stockholm, sweden phone +46-8-665 11 00 fax +46-8-666 36 98


Swedish Film Issued by The Swedish Film Institute Publisher Andreas Törnblom Production Soluzions ( Editor Mats Weman Art Direction Olof Helldin Contributing Editors Henrik Emilson, Christina Höglund Cover photo Sandra Qvist Photography Johan Bergmark, Sara Mac Key, Sandra Qvist, Håkan Röjder Translation Derek Jones Print Fagerblads The Swedish Film Institute’s aims include the promotion, support and development of Swedish films, the allocation of grants, and the promotion of Swedish cinema internationally. (

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In the 70s, Rainer Hartleb was on the lookout for a lengthy project. 34 years on, he’s finally drawing a line under the longest documentary series in Swedish film history – The Jordbro Chronicle.

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It has its moments of light and dark, of pain and sorrow. It’s deeper, more existential if you will.

1972, Rainer Hartleb’s eldest daughter was about to start school. It was then that he had an idea which, 34 years later, would encompass the most extensive documentary film project in Swedish cinema history. Back then, the Swedish housing market was also in the midst of its biggest ever project, the so-called “Million Programme”. The aim was to build a million apartments between 1965-74 to solve the acute housing shortage of the 50s and 60s. Construction companies took whole page advertisements in the Swedish press for apartments in the suburbs of Sweden’s major cities, proudly proclaiming “The New Sweden”. In one Stockholm suburb they promised one tree for every child to climb in. The economy was booming, and belief in the future was strong. Enjoying life as he did in a commune in the centre of Stockholm, Rainer Hartleb had no plans whatsoever of moving to the suburbs. But as a newly-fledged filmmaker he was on the lookout for a subject he could develop over a lengthy period. Having trained as a television producer, he had been working on news, a role that didn’t really suit him: “I’d never be able to handle the stress of being a news reporter. I just don’t have that talent.” When I meet him, Rainer Hartleb has just got back from Arlanda Airport. He’s been away for a week visiting relatives in the former East Germany. Some time ago, Hartleb, who came to Sweden aged 8 in 1952, developed an interest in his own family history. In 1996 this resulted in the film Wiedersehen in Hildburghausen, broadcast in its entirety on German television, yet only in an edited version in Sweden, a fact that he points out with a distinct air of disappointment in his voice. We sit in his tiny editing room in one of the more picturesque areas of Stockholm. Among all the clipboards, boxes and bookshelves, there’s hardly room for two chairs for the pair of us. It’s a room that seems to suit Rainer Hartleb. At 62, he doesn’t require much space, he speaks in a calm, unassuming manner, and always lets the characters in his films take centre stage, never himself. It was when his daughter was about to start school that his big idea struck: a school class. You could follow an entire class through the nine years of secondary school. It would be the story of a Sweden in change seen from a classroom point of view. “At that time all the talk was of educational theory and sociology, how people were shaped by their environment and upbringing, and how society could be improved.” Hartleb was convinced that the project would work best in the suburbs, where the “New Sweden” was taking shape. And since one of his good friends was a teacher in the south Stockholm suburb of Jordbro, his choice of school was virtually made for him. He wrote to six female teachers at the school, five of whom turned him down. Everyone except Inga-Britt Jonés. “I think she accepted because she had experience and felt comfortable with the idea. Some of the teachers were in their first jobs and unsure of themselves. Others simply didn’t want outsiders in their classroom.” Wednesday 23 August 1972 was induction day for class 1D at Lundaskolan. Rainer Hartleb had made arrangements with Inga-Britt Jonés to turn up with his crew (cameraman and sound technician). Nobody else knew they would be there, not even the parents. “They were so focused on their children, who in turn were so focused on the teacher, that they barely noticed us. A few weeks later we held a parents’ meeting where we introduced ourselves. Everyone imagined that the project would last for a year.



End of term for class 6D at Lundaskolan, spring 1978.

Rainer Hartleb, you see, was still keeping his 9-year plan to himself. “But at that time I wasn’t really thinking about the timescale. I just wanted to get stuck into it.” Swedish Television (SVT), however, were certainly only thinking in terms of one year. “And that was probably best for me. It meant I was forced to deliver. Without that constraint, I might not have stayed so focused.” Entitled Från en barndomsvärld (From a World of Childhood), the first film was broadcast after the children’s first year at school. Then between 1972 and 1981, Rainer Hartleb made a total of 12 one-hour films, all of which were shown on SVT. Later, the twelve were edited down to two feature films: The Children from Jordbro (Barnen från Jordbro) and Living in Jordbro (Leva i Jordbro). When the first film was shown on TV (Sweden had only two channels at the time), Rainer Hartleb came in for a good deal of criticism from some of the parents. He had painted a fairly negative view, and some people were very angry indeed. Others less so, but even they found the film rather downbeat. discussions, Hartleb asked them: “What about carrying on next year?” To which they eventually agreed, despite their misgivings. Yet an even bigger problem was that the children had changed completely. After the broadcast, friends and family treated them as film stars. Back at school, they were impossible to work with, running around, pulling faces, shying away from the camera. That was when one of Rainer Hartleb’s key strengths as a filmmaker came into play. He waited patiently. Waiting is never a problem for him, and it’s certainly never boring. “We just let the camera run. Some of the footage ended up in the bin, but some of it, strangely enough, ended up as another film 30 years later.” In all, there were eventually five features about the children in Jordbro. A Pizza in Jordbro, intended to be the last of them, appeared in 1994, winning Rainer Hartleb a Guldbagge award for best film. The long series of films was hailed as a document of modern Sweden. Hartleb was the subject of countless radio, television and press interviews. His major oeuvre was complete. He drew a mental line under it. Time to move on. But that’s not the way it turned out. Two years ago Hartleb went to pitch a completely new idea for a film to the documentary film commissioner Hjalmar Palmgren. He got a lukewarm response, but Palmgren did ask him: “So how are the folks in Jordbro?” “I told him I knew how they were, but didn’t know whether they would be keen on the idea of yet another film. And quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how keen I was, either.” AFTER SOME FRANK

Yet gradually, the concept of what was to become Everyone’s Fine (Alla mår bra) took shape. Rainer Hartleb was clear that he wanted it to be a film set completely in the present. “I decided to include the people who’d featured in Pizza. It would be a sort of follow-on from that, I thought. But I didn’t want any flashbacks. I wanted a stand-alone film about their lives today.” But that’s not the way it turned out, either. “It’s like that with documentaries, just as authors complain of their novels that their characters refuse to do as they’re told. They take on a life of their own.” During the shoot of Everyone’s Fine, many of those taking part started thinking about events in their childhood, events that were relevant to their stories. “The first time that happened was when Ulrik thought back to his time at the school crèche. We were about to film something entirely different when I realised that I still had footage of that somewhere in my editing room.” Hartleb immediately became the victim of his own meticulous efficiency. He hates throwing film in the bin, much preferring to store it away instead. If he hadn’t been so thorough, and if he hadn’t had such a good memory, then he’d have been able to stick to his original plan. “It just didn’t work out that way. And when I’d made an exception for Ulrik, then I had to do the same for the others. That’s why it’s taken me twice as long to make the film than I’d originally intended.” Yet although A Pizza in Jordbro and Everyone’s Fine are more similar than he planned, Hartleb still sees distinctions between the two films. “The new film has more life experience, it’s more serious. It has its moments of light and dark, of pain and sorrow. It’s deeper, more existential if you will. There’s the added dimension that ten more years have provided. And the underlying question is always: “How have I become the person I am?” Having seen the 150-minute long film, one’s tempted as a viewer to ask whether there’s not more than a hint of irony in the title Everyone’s Fine. It does contain a good deal of heartache. “I’m aware of that. But I genuinely do mean it: everyone in the film really is fine!” So is this the end of the Jordbro Chronicle? “Yes, this is the end.” You’re sure of that? “The existential questions have all been answered now, in one way or another. That’s the way I see it, at least.” II MATS WEMAN

Rainer Hartleb Filmography (Selected) En passion i silver 2006 Everyone’s Fine /Alla mår bra 2006 Hela livet med Samuel 2000 Ögonblick vid stranden 1998 Wiedersehen in Hildburghausen 1996 A Pizza in Jordbro /En pizza i Jordbro 1994 Once Upon a Time There Was a Little Girl /Det var en gång en liten flicka 1992 Efter muren 1990 En dag i Calcutta 1990 Tillbaka till Jordbro 1987 Kärleken är allt 1986 Hemligheten 1983 Life in Jordbro /Leva i Jordbro 1972-81 The Children from Jordbro /Barnen från Jordbro 1972-81 The entire Jordbro feature series has been screened at the film festivals in Berlin, Sydney, Santiago, Riga and Sao Paulo, where it won the Audience Award. Everyone’s Fine is the sixth film in the series

Everyone’s Fine Everyone’s Fine/Alla mår bra Director & Editor Rainer Hartleb Director of Photography Lars Lundgren, Staffan Lindqvist, Rainer Hartleb Music L v Beethoven, F Chopin Producer Rainer Hartleb Produced by Olympia Filmproduktion HB together with Sveriges Television/Ingemar Persson, with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Hjalmar Palmgren & Tove Torbiörnsson Screening details 147 minutes, DV Cam 16:9 Sales Olympia Filmproduktion HB

