Best Swedish Feature Documentary

Boden Film Festival didn’t have any public screenings because of the corona virus. Only the judges watched the films and mine was one of the winners. It would have been nice of course to actually attend the screening and meet the audience and other filmmakers, specially when I won an award, which doesn’t happen that often*, and because this was in my hood, but this year things work a little differently, if at all.

*This was third time I won an award. Three different films, three different festivals.

I was interviewed for the local, big morning paper, NSD, and when I was asked to provide a web address, I directed them to my Swedish film site Slowlife Film. A site I hadn’t looked at for a couple of years so I needed quickly to make a new post about the film and I thought it was a good idea to update WordPress and all the plugins at the same time and, lo and behold, the whole site turned into one line of error code…
After I managed to fix that, soon a new problem arrived. The video players didn’t work anymore! That turned out to be a glitch on YouTube’s part not accepting external players. Maybe. But at least now it works again. For a while I was afraid I would need to do something with the API. And what’s that, you might wonder, and so did I!
And haven’t logged in for a couple of years I found some spam messages that needs to be deleted. 40 000…
I disabled the comments.

For the last weeks my Youtube statistics have gone up a lot and I don’t know from where much of the traffic is coming from. “Direct” or “unknown” isn’t very helpful. But hey, it’s okay, just keep it coming! And not only that the number of views are increasing. The time each person is spending watching the the video is increasing even faster! A similar thing happened when I was in Japan this winter and it lasted for a month. That time all the viewers came from Japan, this time it’s from America. In Japan it was mostly YouTube suggestions but now I have no clue.

Edit: all the new traffic is coming from YouTube suggestions. Before YouTube knows how to categorize the traffic correctly, it brands everything as “direct” or “unknown” it seems. I would have guessed that all the referrals come from videos that has something to do with Japan but the best performing video sending traffic my way is about brain health.

Other people too are making great documentaries and here is one I would like to recommend. The real Castaway at Top Documentary Films.

Cave report in corona times

While the rest of the world has turned corona crazy, my everyday life goes on pretty much as before. I don’t go anywhere, I don’t meet anybody, just sitting in front of the computer and working by myself, and my economic situation is as bad as always.
The only real effects have been that I postponed the cinema premiere of ‘Voices from Finnmark’ and a film festival that I was going to attend (with the same film) decided not to have any public screenings.

A couple of weeks ago I talked with somebody who really liked what I had done, and my ideas about film making, and he strongly suggested that I should post an introduction video on my Toutube channel, make a Patreon page and start vlogging. It would make me tons of money!

Okay, I thought, maybe it was about time to put some effort into the community side of things.
So, I made an introduction video, which have got almost 100 views in the past two weeks, and surprisingly enough, 4 likes! I also made a Patreon page but so far no backers. There is a great opportunity here for someone to be a real pioneer!

I found the ‘community’ tab on my Youtube channel and put some posts up there too but I’m not sure if anybody has seen them yet.
I realized that I hadn’t posted anything on this blog for two years and wrote two long pieces about 2018 and 2019. This blog has been more or less a secret until now because I never advertised it, except for the links from my movie pages, but now I told everybody about it on Facebook. I got a couple of views the first two days but that has since dropped to nothing. I posted a link on a film makers forum where I’ve been a member for years and so far that post has got close to 200 views but as far as I can tell only one person bothered to follow the link.

You could easily work full time with your social media and still get very little for it and this is how it seems to work for bigger names too.

I shot a music devotional in a town nearby which was posted by the church on Facebook because the ordinary sermon was cancelled due to the coronavirus. I might actually get a little money for this and they have also asked me to make a bid for lessons to teach them how to shoot and edit.