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coffee”. Producer Jonas Kellagher sticks his head round the conference room door to announce the news to Kristian Petri and Janne Röed. Neither of them seems in the least bothered. It’s just another day at Charon Film. Quite frankly, theirs is no ordinary production company. It’s more like one of those secret societies you occasionally read about. Even though the company will be 20 years old next year, there’s not a single article to be found about them in any text archive. And when I try to fix up a meeting with them, it’s rather like trying to get an audience with a reclusive megastar! And to top it all, they’ve run out of coffee. However: it was 20 years ago today, or thereabouts, when the eccentric Swedish author, Stig Larsson, first came up with the name Charon Film. “Nobody could think of anything better,” Janne Röed recalls. “Micke (Stenberg) always gets uneasy in case people are put off by the associations of the name. So we usually say that there’s a rare orchid called Charon, or that it’s the name of a beach in Thailand. But actually, it’s exactly what you think it is,” Kristian confirms. So what was the idea behind it? “Who knows, the transport of souls, perhaps?” The secret society that is Charon Film is made up of four owners: the cinematographer Janne Röed, the filmmaker and author Kristian Petri and the journalist Michael Stenberg, not forgetting Magnus Enquist, Professor of Ethology at Stockholm University. “He’s the world’s leading authority on peacocks and their mating rituals,” Kristian informs me with a note of pride in his voice. Janne Röed adds enthusiastically:



“If you type his name into Google you get tons of hits. He’s an international name in his field. I think he sees Charon as an amusing sideline.” What’s more, it’s the outsider Enquist who, with his scientific background, is the brains behind The Planet. It was his interest in global change that prompted the question: “Shouldn’t we make a film about this?” But apart from this obvious asset to the company (it was Enquist, too, who arranged the trip down to South Georgia in the Antarctic, for the film Atlantic), we’ve uncovered one of the keys to this secret society. Everyone involved in the company has periods when they’re fully engaged in other jobs, such as writing or research. It’s one of Charon’s unique strengths, in Kristian Petri’s opinion: “It means we’ve never been manically dependent on living off our projects. We can keep working on a film for as long as it takes, and that’s a great advantage for a documentary. You can go out, film, come back, analyse your material, let it rest a while then go back out and film some more.” He pauses to consider: “But you’re completely right that we’re a little secretive about the company. Yet on the other hand, it’s the actual films we’re concerned with most. None of us is especially into company finance either. We’ve never made any big money, we’d rather make another trip and try to make a film even better than cut down on an overhead.” Janne Röed nods in agreement, but he’s barely able to suppress a sigh. “Recently we’ve been trying to break that pattern and get Charon up and running as a proper company that generates a profit. It’s a problem being dependent on the Swedish Film Institute and Swedish Television, because it means that if your coffers are empty, then you have to go begging them for money every time.” AT THIS POINT, Jonas Kellagher, producer and co-owner-to-be interjects: “The only way to change that is for the films to start selling.” But Janne Röed is sceptical. He doesn’t believe that documentaries for the cinema, something of a hallmark for Charon, will ever be profitable. And the television market, he grumbles, is also extremely fickle. “We thought that The Well (Brunnen), our film about Orson Welles in Spain, would sell like hot cakes. It’s a mystery why it didn’t, it’s a perfect television film.” While we’re on the subject of the company finances, I’ve brought along a quotation from Janne Röed himself back in 1996: “A hell of a lot of things are going to start happening for Charon Film pretty soon.” When I read it out, there’s a collective belly laugh all round the room. “He couldn’t have been sober at the time,” Kristian jokes. But Janne comes to his own defence: “Think about it, though: when it comes to making documentaries for the cinema, there’s no other company that can touch us. Is there anyone who’s turned over as much money as we have in the last few years? I was a bit before my time, that’s all!”

Whatever happens, the idea of getting involved in features or commercials isn’t on the cards for Charon Film right now. They’ve decided to stay put in their niche for the moment, regarding it as a strength. Jonas Kellagher believes the future lies not in spreading themselves thinly, but staying focused on a number of major documentaries and getting involved in international co-productions. Like The Planet, for example, with its budget of 3.5 million USD (25 million Swedish kronor), or the forthcoming The Heathrow Towel, with its more modest half a million dollars (SEK 5 million). You might well think that Charon Film has chosen to focus on films of topical environmental interest, such as the two Tong Tana films about the rain forests in Borneo, The Planet and The Heathrow Towel, which is about airborne infections. But neither Janne nor Kristian see that as a chosen path, but rather a combination of circumstances and the personal interests of the people concerned. the members of this secret society certainly do have a taste for travel. When I ask Kristian if there’s any country in the world he hasn’t been to, he has to stop and think. “It’s heading that way. But there are still a few countries in Africa and the Arab world left.” When I mention in passing that it wouldn’t do to suffer from fear of flying, another hearty laugh breaks out. Janne points at Kristian, who smiles. “That’s been a real pain for me for years. I should have been in Tong Tana 2, but I backed out the night before. My bags were packed and ready in the hall, but I got a real panic attack. So I called Janne at three o’clock in the morning and said: “I’m not getting on that plane.” And I didn’t.” Psychologists usually say that one way to overcome a fear of flying is to fly regularly. But Kristian just shakes his head. For him, flying is a form of torture. He just gets on with it nonetheless, in spite of an incident in Indonesia a few years ago. “We nearly crashed. We made an emergency landing on a beach with black volcanic sand. A beach called Ende: this really is the end, I thought. Not only that, it was the middle of Ramadan, so we had nothing to eat for absolutely ages…” So the trips abroad continue. At the time of my visit, Janne and Kristian are putting the finishing touches to a pilot with the working name The Hotel. An inveterate traveller, Kristian has something of a soft spot for hotels, a subject he takes up in The Well. Charon Film will be taking us to Japan’s oldest family business, a hotel that’s been run by the same family since the 8th century. Right now they’re in the 46th generation. Selecting all those hotels is a labour of love. Chateau Marmont is a name that gets mentioned, as does the Chelsea Hotel. Suggestions from around the table get somewhat more wacky with Blue Hotel (the one that Chris Isaak sang about), and Hotel California. Not a hotel at all, just a metaphor. Kristian laughs: “What is it they sing? ”You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. It sounds just like Charon!”



The Secret Soc The Charon Film team have seen the whole world. It’s hard to pin them down because they’re so rarely at home. But next year sees the 20th anniversary for the architects behind the mammoth undertaking The Planet. We can expect a DVD box, apparently. Unless, of course, they opt for another trip abroad instead. 6 06-09 charon.indd 6

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We’ve never made any big money, we’d rather make another trip and try to make a film even better than cut down on an overhead.

Charon Film Filmography

Kristian Petri and Janne Röed.

The Heathrow Towel 2007 The Planet /Planeten 2006 The Well /Brunnen 2005 Wild Forest /Den vilda skogen 2003 Tokyo Noise 2002 Tong Tana – The Lost Paradise /Tong Tana – Det förlorade paradiset 2001 The Lighthouse /Fyren 2000 Neighbour with The Clouds /Granne med molnen (co-production) 1999 The Singing Ape 1997 Bongo Beat 1996 Königsberg Express 1996 Between Summers /Sommaren (co-production) 1995 Betrayal /Förräderi 1995 The Atlantic /Atlanten 1995 The Congo Major /Kongomajoren 1993 The River /Floden 1991 Tong Tana 1989

Magnus Enquist.

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“There’s hope at the end” co-director of The Planet. You’ve made Sweden’s most expensive documentary ever! “If you regard it as a single documentary, then that’s true. But altogether we’ve made six hours of documentary, four hours of which are for television.” What’s the difference? “Basically, the film arouses interest, touches the emotions. The television series goes deeper into the issues.” How did you choose your experts? “We selected them from among the leaders in the field of Global Change. We interviewed lots more of them than appear in the film.” Do any of the experts think we’ve still got plenty of time to make changes? “Not really. The scientists in the programme are in no way radical. None of them has anything especially new to say, but collectively they do paint rather a gloomy picture.” Watching the film you can’t help hoping that one of the experts will say: “OK, it looks hopeless, but here’s the solution.” Does such a person exist? “Yes, in the television series.” So why did you opt to make the film so gloomy? “We consciously set out not to paint a doomsday scenario. It’s a tough journey, but there’s hope at the end.” In his film An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore opts to intersperse suggestions for what can be done with the closing credits. What do you think of that approach? “What’s positive is that you feel: “I can do something”. But it’s negative if you think: “It’ll all sort itself out”. People have called us saying they’ve watched both films, and that they feel far more inclined to do something having seen ours.” There are a number of films along the same lines at the moment: the BBC’s Planet Earth, Al Gore’s film, and even a documentary by Leonardo Di Caprio. How does your film stand out from the others? “There were two types of film we didn’t want to make. Maybe you remember Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka, both incredibly beautiful films. But they featured very serious music and hardly any relevant people. They seemed to imply that the only solution was for all of us to get right back to nature and live like noble savages. The other type of films are those that are scientifically correct. I think the BBC has chosen that approach. But our goal throughout has been to make a film of genuine artistic beauty that doesn’t shy away from the facts.” Was it depressing to make, in some ways? “Our co-director Johan Söderberg found it really difficult for a while. But all of us involved feel that it has changed their lives.” In what ways? “Well, when you’re faced with a choice, you try to apply the knowledge you’ve gained from the experience. It’s pretty tough at times. You think about it when it’s time to buy or sell a car, for example.” What was your worst experience shooting the film? “In China we were working with one of the world’s leading experts on deserts. He showed us how the desert is rapidly closing in on Beijing. That was all rather disturbing.” Do you have hope for the future? “Absolutely. These issues are getting more and more publicity. People like me, who knew nothing about it before, are becoming more aware. The other day, for example , I went onto the World Bank website, where you can read that growth is good, but it’s not good if you don’t calculate the costs involved. And that’s exactly what we’re saying in our film.” II MATS WEMAN


Michael Stenberg.

The Planet.

“If it exists, you can see it” the film you’re currently directing, is a particularly gruesome horror film. Is that right, Hanna Solberger? “Well, in many ways it’s quite scary to realise that we can never buy ourselves the privilege of not breathing. Otherwise, what’s most disturbing about the film is the fact that, for the first time, we can see our everyday lives magnified a few hundred thousand times.” You’ve had help from the world famous photographer Lennart Nilsson. What’s he like to work with? “He has an almost boyish fascination for impossible tasks. His philosophy is: if it exists, then you must be able to see it!” How did you get the idea? “I was talking to some medical experts at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, about something completely different, when I realised there was a method for examining the air we breathe. That’s when my imagination started to run riot.” How do you go about getting images? “We can collect the air in the middle of Wall Street, air that we can analyse in a portable sweep electron microscope. Or in drains, for example, we work together with teams who normally fix leaks, and we send in small radio-controlled cars.” Judging by the title, there’s nowhere on earth worse than an international airport… “We were discussing the most likely places to look, and eventually we decided that air hand dryers were potentially among the world’s major spreaders of infection. And at international airports you can find everything from Malaysian pollen to viruses of every description.” It makes you wonder how we’ve managed to survive for so long… “It’s not likely that we’ll all get very sick in the immediate future, but it’s something we examine in the film. People have already started to become aware of airborne infections in the wake of SARS and bird flu.” Has the film given you a phobia for germs? “No, but I’ve become extremely nerdy! Every time I go into an elegant building I start fantasising about ventilation shafts and where the air supply comes from. I hope I can get over it when the film’s finally in the can!” II MATS WEMAN


The Heathrow Towel The Heathrow Towel Director Hanna Solberger Director of Photography Jan Röed Editor TBA Producer Jonas Kellagher Produced by Charon Film in co-production with Sveriges Television/Dokumentär, ARTE, NFTF, Film i Skåne, MEDIA+ and Svensk Filmindustri Screening details 52 minutes, Digibeta Release Spring 2007 Sales AB Svensk Filmindustri

The Planet The Planet/Planeten Director Michael Stenberg, Linus Torell, Johan Söderberg Director of Photography Jan Röed Editor Johan Söderberg Producer Charon Film AB, in co-production with Sveriges Television, Videomaker AS, Fox Media Danmark, NRK Norge and Yle FST, with support from Formas, Nordiska Film- och TV-Fonden, Norsk Filmfond, The Ministry of Education Denmark, Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Vetenskapsrådet and Swedish Film Institute/Niklas Rådström, Per Nielsen Screening details 82 minutes, 35 mm, Digibeta Sales AB Svensk Filmindustri

The Heathrow Towel.

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Scenes From a Life

The four empresses: Alice, Linnéa, Mimmi and Nanna.

Erland Josephson wanted them to make an “arty” film about him. So they obliged. at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Erland Josephson was asked: “You’ve played so many roles all through your life, getting inside one identity after the other, but what’s your own true identity?” Looking at his interrogator as if he’d just landed from Mars, Erland Josephson replied: “I don’t want any identity!” Among the audience that evening was the director Ulf Peter Hallberg, a good friend of Josephson through his work in the theatre. Together with the Danish cinematographer Torben Skjødt Jensen, Hallberg had previously co-directed Benjamin’s Shadow (Benjamins skugga) about the German philosopher, Walter Benjamin. The two of them were on the lookout for a subject for a new essay film. After the debate, Erland Josephson, who had seen the film, approached the duo saying: “You ought to make an arty film like that with me!” And immediately, Ulf Peter Hallberg had found the subject he was looking for. “Right there on the spot I knew what the film would be about: an actor’s own persona and the roles he plays.” Now 83 years old, Erland Josephson has been a star of the Swedish stage and screen for more than sixty years, with countless productions to his name. His film career is best known from his collaboration with Ingmar Bergman (Fanny & Alexander, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage) and Andrei Tarkovsky (The Sacrifice). And he’s still going strong. In Are You Playing Tonight? (Spelar du ikväll?) we follow Josephson, bursting with energy and humour as he guides us round his beloved Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and in scenes from Strindberg, Chekhov and Beckett, here given a unique contemporary relevance. “We didn’t want to do a traditional portrait of Erland, nor a celebration of his life. Neither did we want to make something elaborate: we’re the sworn enemies of anything pretentious. So our aim was to establish an understanding with the viewer that we would be leaving in the mistakes, the slips of the tongue, and the lighthearted everyday moments. We don’t frame Erland with dramatic backdrops and ask him how he feels about eternity. Instead we gently coax the film along in a mutual adventure based around certain parts that I’ve written and on Torben’s magic behind the camera.” Ulf Peter Hallberg says shooting with this grand old man of stage and screen was like being on honeymoon with the enigmatic Charlie Chaplin. Erland Josephson talks openly and expansively about himself, but still opts to hold back on many of his secrets. “It’s both skilful and shrewd on his part. The curtain goes down, yet the questions still remain.” The hardest part of the project was paring things down, as Ulf Peter Hallberg explains. Originally the trio intended to travel together to Paris and New York. Woody Allen – one of Ingmar Bergman’s biggest fans – was also to have appeared in the film. “My favourite darling-that-waskilled was when Woody stepped out of a subway carriage in Brooklyn, caught sight of Erland and asked: “Do you think Ingmar Bergman is really sad because The enigmatic he’s not Jewish?” II HENRIK EMILSON Mr Josephson.


Are You Playing Tonight? Are You Playing Tonight?/Spelar du ikväll? Directors Ulf Peter Hallberg and Torben Skjødt Jensen Screenplay Ulf Peter Hallberg Director of Photography Torben Skjødt Jensen Music Povl Kristian Editor Torben Skjødt Jensen Producers Stina Gardell, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Thomas Stenderup Produced by Mantaray Film & TV Productions and Final Cut Film Productions ApS, in co-production with Sveriges Television/Drama, Yle Teema Ateljee and The Nordic Film & TV Fund, with support from The Swedish Film Institute/ Marianne Ahrne Screening details 72 minutes, 35 mm, Dolby 5.1 Sales Final Cut Film Productions ApS

Ten years ago they were adopted from a children’s home outside Shanghai. The time had come to go back to their roots.

China Girls HE EVENING BEFORE they were due to visit the children’s home outside Shanghai, director Christina Höglund and cameraman Niklas Forshell were wondering whether they should sacrifice a bag and conceal a camera inside. They were still unaware whether or not they were allowed to film inside the building. “We came to the conclusion that we were on this trip for the sake of the children and it would be best to play by the book,” Christina recalls. When they got to the children’s home, they simply took out their camera and started filming. Christina is still fairly certain that they weren’t supposed to, but that their Chinese hosts were far too polite to stop them. Christina Höglund’s debut film The Zhang Empresses (Kejsarinnorna Zhang) was first conceived round the dinner table of the parents of one of the girls in the film. That’s where she heard that the four 11 year-old girls – Alice, Mimmi, Nanna and Linnéa – were about to travel back to China to visit the children’s home from which they’d been adopted. Christina felt immediately that she simply had to go with them. “I started thinking deeply about the subject of identity. Who are we? Does our place of birth have any significance, ten years later, if we’re now living on the other side of the earth?” Despite her background as a newspaper and radio correspondent, Christina knew that this time round she


wanted to tell the story in pictures. “It’s strange. The idea of going to China armed only with a tape recorder was never on the cards.” But it wasn’t so straightforward for Christina and Niklas to join the party. Some of the parents had reservations about a film, and one of the girls was so full of nervous tension about the trip that she announced to them the week before they were due to leave: “If you go, then I’m not going.” “I could tell they were all wound up. But we decided to go through with it, fairly confident that everybody’s nerves would soon settle down,” says Christina. Her intuition was right. By the time they got to Shanghai, both the parents and the girls were considerably more relaxed. “We gathered the girls together in our hotel room every evening and asked them to name something good and something bad that happened during the day. They were with us almost all the time. In fact, we probably socialised with them more than their parents did.” Christina’s favourite scene in the film is when the girls are on the bus driving away from the children’s home. They’re hanging out of the windows, their hair floating in the wind, realising just how fortunate and free they are. “It’s obviously something they reflect on, and you can’t help thinking that the feeling that they were once abandoned has left its mark. There’s a trace of sadness that nothing can really wipe away.” II MATS WEMAN

The Zhang Empresses The Zhang Empresses/Kejsarinnorna Zhang Director Christina Höglund Director of Photography Niklas Forshell Editor Martin Assarsson Producer Christina Höglund Produced by Christina Höglund in co-production with Sveriges Television/Barn&Ungdom/Fiktion Screening details 46 minutes, Diga-Beta Sales Christina Höglund

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06-11-02 11.18.05

Private Tove She feels like a documentary soldier. And she has first hand experience from the war zone in Nicaragua. Meet Tove Torbiörnsson, the new documentary film commissioner.

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red leather sofa in her office at the Swedish Film Institute, I’m left with no doubt that this is a woman with a passion for her work. As she speaks with undisguised pride about the first films she’s helped to bring to fruition, her down-to-earth enthusiasm is positively infectious. They include Rainer Hartleb’s Everyone’s Fine (Alla mår bra), Peter Gerdehag’s The Horseman (Hästmannen), not forgetting Rebecka Rasmusson’s Alice and Me, a film about Sweden’s first ever dentist turned actress/celebrity, Alice Timander. “This is one hell of a great job. I feel like some kind of documentary soldier. The quality of Swedish documentary filmmaking is amazingly high, so I’m delighted to be able to get fully behind the projects I believe in. OK, so occasionally we put in smaller sums, typically for films about ongoing stories that can’t wait six months for maximum funding. But generally I’d rather concentrate on a handful of films and give them a bit more.” She’s not alone in her views. All three new commissioners at the Swedish Film Institute are talking about choosing their favourites rather than spreading the available funding too thinly. That’s fine for those who make the grade, less so, of course, for those who don’t. But it’s a way of thinking that’s fully in tune with the changes currently running through the Film Institute under its new CEO, Cissi Elwin. “Naturally we have our differences of opinion, but that sparks off some healthy discussions, and a certain amount of resistance is a good thing, in my opinion.” For Tove Torbiörnsson, documentaries are all about touching people and being touched. Better to be a little rough and ready, to go too far, than to produce something that’s too perfect and manicured. It’s all about an emotional understanding of the world. She cites the forthcoming Alice and Me as an example: “There are a few scenes where Alice Timander describes her feelings of alienation from the world, and that’s something I think many people feel, even though they try to fit in as best they can. It’s a film with lots of genuinely profound moments which can probably help others to realise that they’re not alone in what they feel. A good documentary can get you to see that other people actually share some of your innermost secrets.” Tove Torbiörnsson also believes that as a filmmaker you should have as little influence as possible on the people in the film, on what they should do or say.