A long list of rejections from film festivals at Film Freeway but this is exactly how it looks like for most of us, I think. This might actually be a good turnout considering that I’m far from being famous and the documentary is 2,5 hours long. I got accepted to two of them and there is still a few left at the bottom, and I showed it at two festivals that weren’t accessible through Film Freeway. Like everybody writes: it’s hard to get accepted unless you are well known, the film has a very strong connection to the festival, or you have a connection with the organizers.
Still, it is frustrating to spend a lot money and time on submission fees and to wade through thousands of festivals to find the ones that seems to be a perfect match, only to get rejected.
But that’s how it is.

2019

Got myself a boom and a blimp! The blimp works great but the Røde boom is hopeless. Painfully fiddly to open and lock the different extensions and one of them jammed right away. I’m still using it but we are not friends.

For the past couple of years I have worked as a night guard at a nearby tourist camp every spring. Not every night but sometimes. Washing dishes, cleaning and taking care of everything, because as mentioned before, the income from my film work is rarely enough.
I made this video 2013 when the first guests stayed there.

My film from Råne river, about its fish management, premiered in February and I was featured in the local news paper and was interviewed in the radio. I also tried for the first time the ‘film premiere’ function in Youtube and made an event of it on Facebook. The Youtube premiere was screened at the same time in our movie theater. At most I had around 40 persons watching the film at the same time.  Now when I look at it I get the feeling that somehow my gamma and/or color settings were wrong. It looked good before but when I watch it now it doesn’t, so I think I must have changed my computer or external screen settings since then. Did I have the right settings before or do I have the right settings now? Bummer! A screen calibration set is surely going to be my next investment. I really should have done it long ago, I know!

I decided to make the first 100 DVDs of my fishing film with a special dedicated print. I think there’s still 97 left if you’re interested.

NRK, the Norwegian national TV is using tripods from the same manufacturer as I.
We went to Tromsö to see ski jumping live for the first time, mainly to see Noriaki Kasai, but he didn’t qualify for the main competition. Our sad story was mentioned on Eurosport.

One more quick trip to Finnmark in Norway to meet the remaining participants in the film that I hadn’t had the chance to meet earlier. Did some additional shooting too. Photo on the left: Repparfjord close to Hammerfest, photo on the right: Norwegian US$ 15 breakfast.

I shot and edited a local revue. A 25 year anniversary performance. Here I’m struggling to get the levels right with 11 layers of sound. I use Davinci Resolve for editing but I couldn’t get the sound editing to work. It was very frustrating so I paid for Reaper to get the job done. It was recommended on a FB-group as a fantastic software but it was so complicated for me to do even the simplest task that I needed to have a chat with the developer. I tried to read the instructions provided with it but it was very technically written with little or no thought of making it easily accessible to a complete beginner like me. It was overwhelming to say the least!
I have now figured out how to use Davinci to do it. My computing power is not enough to run it smoothly and it has its ways of showing it but I have now learned how to deal with it.

I was working a couple of times with my Russian colleague in Boden, Tamara Soushko, with her documentary about a Russian musician working in Arjeplog. I was mainly helping with the sound but did sometimes a little bit of filming too. Premiere is planned to be in May 2020.

Making a DCP of ‘Voices from Finnmark’. It takes time…
First I need to save the whole file as an image sequence. Then convert it to JPEG2000. Then convert it to MXF, and finally make the DCP. My film was 2,5 hours so I needed a lot of storage space and time. One of the steps mentioned above took over 24 hours to complete!
I’m using Open DCP. Free and easy to use and tutorials can be found on the Internet.
DCP=Digital Cinema Package. Files for digital cinema.

Our community house. It received ‘cinema of the year’ award in 2018 by the chain we belong to (Folkets Hus och Parker). It is the smallest digital cinema in Sweden and here I can test my home made DCP-files on a big screen. My summer job was to paint this one wall but the top part was too high for me.

My Macbook Pro 2011 turned completely useless and I needed it to finish ‘Voices from Finnmark’. Apple service repair told me they didn’t find anything wrong with the machine (!) and it was a vintage model so they didn’t have any spare parts. Okay…
Thank God for Youtube! “Take out the motherboard and bake it in the oven at 170 C for a few minutes”…?  First I thought it must be a joke but everybody seemed to recommend the procedure so finally I bought everything needed and went for it. And it worked wonders! There was something wrong with the graphics card and this took care of it. Apple service, up yours!

After seven years of work it was time for the premiere screening of ‘Voices from Finnmark’. It happened at the Nordkapp Film Festival in Honningsvåg in Finnmark, as far north as you can get on mainland Europe. Well, maybe a few km short but pretty close! As usually I wasn’t in the movie theater to watch it, and I always come to think about the Mel Brooks movie ‘The Producers‘ when I sit in a café or somewhere waiting for the film to finish. What happened next wasn’t exactly as in the Mel Brooks’ film but close enough. I got questions and comments, and afterwards some of the audience came to me, shook my hand and thanked me for making the film. “Finally somebody made a film like this about Finnmark!”. It made me feel pretty good, and on top of that the organizers told me that they had decided to help me with my transportation costs!

Next week was a second screening of ‘Voices from Finnmark’, this time in Kirkenes close to the Russian border. They showed all the films twice: once in Kirkenes in Norway and then in Nikel on the Russian side of the border. I was supposed to go to there too but because of silly mistakes with the paperwork I couldn’t get a visa.
I overheard an older couple in the audience talk after the film. The husband telling her wife that now he finally understood her wife’s background.
Konstnärsnämden, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, actually granted me some money to attend this festival!

A few days later it was time for a third festival screening, this time in Luleå. On the way back from Kirkenes, driving through northernmost Finland, I saw an amazing display of northern lights!
At the Q&A after the screening In Luleå I heard something I wasn’t prepared for: “this film didn’t feel too long at all!” It was Ingvar loco Nordin who surprised me with his comment. Usually it’s the opposite, people think that maybe it is a little too long. And sure, 2, 5 hours is longer than the average film but it’s nothing extremely unusual. Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse now, The Irishman and others are about the same length. The difference is that my documentary doesn’t have any quest or story that is easy to follow. You can’t guess how far in the film we might be or how close to the end. It just goes on. But if people think it’s fun to watch so called Slow TV for hours where nothing much happens, how hard can it be to watch a documentary? In our cinema we showed a few years ago an award winning documentary that was nothing but beautiful images from around the world without any plot to follow and it was over 2 hours long. I’m not alone with this one.

And I just have to mention this: along with Ingvar loco Nordin came a woman who had acted in The House of Orphans!

Below is the trailer for ‘Voices from Finnmark’ and in May 2020 I will upload the full documentary on Youtube.

I continued working with Gunnarsbyn-TV (my local TV-channel) and made 9 episodes this year too, same as the year before. This year’s English interview is with an Argentinian world cyclist. Now, at the end of 2019, I have a grand total of 52 episodes in the archive. In the beginning (2015) I was getting thousands of views every time but now it only occasionally gets near, or past, one thousand and the average is somewhere around 300 views two days after posting it.

If you would like to support me you can visit my Patreon page and here’s a link to my playlist on Youtube with all my English (or with English subtitles) documentaries on Youtube.

2018

Whoa! Two years past since my last post… How did that happen!

Okay, so to I didn’t make it to the film festival in Prague in early 2018. The invitation meant only that I could submit my film without having to pay a fee. That was a huge disappointment.

Working on a (potential) car commercial that two years later (2020) is maybe dead or a work in progress. I’m not sure.

In the spring of 2018, when Filmpool Nord (the regional financier) had an investor meeting, I made an appointment with the boss for a cultural TV program on the national TV and tried to sell my idea about a poet and sound artist living in a small village close to ours. She wasn’t all that excited and had doubts if it would be interesting enough for a whole hour so we decided that I’ll make the film and then she’ll have a look at it. I’m a lousy sales person so this was to be expected but when she sees the finished film I’m sure she will feel differently about it. Ingvar loco Nordin is the name of the artist and in the photo above he is discussing with a poet from Eritrea, Tsegay Mehari, who’s book he is translating into Swedish. Not an easy task when he doesn’t know Tigrinya and the English translation was less than good but the Eritrean coffee ceremony that we were treated to was excellent!
Here’s a short thing I made the day before my meeting with the person from SVT.