If someone has something important to say, then sooner or later, they’ll say it.

“It has to be authentic. At times I’m amazed at the number of filmmakers who ask people to do things that are quite unnecessary, when they should just give them time to reveal themselves. If someone has something important to say, then sooner or later, they’ll say it. As filmmakers, we have to trust in the story, trust in our own ability to coax it out.” When Tove Torbiörnsson took up her post as the documentary film commissioner in January this year she was reported as having said that Swedish filmmakers should stay at home more than they have tended to in the past, and that they should concentrate on Swedish subjects. Now she’s changed her mind. Well, sort of.... She laughs, mocking herself and the fact that everything she says can be turned against her: “I certainly do think we Swedes should travel, it’s something we’re rather good at. And I could also say that I’d like to see more good-looking films, highly crafted and with no expenses spared, but that’s not what really matters. What really counts is the content, the strength and impact of a film.” Tove Torbiörnsson isn’t so interested in spotting trends in the subjects people are making films about at the moment, but she does confess to being rather keen on films about the lives of women: “As I see it, so many women have had such exciting lives, many of them overlooked. But as I say, it’s the strength of a film that counts, not the subject matter.” Yet while we’re on the subject of women, the new film agreement inevitably enters the conversation. It clearly states that 40 per cent of future films should have women screenwriters or be made by female directors. “At the same time, you do have to ask yourself what the film is actually about. Female experience and input might well be a vital component.” WHILE OTHER LITTLE GIRLS sat at home playing with dolls, Tove was already out in the big wide world of danger and adventure, together with her father, documentary filmmaker Peter Torbiörnsson: “I started travelling with my Dad very early on. During the summer holidays from school we went round Europe, the States and Central America, and lots of things happened to us. Dad was out working most of the time, so my brothers and I had to look after ourselves. We went to Mexico, to Cuba, and now and again we’d bump into Dad in between assignments. We were very naive, but we managed OK.” It was actually there as a teenager, twenty years ago in Nicaragua, that she learnt how to edit films, that she first realised the power of images and how exciting it is to work with film. “I wasn’t there for very long, but it was such an intensive

period in my life. Sometimes I feel that if I hadn’t experienced the things I did when I was growing up, or if I hadn’t been in Nicaragua, then I’m not so sure what I’d be doing today.” Only now, with four children of her own, the oldest of whom will soon be off to live in Berlin, does Tove think of all the things that might have happened to them. “Dad and I were even arrested in Honduras, and I was accused of being a terrorist. I was held for questioning for several nights on end, sharing a cell with a Spanish photographer and a man who’d been shot in the leg. What I learnt from the experience is that everything is more complex than you think, nothing is black and white. One of the prison guards had the habit of polishing his pistol right next to my head as I sat playing chess with his colleague. Things are rarely straightforward, and that’s what we need to show in documentaries. We human beings are bloody complex creatures, and telling a complex story isn’t easy. Still, that’s what makes it so interesting.” II CHRISTINA HÖGLUND

Tove Torbiörnsson Born: in Mexico City in 1965, grew up in Lund and Stockholm. Lived in Santa Fé for a year after her first child was born. Family: lives with the filmmaker Alberto Herskovits, with whom she has four children, the oldest of whom is 19. Background: Studied literature and film. Also studied film directing at the Stockholm University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre, 19921995. Job: Film Commissioner since 1 January 2006. Has 12 million Swedish kronor to distribute each year for documentary films. Filmography: De okända utvandrarna (with Alberto Herskovits) 1990 Oxhunger (short) 1994 Slottet (short) 1995 För husfridens skull 1996 Asrin 1997 Gully 1999 Missing Boy /Hitta hem 1999 Det var en gång ett BB 2001 Vad hände sedan med Jonathan? 2004 As Film Commissioner: Everyone’s Fine /Alla mår bra (Directed by Rainer Hartleb) 2006 Islams barn i Folkhemmet (Directed by Bo Harringer) 2006 Alice and Me /Alice och jag (Directed by Rebecka Rasmusson) 2006 Hästmannen (Directed by Peter Gerdehag) 2006 Sami nieida jojk (Directed by Liselotte Wajstedt) 2006 Får jag lov (Directed by Joakim Jalin) 2007 Nunnan (Directed by Maud Nycander) 2007 Filmen om Leslie (Directed by Stefan Berg) 2008

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06-11-02 16.53.06

Staffan Julén first heard the story of Mijaq back in 1983. So it was high time to put on his polar bear trousers and get filming.

Top of the World

ITH AN EMPATHIC tug he zips up the rucksack. The most important item he’s packed inside is a tiny camera, not much bigger than a matchbox. It needs to be small: he’s going to fasten it to an eagle in order to film the world from a genuine bird’s eye view. “You see, I’m making a film about an elderly man who’s teaching his grandson the art of training and hunting with eagles.” Filmmaker Staffan Julén glances at the clock. This time tomorrow he’ll be on his way to Mongolia, where he’ll be filming for a whole month. His second most important item of luggage lies next to the rucksack. “It’s a really warm sleeping bag. And I’ll be needing it, I can assure you.” The climate in Mongolia really is rather special: 27˚ Celsius by day and a staggering minus 15 at night. But for Staffan Julén, who for more than 20 years has been a frequent visitor to Greenland, harsh climates are nothing unusual. The last time he was up there he insisted to his producer that he should be given a pair of polar bear skin trousers. They were hard to find, but Staffan held firm. And during the shoot, he was the only one who managed to stay warm. That was when he was putting the finishing touches to his latest film, The Prize Of The Pole, the story of the Inuit boy


Majaq (“he who guides the way”) adopted by the American arctic explorer Robert E. Peary at the start of the last century. Mijaq died unhappy and alone in a tiny northern village in the US at the tender age of 31. The Majaq story is a tragic Greenland legend, handed down from generation to generation. Staffan Julén originally heard it during his very first visit to Greenland in 1983, when he and his sister, Ylva Julén, began working on their film Inughuit – folket vid jordens navel (Inuit – the people at the world’s navel). “But although I’d heard the story, I wasn’t fully aware of Majaq’s fate, except that it was an unhappy one which still aroused strong feelings in Greenland.” Staffan Julén has the greatest respect for the people of Greenland, their immense wisdom and their ability to manage time and the pressures of life. “They never get irritated by the things they can’t do anything about. And they just love to tease us Westerners because we’re all so stressed out.” Yet despite his warm affection for the country, Staffan Julén has never thought of breaking from Sweden and going to live in Greenland. “No, I’m quite happy to live here. In fact I’m more drawn by warm places like the West Indies or Vietnam. I think life is easier there.”

This Film is for Real An animated documentary? With clay models? Right – what’s the problem? Karma fights against the messages from the advertising hoardings of the Stockholm underground that come flying at her like throwing stars. Tiger gets her name from the animal she rides, and Blue, an elf, gets hers from her colour. The three of them are graffiti artists – or graffiti politicians as Blue prefers to call them – oh, and they’re made of modelling clay. “When we make a documentary we aim to get as close to reality as possible. It was a real challenge to make the clay believable, because the film is certainly for real,” says director and animator Cecilia Actis. In the film, the girls behind Karma, Blue and Tiger speak of their attitudes to graffiti and why they like it as an art form. We hear their actual voices, just like in a ”real” documentary, and the fact that the figures are made of clay has given Cecilia Actis and co-director Mia Hulterstam a number of advantages from the point of view of narrative. To begin with, since graffiti in public places is illegal, it would be hard to get the real girls to show their faces: instead, they can hide behind their alter egos as a ninja, a tiger and a blue elf. And it also allows the graffiti texts to come to life. When people find out that it’s an animated documentary, many are highly sceptical. “Just watch it, I tell them. And when they have, they think it’s bloody brilliant!” says Cecilia, who together with Mia Hulterstam made a careful study of the actual girls’ movements and mannerisms before they began shooting. The pair had previously been involved in lighting and technical effects for the theatre. An introductory course in animation fired their imaginations to such an extent that they set about teaching themselves what they needed to know. In 2003 they made the documentary The Dance of my Text, about a female rapper. “It was fun working with her words and bringing them to life. The same is true of graffiti. It’s a two dimensional art form that lends itself to three dimensions. That’s what we give it – we make the girls’ paintings come to life and move. And we were completely fascinated by the girls’ reasons for getting involved in the world of graffiti.” Cecilia Actis and Mia Hulterstam are planning more animations using modelling clay. “It suits us so well. Everything’s handmade, and the odd fingerprint here and there only adds to the feeling of immediacy.” As Cecilia explains, they buy the clay from England, because of its strength. “We’ve read about some of the bigger studios who keep their models in the fridge. But we haven’t used any really powerful lamps, so there hasn’t been a risk of them melting.”