 

Just some fun!

My documentary ‘The Last Generation?‘ from 2014 didn’t directly bring me any real money but owing to it I got in contact with a researcher at Uppsala University which have resulted in some paid jobs too. This was one of them. Filming reindeer herding far out in the Luleå archipelago.

I continued working with my local TV-channel, Gunnarsbyn-TV, and 2018 I made 9 episodes.
The left side photo is from a concert with Northern Indians in our village and I got the first TV interview with them. The photo on the right is from a ski competition called Råneälvdalsloppet.
Almost every year there’s at least one episode of Gunnarsbyn-TV where I make the interview in English. 2018 we had a Philippine artist staying in our village and this is her story. Nina Garibay in Gunnarsbyn. (I don’t understand why I can’t get the video to show up on the page…?).

At a spring fare, with dart and air-gun competitions and more, the winners had many great prizes to choose from. Maybe an empty VHS tape?

I visited Ingvar loco Nordin at his hideout in the south of Sweden, in Nyköping, and continued shooting material for the coming documentary. At the same time, in the same city, our daughter’s team took part in the Swedish Cheerleading championships and I filmed the competition for her. Later I took the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki and visited the National Museum’s photo archive to see if I could find something interesting to use in my film about Finnmark. And yes, my car broke down (brakes failed) during the trip and my insurance paid for two hotel nights in a small town called Katrineholm while it was fixed.


Katrineholm: a place for life and lust according to the town slogan.

Most of the time my video work is not enough to pay the bills so I need to find other ways to get food on the table. This summer I worked in the forest counting trees for one of the big logging companies around here. If I don’t think about the mosquitoes and gnats it was a pretty good job.

Ingvar loco Nordin horseback riding for the last time. Next time when he came down the road the horse threw him off and he broke his back. He went to surgery almost immediately and being an outdoor person enjoying physical activities the future looked grim but he refused to give up and started to train almost immediately when he returned from the hospital. In the beginning walking short distances between the house and the porch but one year later he was again bicycling and skiing long distances just like before. Amazingly quick recovery from a complicated back surgery! What an Iron Man and inspiration!

2017 I finally got myself a decent tripod, headphones and a wireless mic. 2018 I invested in a light and a Zoom F8 field recorder. Great buys all of them! How did I ever manage without them!

A film about the fishing management of Råne river was going to be made 2017 and offers were accepted. Compared with the winning offer mine was very poorly written, I agree. So when I lost the bidding I decided to make my own film anyway and spent lots of time the following year (2018) with my main character along the river during the fishing season. The company with the winning offer presented their film this year and I was surprised by the fact that it delivered so little of what their offer was based on and what it was supposed to be. Considering the size of the budget I felt a little bitter about it and rightly so. I should be more of a businessman than filmmaker and I would be doing well!

There was another film, of another river, that was planned to be made, and I wrote a brilliant offer with lots of pages and got two known profiles to give it even more weight but nobody from the project ever got back to me about it. Not a word. Much later when I pushed them to give me an answer I learned that the board members had changed, they didn’t get any funding and my offer would have been too expensive anyway…

The last big round trip around Finnmark connected to the documentary. I succeeded in meeting most of the people that I interviewed to give them the opportunity to see their part in the film before the final cut. Top left: the strangest toilet I’ve ever been in.

One more trip to Finnmark to get the last interviews: two reindeer herders, one of them also a member of the Saami parliament in Karasjok. When I started this documentary six years earlier all my camera gear fit into my pockets but now I need a car!