Blue, Karma, Tiger The Prize of the Pole The Prize of the Pole Director Staffan Julén Director of Photography Camilla Hjelm Knudsen, Torben Forsberg Editors Clas Lindberg, Staffan Julén, Ylva Fabricius Producers Michael Haslund Christensen, Jesper Morthorst, Per Forsgren, Birgitte Hofer, Eddie Rosenstein Produced by Haslund Film Int, Nimbus Film, Eden Film, Maximage and Eyepop Prod, with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Per Nielsen, Hjalmar Palmgren & Tove Torbiörnsson Screening details 78 minutes, Beta Sales First Hand Films

Blue, Karma, Tiger Directors, Screenwriters, Directors of Photography, Editors and Animators Cecilia Actis and Mia Hulterstam Sound Martin Hennel Producer Linda Sternö Produced by dancinganimation and Grym Film in co-operation with Film i Skåne and Sveriges Television, with support from Konstnärsnämnden, Sparbanksstiftelsen Skåne and the Swedish Film Institute/Anne-Marie Söhrman Fermelin Screening details 12 minutes, 35 mm Sales Grym Film

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Pontus lived in a spacious apartment in central Stockholm. He enjoyed a successful life with his family and children until his typing agency went bankrupt and he lost everything. Eventually, Pontus ended up on the streets where he met Marina. And for several years the two of them lived in nothing more than a cramped metal container on a scrapheap. “I knew from the outset that I didn’t want my film to point the finger of blame. But how on earth do people manage? Life without a home is so fraught, a daily struggle to stay alive. It’s hard enough to live with someone in a big apartment, let alone a tiny metal box. And the lack of privacy – a girl can’t even have a pee in peace.” Filmmaker Kirsi Nevanti, who was born in Finland and came to Sweden at the age of 19, calls this is a love story and a film about “the unbounded human desire to find home”. She’s learnt that it’s easier than you’d imagine to fall through the net, and how society doesn’t really care about those who don’t fit into the “shiny, happy people” mould. And she’s learnt true value of family life, how we should cherish our nearest and dearest. What’s most frightening of all is that our own children might be among the homeless people of tomorrow. It was 14 years ago that Kirsi first got the idea for Tomorrow Never Knows. She was filming outside a hostel for the homeless in Stockholm when she saw a man kissing a woman goodnight before he went off to the men’s dormitory and she to the women’s. On the door was a sign that read “Home, sweet home”. Back then in November 1992 she realised that she wasn’t ready to make the film. Quite simply, she was too young and inexperienced. “It’s always important to have respect for the people you film, but also to have some respect for yourself as a filmmaker, to know your capabilities. I knew I wasn’t ready for such a sensitive subject until recently.” While shooting the film she’s been ploughing through Shakespeare, because “nobody understands the nature of love, of loss and power like he does.” And Samuel Beckett has also been high on her reading list, helping her to shape the final film, which she edited down from 100 hours of footage. All the while, the question rang in her head: “Whose city is this, anyway?” Attempting to sum up Kirsi Nevanti’s work, two words spring readily to mind: vulnerability and creativity. These are recurring themes in each of her short films, most notably Among the Elves (En släkting till älvorna) – a film about the charismatic and controversial Swedish singer, Freddie Wadling. Shooting that film was a real test of her ability to set limits, an experience she describes today with a smile as “an invasion from outer space”. Describing them both as generous people, Kirsi got very close to Pontus and Marina during the long shoot of Tomorrow Never Knows. They did back off occasionally, but not to any real extent. Yet there was one scene that Marina refused point blank to allow. And with hindsight, Kirsi thinks perhaps it was best that way. “For a woman who’s lived in communal rooms for so long, a bath is the ultimate luxury, so I thought I’d like to film her converting her living room into a bathroom. To show her dream. But since this was what Marina valued most of all, it was also the hardest for her to do.” Kirsi Nevanti’s films are poetic, and above all imagedriven. But there was a time in her career when she worked exclusively with sound – as a radio producer. With the fall of Ceausescu and the Berlin Wall, she took her microphone on a journey to Eastern Europe. Sitting on a train in Romania, she suddenly realised that what she needed was a camera. “It was so amazing to see all those people, to see everything that had happened written large on their faces. I knew straight away that I had to make a change. Since then I’ve worked exclusively with images, and I’ve never looked back.” II CHRISTINA HÖGLUND


Street Life It started with a kiss and ended up with a film about the homeless. Kirsi Nevanti goes behind the “shiny happy people” and asks “Whose city is this, anyway?”

N THE 1980 S

Tomorrow Never Knows Tomorrow Never Knows Director Kirsi Nevanti Director of Photography Robert Nordström Editor Jan Alvermark Producer Kirsi Nevanti Produced by Camera32 with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Niklas Rådström, Per Nielsen, Piodor Gustavsson, SVT Drama/Daniel Alfredson, The Church Of Sweden, Nordic Film & TV fund/Kristin Ulseth and Konstnärsnämnden/Tove Torbiörnsson, Johan Donner, Gunilla Byrstedt Screening details 114 minutes, 35 mm or Beta Sales Camera32//Sthlm AB

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The Art of Film One married couple, two stories and a shared philosophy. Meet the Widerbergs! over the loudspeakers that the pilot has suffered a brain injury – after the plane has taken off. A workman arrives at the house of a customer where he’s met by the customer’s wife – a woman he thought was dead. Husband and wife Martin Widerberg and Cristina Erman Widerberg are basically artists, yet they’ve always had a fascination for film, especially in their installations. Now they have made two separate documentaries, Human Perfomance and Limitations and What a Lovely Kitchen, both inspired by true stories. Martin Widerberg has a friend who’s a consultant neurologist. It was from him that the airplane story originated. “I’m really interested in neurology, so much that I’ve even been to a number of conferences on the subject. I think I’m probably more equipped than the average doctor to diagnose a brain haemorrhage,” says Martin Widerberg. He has also started to study for his pilots’ licence, and is fascinated by the way people in aviation see the world: ”They assume that people make mistakes and set out to create systems to avoid those mistakes. The way neurologists regard reality is more philosophical. That’s what makes this meeting between the two professions so interesting.” The story behind What a Lovely Kitchen actually happened to Christina Erman Widerberg’s father. “I first heard it from my mum, then from my dad. The differences in the way they told the story was really fascinating. In the film I let a third person do the narration, because I wanted to put a filter between myself and my parents.” Both films blur the conventional distinctions between documentary, art and short film. “When I worked as a photographer I used to get annoyed at the rules for what you can and cannot do. It’s not constructive. I think you should choose your format based on the story,” says Martin Widerberg. “What a Lovely Kitchen was the opening film at the Nordic Panorama in Bergen. People there asked me: is this a documentary or a short film? For me it’s an irrelevant question, and in purely visual terms I don’t care to categorise it. The film has been screened both in an art gallery and at a short film festival,” Christina Erman Widerberg declares. The couple are now working flat out on Bomber och granater, knivar och gafflar, a film about a man with a mild developmental disorder who has a liking for Mozart. And this time Christina Erman Widerberg is rather more specific: “Yes, this time there’s no doubting that it’s a documentary.” A NEUROLOGIST HEARS

They had almost given up. There wouldn’t be a film, after all. But then Peter Gerdehag made a discovery.

The Horse Whisperer hanging on a thread. Natural history filmmaker Peter Gerdehag and his editor Tell Johansson were on the point of giving up. They had been filming the elderly farmer StigAnders for more than 18 months. And their backer, Swedish Television, was getting cold feet, too. “Stig-Anders was so reluctant to open up that we didn’t know how we could ever get the film to work,” Tell Johansson recalls. Having previously won critical acclaim for their film The Farmer’s Time On Earth (Bondens tid på jorden), Gerdehag and Johansson were looking for material for their next project. It was then that Peter Gerdehag remembered Stig-Anders, another (and rather unusual) farmer he’d once met. He lives off what the land and forest provide, and he farms the earth using centuries old methods handed down to him by his highly religious parents. In the film it’s virtually impossible to hear what StigAnders is saying behind his shaggy beard. Half the time he’s speaking to himself in broad dialect, the other half mumbling and whispering to the horses that pull his farm machinery. The animals pick up on every nuance of his instructions from far away across the fields. Just on the other side of the fence, yet seemingly light years away, his neighbour’s shiny tractor is collecting the hay into neat,



shrink-wrapped bales. “We thought at first the he looked a bit scary with his massive beard, rather like a troll. But when he started talking we discovered he had the gentlest of voices,” says Tell Johansson, who has edited down more than 200 hours of footage for the film. It wasn’t as if Stig-Anders was against being filmed. It was simply that it was so difficult to get any information out of him. But things were about to change. One day the old farmer fell ill and was admitted to hospital. It was then that Peter Gerdehag made a discovery at his bedside, a slip of paper that read: “Get well soon. Madeleine”. “We were completely in the dark. Who was Madeleine? He’d never mentioned her.” The hunt for the mystery woman was on, and soon it became apparent that Madeleine was a local girl who had taken riding lessons from Stig-Anders in return for helping him on the farm. “She’s grown up now, so we decided to use her as our narrator to tie up the story of Stig-Anders. The film also became something of a story about their relationship. It all came down to that note we found. Without it, the film wouldn’t be in the form it is today. Without it, there might not even have been a film at all.” II HENRIK EMILSON


Human Performance and Limitations Human Performance and Limitations Director, screenwriter, director of photography, sound, editor Martin Widerberg Producer Christina Erman Widerberg Produced by Widerberg Film Screening details 5 minutes, Beta SP Sales Widerberg Film

The Horseman

What a Lovely Kitchen

The Horseman/Hästmannen Directors Peter Gerdehag, Tell Johansson Director of Photography Peter Gerdehag Screenwriter Tell Johansson Music Escapismo Editor Tell Johansson Producer Johan Miderberg Executive Producer Malcolm Dixelius Produced by Gerdehag Photography AB in association with Sveriges Television AB/Ingemar Persson and Patrick Bratt, with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Tove Torbiörnsson Screening details 84 minutes, Digital Beta Release 10 November 2006 Sales Folkets Bio

What a Lovely Kitchen/Det var ett jäkla fint kök du har Director, screenwriter, director of photography, sound, music, producer Christina Erman Widerberg Editors Christina Erman Widerberg, Martin Widerberg Voiceover Daniel Staley Produced by Widerberg Film Screening details 6 minutes, Beta SP Sales Widerberg Film

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06-11-02 10.51.10


On her first visit to Northern Ireland, Malin Andersson was shocked to find two communities at war. Her debut film is the story of two young women – one from either side of the walls.

Belfast Blues IOLIN IN HAND, like so many other young people in Europe, the 20 year-old Malin Andersson went in search of the true spirit of Ireland. It was the early 90s, and Malin travelled the length and breadth of the island, ending up in Belfast. There in Northern Ireland she found two communities at war. “It was really disturbing. But I was so taken with the place that I couldn’t let it go.” Malin returned to Northern Ireland year after year. Her first love, she confesses, was photography. Her portfolio of images of Belfast grew, eventually helping her to gain admission to a full-time photography course in Sweden. But by that time, another love, of documentary films, had already been awakened. She couldn’t understand why the Swedish media never reported the dreadful stories she encountered time and time again in Belfast. And she began to realise that if nobody else in Sweden would tell them, then she’d just have to do it herself. “They were shocking stories about the injustices committed when the troubles were at their height. I made friends with a number of young guys who’d been wrongfully imprisoned and even tortured.” It was only several years later, when she moved back to Malmö, that everything fell into place. Malin came into contact with the producer Fredrik Gertten at WG Film, who was immediately taken with her idea for Belfast Girls: to tell the stories of two 18 year-old girls, one a Catholic, the other a Protestant. But it took some time before Malin found her main characters: Christine (Protestant) and Mairéad (Catholic). “I hadn’t had much contact with girls in Belfast, most of


the people I knew there were guys. A lot of them wanted to appear in the film, but that wasn’t what I wanted. And many of the girls I approached simply thought: why should I want to be in a film?” Most thinking people in Sweden come down on the side of the Catholic republicans, though they fall short of expressing support for the IRA. But in Belfast Girls, Malin Andersson made a conscious decision not to take sides. “I wanted to show the reality, so I had to listen to the Protestants too. I wanted two very ordinary girls. And basically, I don’t think it’s a film about a divided Ireland, but rather about what it’s like to be an 18 year-old living in Belfast. Belfast Girls strikes a chord for the new Northern Ireland, for the new generation that’s slowly moving away from almost a century of segregation. Just ten years ago, for example, every workplace was so split on community lines that it would have been virtually impossible for the Protestant Christine, as she does in the film, to meet her Catholic boyfriend at her place of work. A slow process of political change is now under way, a process that began with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. As Malin sees it, it marked the start of a period of hope, especially for the Catholics: “They’ve always had something to fight for, and now they’ve achieved their aims in some respects. They have a sort of cautious optimism right now. You can feel it on the Falls Road. But for the Protestants, those feelings are reversed.” As such, it’s a complicated time to make a film about Northern Ireland. But Malin Andersson is undeterred: “It’s important to show the complications. The people I’ve met on the Protestant side feel virtually abandoned. They

were born secure in the knowledge that they had the upper hand: you’ll always have a job, always have somewhere to live. Now they’re suddenly thinking: “what’s going on here?” But change takes time. The film shows that even now, Mairéad (whose grandfather, incidentally, was one of the Birmingham Six), still doesn’t dare to walk along certain streets. And neither of the girls dares to go on a bus. It’s something that sits deep, as Malin explains. People simply didn’t do those things for so many years. In the film we follow the 18 year-olds in their everyday lives. Christine is a teenage mother who’s recently met a new boyfriend, Terry, who happens to be a Catholic. Eventually, Mairéad also finds a boyfriend, Paddy, and the film ends on something of a high note. But a grimmer reality emerged after Malin had put down her camera and edited the film. Just two weeks before the premiere, Paddy took his own life, the result of drugs and the fact that north Belfast has the highest rate of suicide in Europe. Malin took the first plane over to be at Paddy’s funeral, and managed to persuade Mairéad, despite this terrible event, to attend the Swedish premiere. Yet the day before she was due to fly to Sweden, news came that Paddy’s brother had also committed suicide. “There’s an epidemic of young men who are taking their own lives right now,” Malin explains. Yet the story doesn’t end there. Two days after Mairéad got home from Sweden, she found out that she was pregnant. “Everyone’s looking out for her right now. She’s expecting Paddy’s baby, but he’s no longer there. It’s his baby, and she wants him to live on. And now she wants me to come back and do some more filming.” II MATS WEMAN

Belfast Girls Belfast Girls Director Malin Andersson Director of Photography Céline Bozon Music Cecilia Nordlund, Krister Jonsson Editor Erik Bäfving Producers Fredrik Gertten, co-producer Alexandre Cornu Produced by WG Film and Les Films du Tambour de Soie, in co-production with Sveriges Television and Film i Skåne, with support from Swedish Film Institute/Hjalmar Palmgren, Procirep, CNC, Nordic Film & TV Fund and Angoa Screening details 60 minutes, DV Cam and DVD Release 18 september 2006 Sales Films Transit International Inc.

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When PeÅ Holmquist and Suzanne Khardalian heard that “Little Sweetie” had become a psychoanalyst, there was only one thing left to do.

Going back to Gaza M CALM, I’M comfortable, I’m safe.” Somewhere in northern Gaza, a psychologist is drilling his patient. The man takes off his cap to reveal that his entire forehead has been crushed in. A suicide bomber who has survived his mission, he’s suffering from severe memory loss and depression after spending 28 days in a coma. More than 20 years on from their celebrated Gaza Ghetto and a number of other films about the region, the husband and wife team PeÅ Holmquist and Suzanne Khardalian are back. “But this is no Gaza Ghetto 2, that’s not what we wanted. We were looking for a new angle to spark us off again,” PeÅ Holmquist explains. They found that spark in one of the members of the family that featured in Gaza Ghetto. Back then, Ayed was affectionately known as “Little Sweetie”. Now an adult, he’s the only field psychologist in northern Gaza. His role is both unique and indispensable. “To begin with, many people questioned whether it was against the principles of Islam to undergo therapy. There are so many prejudices. But you have to remember that they face exactly the same problems that we do, only about a thousand times worse.” Young Freud in Gaza will be premiered later next year. Having done their research and filmed certain scenes already,


Holmquist and Khardalian intend to continue shooting into 2007. Their longstanding friendship with the family and the respect they gained in the region for Gaza Ghetto have given them access to places that no other filmmakers have visited before. What happens in front of the camera during the therapy sessions is both gripping and symbolic. Suzanne Khardalian describes a scene with a woman who has lost her husband in a car crash and is suffering from a morbid fear of death: “She has her face entirely covered and has come to therapy with her mother and brother. The daughter is full of anguish, yet has at least realised her need for help. But the brother is sceptical of anything to do with the West, whether medicine or treatment. God is all that matters to him. We get right inside their family, and it’s like a microcosm of the community as a whole.” “You couldn’t get any closer,” PeÅ Holmquist adds. Certain practical issues apart, there are obvious safety concerns about working in what is, in effect, a war zone. The couple have a daughter in Sweden, so they avoid being in particularly dangerous places at the same time. Fatah and Hamas are at odds with each other, making the situation intolerable. And some of the patients in the film are active members of Hamas. “Yet everyone gets treatment, irrespective of their political allegiances,” says Suzanne Khardalian.

“Take the suicide bomber with the crushed forehead. Right now his main concern is his parents. He says he wants peace with Israel, and that his priorities have changed since his bombing mission. But it’s too early to say whether he regrets what he did,” says PeÅ Holmquist. Holmquist and Khardalian are keen to point out that it’s totally different meeting someone who has committed such an act of violence in this context. If they’d met him in prison, he’d probably have boasted that he was a freedom fighter. “You can read between the lines, too. He claims that he used to have a number of mobile phones which never stopped ringing. He was a hero. But now, nobody calls him.” The young psychologist Ayed is the focal point of the film, and the filmmakers are full of admiration for the shining example he sets: “Ayed has an optimistic belief in the future, without which the film could never exist. Take Inas, for example, a girl who harbours thoughts of suicide. She’s so much better now than the first time I filmed her,” says PeÅ Holmquist. Recently appointed professor at Stockholm’s University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre, Holmquist was asked to write a book (Dokumentärfilmarens resa), which was published earlier this year, charting his 30-year career in film: “It’s not enough to have made 50 films, they expect you to write something, too,” he quips. II HENRIK EMILSON

Young Freud in Gaza Young Freud in Gaza Directors PeÅ Holmquist, Suzanne Khardalian Director of Photography PeÅ Holmquist Producer PeÅ Holmquist, HB PeÅ Holmquist Film, Sweden Co-produced by Final Cut Productions, Denmark and Illume Oy, Finland Screening details 80 minutes and 52 minutes (TV) Release December 2007 Sales TBA