Nothing to do with filming but two big things that happened 2018, both cat related.
I finally bought a 1997 Jaguar and our long time family member passed away.

Faces from 2018. From top left to bottom right: midsummer festivities, shooting in Norway, running 10 km under 43 minutes, stressed out from video work.

If you would like to support me you can visit my Patreon page and here’s a link to my playlist on Youtube with all my English (or with English subtitles) documentaries on Youtube.

2017 in short


The geisha documentary was supposed to be finished this year, in the spring, and when that didn’t happen, in July. But no… I didn’t get all the material and couldn’t start editing.
Long story very short; I was sitting in Kyoto wasting my time, personal relations got a little sour for other reasons not mentioned here, and now it also seems like I won’t get paid what I was promised. “You’ll get the money as soon as…”, “I sent the money…”, “It’s on its way…”, “You should have it soon…”. And soon 3 months have past… I did everything more or less for free because I looked at it as helping a friend, so it wasn’t even that much money, but when you don’t have anything, still it would have made a big difference.


So, I missed a lot of time that I should have spent on my Finnmark documentary instead. It’s almost done editing, and the biggest thing missing now is animations here and there, and that’s going to take some time because I decided to do them by myself. I just can’t afford to pay for it. Impossible.
I’m going to Japan for two months and when I get back in January I’ll start drawing. I need to get an animation software, probably TVPaint, and a drawing tablet like the Wacom Intuos Pro.


I run an Indigogo campaign in the spring to get me a new video camera and received about $ 2000, mostly from friends and relatives. I finally decided to get the Sony X70, which came to my surprise with the 4K upgrade for free.

I did some paid work for Uppsala university early autumn, when I followed two researchers from the university to Finland and interviewed people about the Talvivaara mining project near Sotkamo. This could turn into a bigger project if we get financing for it.
Anyway, it was interesting and shocking to hear all the testimonies about how the mining project had been run. Many parallels to similar kinds of projects in Sweden.


My documentary, The Last Generation?, was invited to the first Saami film festival in Luleå. It was fun to watch movies for 3 days and to meet and talk with others in the business. It has also been invited to a documentary film festival i Prague next spring, One World, the worlds biggest film festival focusing on human rights. Looking forward to visit Prague and spend 10 days watching films!

At the Swedish Film Awards

One of my documentaries, The Last Generation?, was invited to the Swedish film awards in January, and of course we would go. Our daughter would have killed me otherwise! The biggest concern was what to wear. My wife has a good collection of kimonos to choose from, but I needed to buy myself a suit. And our daughter of course couldn’t wear anything old.

   
We booked a big room in a fancy hotel right by the building called Circus, where the ceremony and party were held. We walked on the red carpet with all kinds of famous people everywhere, something that was completely lost on me because I don’t recognize anybody, but our daughter was very excited and said it was the best weekend she ever had! She pointed out all the famous artists and youtubers for me and got pictures taken together with her idols.

   
It was a peculiar feeling walking slowly on the red carpet facing a row of photographers and TV-cameras. I’m not used to that kind of attention but it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Surprisingly enough, I was actually quite comfortable with it. The sweet buns in the picture are a seasonal treat I baked at home, this year with the film awards logo.

I knew that my film wasn’t nominated, so the awards ceremony wasn’t very exciting to me, and the party afterwards was pretty boring too. So much people that it was difficult to walk, and no familiar faces. Except the organizer of Ammarnäs dokumentärfilmfestival where my film was screened 2014. He remembered me.
Next time, when my film gets nominated, it’s going to be a lot more fun 🙂

Thoughts at the beginning of a new year.