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Through the Looking Glass When director Rebecka Rasmusson met prima donna Alice Timander, the upshot was a film – about both of them. she’s at home in her apartment, Alice Timander is wearing one of her trademark platinum blonde wigs. She flashes her famous smile. A smile that, in pictures of opening nights and society parties, has adorned Sweden’s celebrity magazines for more than 60 years. Turning to the film camera, she quips: “Being seen is like being loved.” Like everyone else in Sweden, documentary filmmaker Rebecka Rasmusson had her own preconceived notions about Alice Timander. But when she heard the blonde matriarch talking about herself in a television interview, she felt touched and intrigued. “Especially when she confessed that her desire to be seen has a lot to do with never having felt loved, and being ignored by her father. I thought it was brave of her to bare her soul and say so in public.” Realising that she was never destined to be a major star of stage or screen, the young Alice Timander was nonetheless determined to get the attention she craved as a society celebrity. Alongside her life in the limelight, in 1937 she became Sweden’s first ever female dentist. Her career meant that her own three children had a to take a back seat, repeating the pattern of disregard set by her father. Rebecka Rasmusson was so fascinated by her story that she decided to find out more about the woman behind the public mask. At the same time, the filmmaker herself suffered a personal crisis when her partner, the father of the child she was expecting, abandoned her. It provided a new edge to the film, in which the director suddenly found a role for herself. This approach to a film is not untypical of Rebecka Rasmusson. She often chooses a strong person as her subject, happy to contribute herself on a personal level. This is certainly true of Jonas and Reality (Jonas och verkligheten) a film about a boy with ADHD, and even more so of Cirkus Åke Skogh, where she herself took a part in the circus troupe. At first, personal pressures were so great that Rebecka Rasmusson was unsure if she’d be able complete the film. She opened her soul to Alice, who sympathised greatly and offered advice as to what Rebecka should do. The director’s own private life and the film became fused inexorably together. “Alice’s life has so much to do with love and betrayal and the consequences they have. The more I talked to her about my Rebecka own life, the more she opened meets Alice. up about hers. It meant I was able to get very close to her.” Do you think that Alice Timander regarded the film as yet another opportunity to get herself noticed? “I can’t answer that. But all through her long life she’s been regarded as a shallow person. When I talked to her about my own life, we really connected. Perhaps what she liked best was the opportunity to show that deep down there’s so much more to Alice Timander than meets the eye. To be seen as who she really is, for once.” II HENRIK EMILSON


Alice and Me Alice and Me/Alice och jag Director Rebecka Rasmusson Director of Photography Lukas Eisenhauer Editors Dominika Winkler, Bernhard Winkler Producer Stina Gardell Produced by Mantaray Film & TV Productions in co-production with Sveriges Television/Kultur, with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Tove Torbiörnsson Screening details 74 minutes, Beta Sales Mantaray Film & TV Productions

Forget Canada. Forget Gretzky and Lemieux. Real ice hockey is played by women – in India.

Against all odds pretty cold when you need one of the best sleeping bags money can buy, a pair of thermal gloves to read your book, and when the water in your toothbrush mug freezes over – indoors. Welcome to Ladakh: an isolated province in the Indian Himalayas. Filmmaker Håkan Berthas spent the winter of 2005/2006 documenting the highly unlikely story of how ice hockey came to Ladakh, where conditions actually turned out to be ideal for the sport. “Anyone who ever put on a pair of skates and who looked out on those enormous frozen lakes would know just how perfect they are.” As it happens, ice hockey has turned out to be hugely popular in Ladakh. “It’s a desert area. There are no natural fuels, so they don’t heat up their houses. When it’s cold indoors, it’s better to be in the sunshine outdoors. And that’s when it’s perfect to play hockey.” By tradition, the sport has been dominated by men and boys. But during the 2004 national championships, a group of girls caused uproar by insisting on playing in the



competition too. The whole thing was caught on camera by an amateur Swedish filmmaker. Word reached Håkan Berthas, fresh from his success with the documentary Nabila, and on the lookout for his next project. As a former ice hockey player himself, he was completely taken with this story of the girls who challenged the status quo. The upshot is a classic Rocky-style underdog tale of sport and equality. “Just like Nabila it’s about girl power. People must think I’m some kind of super feminist,” Håkan Berthas quips. The director was helped in his task by a fortunate series of events. By chance, a female American backpacker and former ice hockey player had turned up at the school in Ladakh, where the girls were studying. She agreed to become their coach. There’s also some topical religious interest in the film when the Buddhist girls need a few more players for the team and turn to a neighbouring school in Kargil, where the girls are Muslims. That was when Håkan Berthas managed to stage something of a mini revolution. “I joined in a little ice hockey myself in front of the mullahs, and managed to get them to agree that the girls could play wearing trousers!” II HENRIK EMILSON

Thin Ice Thin Ice Director Håkan Berthas Directors of Photography Ole Östen Tokle, Håkan Berthas Music Magnus Dahlberg, Robin af Ekenstam, Dan Gisen Malmquist, Conny Malmqvist Editor Stefan Sundlöf Producers Fredrik Gertten, Margarete Jangård Produced by WG Film in co-production with Medieoperatörerna Norway, Sveriges Television, with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Hjalmar Palmgren, Norwegian Film Fund, Nordic Film & TV Fund and Film i Örebro/Ylva Liljeholm Screening details 57 minutes, DVD and DV Cam Release TBA Sales Films Transit International Inc.

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New Docs 2006

THE FOLLOWING 8 new feature documentaries are all ready to hit international festivals

and markets. You can read more about all of them in this issue of Swedish Film. Please keep in mind that this is just a selection of new Swedish documentaries – you will always find updated information on all new films (including shorts and features) handled for festivals by the Swedish Film Institute on Stay tuned! Andreas Fock Festivals, documentaries, International Department, SFI

Are You Playing Tonight? Portrait of a European Actor. The Ingmar Bergman/Andrey Tarkovsky/Liliana Cavani-actor Erland Josephson on acting and living, bluffing and performing, reality and fiction. A film about being dedicated to curiosity and the energy of art: “Only through art is it possible to express what you don’t understand.” Original title Spelar du ikväll? Directors Ulf Peter Hallberg, Torben Skjødt Jensen Screenwriter Ulf Peter Hallberg Director of photography, editor Torben Skjødt Jensen Music Povl Kristian Producer Thomas Stenderup, Signe Byrge Sørensen Produced by Final Cut Film Productions ApS, Mantaray Film & TV Productions/Stina Gardell in co-production with Sveriges Television/ Drama, Yle Teema Ateljee, Nordic Film & TV Fund with support from Swedish Film Institute/Marianne Ahrne Cast Lena Endre, Maria Bonnevie, Stina Ekblad, Ghita Nørby Screening details Beta SP, Colour, 73 min, English subtitles Released September 15, 2006 Torben Skjødt Jensen was born in 1958. Alongside his film work, Torben has worked for Danish Television in recent years, adapting theatre plays for television and assisting with various television documentaries. The writer and filmmaker Ulf Peter Hallberg was born 1953 in Malmö, Sweden, but has lived in Berlin since 1983. Hallberg has written several books and worked a lot for theatre and film, both as a writer and a director. Together the “taviani-brothers” Hallberg and Skjødt Jensen directed Benjamin’s Shadow (1997).

Belfast Girls

Everyone’s Fine

The Planet

This is the story of teenage girls Mairéad Mc Ilkenny and Christine Savage, growing up in post-war Belfast. Two strong, young women with their everyday life struggles – sharing the legacy of 30 years of conflict – but living in different worlds, in the same city but cut off from each other by high walls. This year their lives will take turns they never could imagine...

One day in August 1972 Rainer Hartleb stepped into a classroom in the Stockholm suburb Jordbro. He met the kids at the Lunda school for the first time. The idea was to picture the kids’ way through school and the life in New Sweden – the suburbs. The project grew and continued into the 80’s and 90’s. The fifth film in the series, A Pizza in Jordbro, was released in 1994 and received a Swedish National Film Award (Guldbagge) as well as the Swedish Film Critics’ Prize. In 1996 the whole series was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival and many other film festivals worldwide. The kids were adults, the mission was over. Or was it? 34 years after the project began, Rainer Hartleb is now back with a new film in the series. Once again he meets the kids. They are now close to forty.

The Planet is a hot from the oven attempt to find answers about the truths and untruths of the alarming global changes that many claim are already in motion. It is the most extensive documentary project ever being produced in Scandinavia. The film crews have visited over 25 countries around the world. The Planet is about much more than climate change. It’s about the Earth as a whole – it’s about the overall global changes we are experiencing right now.

Original title Belfast Girls Director Malin Andersson Director of photography Céline Bozon Editor Erik Bäfving Sound Christine Barker Music Cecilia Nordlund, Krister Jonsson Producer Fredrik Gertten Produced by WG Film, Les Films du Tambour de Soie/Alexandre Cornu in co-production with Sveriges Television, Film i Skåne in association with Arte France, Radio Telefis Eireann Ireland, YLE FST Finland, The Documentary Channel Canada, Lichtpunt Belgium, RTBF Belgium, DR TV Denmark, NRK Norway, ETV Estonia with support from Swedish Film Institute, Procirep, CNC, Nordic Film & TV Fund, Angoa. Developed with support from the MEDIA Programme of the European Community Screening details Digibeta, Colour, 58 min, English subtitles First screening September 18, 2006 Selected for Nordisk Panorama 2006, Prix Europa 2006 Sales Films Transit International Inc. Malin Andersson, born in 1972, studied at Biskops-Arnö’s documentary film school as well as Dramatiska Institutet and has been working as an assistant to directors such as Per Carleson, Helgi Felixson, Stefan Jarl and Christoph Michold. She has spent a lot of time in Belfast, with and without a camera. This is her first film as a director.

Original title Alla mår bra Director Rainer Hartleb Directors of photography Lars Lundgren (1972-77), Staffan Lindqvist (1978-2005), Rainer Hartleb (1987, 2005) Editor Rainer Hartleb, Michal Leszczylowski Sound Cinepost/Leif Westerlund Music Cecilia Fredén, Käbi Laretei Producer Rainer Hartleb Produced by Olympia Filmproduktion HB in cooperation with Sveriges Television - Dokumentär/Ingemar Persson with support from Swedish Film Institute/Hjalmar Palmgren, Tove Torbiörnsson Screening details Bw/colour, 157 min, English subtitles Released September 1, 2006 Rainer Hartleb, born 1944 in Germany, has made several documentary films for Sveriges Television (SVT) where he started to work as a director in 1968. In 1972 he started to work on the Jordbro series, the result so far being six documentary films.

Original title The Planet Directors Michael Stenberg, Johan Söderberg, Linus Torell Screenwriters Michael Stenberg, Linus Torell Directors of photography Jan Röed and others Editor Johan Söderberg Sound Jonas Goldmann, Ragnar Samuelsson and others Music Johan Söderberg, David Österberg Producers Michael Stenberg, Jonas Kellagher Produced by Charon Film in co-production with Sveriges Television, Videomaker AS, Fox Media, NRK, YLE FST with support from Formas, Nordic Film & TV Fund, Norwegian Film Fund, The Ministry of Education Denmark, Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Vetenskapsrådet, Swedish Film Institute/Niklas Rådström, Per Nielsen Screening details 35mm, 1:1.85, Digital Dolby, 84 min, English subtitles Released September 1, 2006 International premiere IDFA 2006 (Joris Ivens Competition) Sales AB Svensk Filmindustri Michael Stenberg is a documentary director, producer and scriptwriter. The Planet is his third documentary. Johan Söderberg is an innovative editor and composer. He was the editor on Erik Gandini’s Surplus (2003) and co-directed Tokyo Noise (2002). Linus Torell is the creator of some of Sweden’s most popular TV shows for children. His first feature Misa Mi (2003) has been awarded worldwide.

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Production Companies ATMO Skånegatan 97 SE-116 35 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 8 462 26 90 Fax: +46 8 462 26 97 [email protected]

The Prize of the Pole

Thin Ice

Identity and belonging. These two words can be used to describe human yearning and struggle across time and space. The film deals with three men and their life-long attempts to reconcile the opposing cultural ties within them.

Dolkar, a young Buddhist woman from Ladakh in the Himalayas wants to play ice hockey. She and her friends try to make ice to skate on, get equipment and coaching. But the big problem is that the men in the winter sport committee are not letting women participate in the annual ice hockey tournament. Dolkar becomes the leader of the gang and together with Muslim girls from the neighbour town Kargil they take up the struggle.

Original title The Prize of the Pole Director, screenwriter Staffan Julén Directors of photography Camilla Hjelm Knudsen, Torben Forsberg Editors Clas Lindberg, Staffan Julén, Ylva Fabricius Sound Jens Bönding Music Frithjof Toksvig Producers Michael Haslund-Christensen, Jesper Morthorst, Per Forsgren, Birgitte Hofer, Eddie Rosenstein Produced by Haslund Film International MMVI, Nimbus Film Productions in association with Eden Film AB, Maximage, Eyepop Productions, Schweizer Fernsehen DRS, Sveriges Television - Dokumentärfilm/ Björn Arvas, Dr By Flemming Grenz, Yle Co-productions with support from Danish Film Institute/Dola Bonfils & Allan Berg Nielsen, The Swedish Film Institute/Hjalmar Palmgren, Per Nielsen & Tove Torbiörnsson, Media Programme of the European Community, Nordic Film & TV Fund, Nordisk Kulturfond, Nuna Fonden, Greenland Contractors, Air Greenland, Augustinus Fund, Alliance Atlantis Broadcast Group, Kiip, Folketingets Grønlandsfond, Den Kongelige Grønlandsfond Screening details Bw/colour, 80 min, English subtitles First screening November 10, 2006 Sales First Hand Films Staffan Julén, born 1957 in Stockholm, is a film photographer and director. Previously he has directed Åter till Runö – svenskön i exil (1991) and Inughuit – folket vid jordens navel (1985).

Original title Thin Ice Director Håkan Berthas Directors of photography Ole Östen Tokle, Håkan Berthas Editor Stefan Sundlöf Music Magnus Dahlberg, Robin af Ekenstam, Dan Gisen Malmquist, Conny Malmqvist Producers Fredrik Gertten, Margarete Jangård Produced by WG Film in co-production with Medieoperatörerna Norway and Sveriges Television in association with YLE Teema Finland, APTN Canada, VRT Belgium, The Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation The Netherlands, DR TV Denmark, ETV Estonia with support from the Swedish Film Institute/Hjalmar Palmgren, Norwegian Film Fund, Nordic Film & TV Fund, Film i Örebro. Screening details Digibeta, Colour, 58 min, English subtitles First screening November 8, 2006 International premiere IDFA 2006 (Silver Wolf Competition) Sales Films Transit International Inc. Håkan Berthas, born 1958, studied photo and film at N.Y. International Centre of Photography and documentary film at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm. Berthas has made documentaries such as Big Mike (2004, co-dir. Hanna Heilborn) and Nabila (2003, co-dir. Johan Bjerkner).

Camera32//Sthlm AB Frejgatan 32 SE-113 26 Stockholm Sweden Tel +46 70 850 75 08 [email protected] Charon Film AB Eldholmen, Lennartsnäs SE-196 92 Kungsängen Sweden Tel/Fax: +46 8 584 503 90 [email protected] Christina Höglund Nybrogatan 48 SE-114 40 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 73 531 29 21 [email protected] Dancing Animation c/o Mia Hulterstam Torekovsg 11b SE-214 39 Malmö Sweden Tel: +46 73 637 99 20 [email protected] Eden Film AB Erstagatan 3F SE-116 28 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 70 751 25 86 Fax: +46 8 641 75 78 [email protected] Final Cut Productions ApS Forbindelsesvej 7 DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø Denmark Tel: +45 3543 6043 [email protected] Gerdehag Photography AB Flathult SE-572 91 Oskarshamn Sweden Tel: +46 491 771 60 Fax: +46 491 771 60 [email protected]

Tomorrow Never Knows

The Zhang Empresses

…people, longing, loss, and love on a hard road. Heavily charged with the absurdities of modern life, the film is a commentary on the theme “when on a hard road, with nothing but the clothes on your back…”. The main characters are Pontus who suddenly finds a future ahead of him after years of homelessness, and Marina, his former girlfriend still out there in the cold. Unexpectedly, the road stretches broad and straight in front of him, to a “Best In Class” at the Royal Institute of Technology, the cosy sofa of at TV talk show. All he needs now is a place of his own. For Marina the struggle of survival is hard, and prejudices are many. Tomorrow Never Knows gives us a new take on the “losers” we meet on the streets.

How does it feel to touch the ground of your native country – for the first time – without the ability to speak the language? And what happens if you really aren’t very fond of the country where you were born? Join Nanna, Alice, Linnéa and Mimmi on their first journey back to Shanghai in China, where their former children’s home is situated. A film about identity and what it really means. Is your Chinese origin a big part of your daily life, ten years later on the other side of the world?

Original title Tomorrow Never Knows Director Kirsi Nevanti Director of photography Robert Nordström Editor Jan Alvermark Animators Animatrics Music Freddie Wadling Producer Kirsi Nevanti Produced by Camera32 with support from Swedish Film Institute/Niklas Rådström, Per Nielsen, Peter ”Piodor” Gustafsson, Sveriges Television/ Drama, The Church of Sweden, Nordic Film & TV Fund, Konstnärsnämnden Screening details 35mm, 1:1.85, Colour, Dolby Surround, 114 min, English subtitles World premiere IDFA 2006 (Joris Ivens Competition) Kirsi Nevanti studied film at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm and sociology on the University of Stockholm. A producer/filmmaker with several shorts and documentaries under her belt, among them the acclaimed documentary Among the Elves (1999).

Original title Kejsarinnorna Zhang Director, producer Christina Höglund Director of photography Niklas Forshell Editor Martin Assarsson Sound Ulf Nordin Produced by Christina Höglund in co-production with Sveriges Television with support from FFIA Screening details Digibeta, Colour, 46 min, English subtitles First screening March 2006 (BUFF, Malmö) International premiere IDFA 2006 (Kids & Docs) Christina Höglund is a journalist based in Stockholm. She has worked for both Sveriges Radio and Sveriges Television and she’s currently writing about film. This is her first documentary film.

Haslund Film Ravnsborggade 8, 4 tv DK-2200 Copenhagen Denmark Tel: +46 7026 0888 Fax: +45 7026 0889 [email protected]

Story AB Virkesvägen 2A SE-11230 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 8 15 62 80 Fax: +46 8 15 62 82 [email protected] WG Film Västergatan 23 SE-211 21 Malmö Sweden Tel: +46 40 23 20 98 Fax: +46 40 23 35 10 [email protected] Widerberg Film Pildammsvägen 12 SE-211 46 Malmö Sweden Tel: +46 70 985 53 70 [email protected]

Sales Companies AB Svensk Filmindustri International Sales SE-169 86 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 (0)8 680 35 00 [email protected] Deckert Distribution GmbH Peterssteinweg 13 GER-04107 Leipzig Germany Tel: +49 341 215 66 38 Fax: +49 341 215 66 39 [email protected] Films Transit International Inc. 252 Gouin Boulevard East Montreal, Quebec Canada H3L 1A8 Tel: +1 514 844 3358 Fax: +1 514 844 7298 [email protected] First Hand Films World Sales Schaffhauserstrasse 359 8050 Zürich Switzerland Tel: +41 1 312 20 60 [email protected] com SVT Sales Hangövägen 18 SE-105 10 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 8 784 86 14 Fax: +46 8 784 60 75 [email protected]

Mantaray Film & TV Productions Tjärhovsgatan 36 SE-116 21 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 8 640 43 45 [email protected] Olympia Filmproduktion Bondegatan 7 SE-116 23 Stockholm Sweden Tel: +46 70 868 79 74 [email protected] HB PeÅ Holmquist Film Prylvägen 7 SE-126 37 Hägersten Sweden Tel: +46 8 645 65 92 Fax: +46 8 555 720 05 [email protected]

Festivals/Documentaries: Andreas Fock [email protected] +46 8 665 11 41

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Sv e n s k F i l m i n du s t r i


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AB SVENSK FILMINDUSTRI International Sales SE-169 86 Stockholm/Sweden [email protected]

ANN-KRISTIN WESTERBERG Sr. VP, Head of Int’l Division Cell: +46 705 38 48 48

ANITA SIMOVIC VP – International Sales Cell: +46 70 648 26 11

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