In September I flew to Japan to help Peter MacIntosh with his documentary about the Geisha world. We shot mainly in Kyoto but also in other cities. geishor

1
FOTO: Jonathan Kung

It’s a joint effort of three; Peter, me, and Jonathan Kung. I usually work alone and do everything by myself, so this was a completely new experience to me, and I can’t say I’m completely comfortable and happy working this way.
My work was to shoot, and starting soon, to edit. We used a Sony FS5 and everything was shot in 4K. The 4K codec is 8 bit 4:2:0, and the HD 10 bit 4:2:2. I would have been happy to record in HD but it was decided that we should do it in 4K. It generates huge, heavy files, and I will need to work with proxy files. And I need a lot of hard disc space too, to convert the MXF-files to Prores 422 HQ. A lot! Of course there is some benefits having 4K files when editing, but I’m not sure it’s worth all the extra cost and time. Anyway, the camera was very comfortable to shoot with. I loved the handle and all the buttons, and the image looked a lot better than I’m used to with my camera.
I always upload all my documentaries to Youtube but I suspect Peter and Jonathan has other plans for this one. I don’t know yet how and where it can be watched, but it should be ready sometime this spring.

fjord_med_bilIn October I drove (again!) around Finnmark in northern Norway and got some additional shots to my coming documentary about the area, and got a couple of more interviews too. As usually, this is a project without any external funding, so I saved money by sleeping in the car and eating very basic and simple food. The locals called October the blue season and I can see why. Northern lights almost every night too!
I’m hoping to be ready with this documentary sometime this year. It’s a road movie where I drive around Finnmark and stop at places that catch my attention and interview people along the way. I didn’t know very much about the area before I went there, and I choose not to do any research. I just went there hoping to find something interesting and improvised my way around. I would like to say that it worked very well, and I have high hopes for this documentary!
norrsken1    on_the_road

varangerfjorden

I have paid a professional researcher in Helsinki to investigate archives in Finland and Russia in order to find some information about my grandma’s life and whereabouts in Stalin’s Soviet Union. The war archives in Finland make their material available after 60 years, and in my case that means 2017, this year. This is going to be a documentary too, and as soon as I get some time, I will start reading and learning about that era. I have already some books waiting to be red, and I have a list of additional books to order. I had planned to go to Russia this summer or fall to start filming but now that seems too optimistic. The Russian archives haven’t been very cooperative and everything takes a long time.
ryssland_2

This summer I have planned to go to Japan with the rest of the family and that should result in a travel documentary, but more about that later.

My camera has started to malfunction sometimes so I have felt forced to start looking for a new one. There’s a lot to choose from, and the big question is should I go 4K or not? Maybe it’s going to be the new standard in the future, but should I switch to it already? I can get a really good HD camera for a lot less than an equal 4K one, and the difference is probably hard to see if the end product is going to be HD, and I think HD is what most people are going to watch for many years to come. Going from SD to HD was a big jump, but HD to 4K doesn’t seem so dramatic. It’s a difficult decision and I’m feeling a bit irresolute about it, but today I think a Canon C-100 II would be perfect for me. Or maybe the new model that (maybe) comes this spring. The new model has maybe 4K too, but then of course it would be a lot more expensive. Or maybe I can get the C-300 II if I can get enough sponsors. I plan to launch an Indiegogo campaign soon for this purpose.

Film Festival in Khanty-Mansiysk

Festival_sign Program
I’m usually too lazy to submit my work to festivals, I hate all the paper work, but I have a Russian colleague living in the same city who has pushed me to submit to the same festivals that she’s going to attend. This time it was the “To Save and Preserve” ecological film festival in Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia. It is basically a festival for short, or 20-30 min films, so the films that I submitted were a bit too long. Fly Fishing in Swedish Lapland was 43 minutes and The Last Generation? 1,5 hours. The second film was obviously way too long, but as long as the organizers asked me to submit it anyway, I did.

Khanty-Mansiysk is the capital of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug in Siberia, a city with 95000 people. It is situated on a confluence where the rivers Irtysh and Ob meet. The surrounding area is very wet with rivers, lakes, deltas and marsh lands. Click here for a map of the area.
Khanty_Mansiysk Biathlon_stars
According to Wikipedia, a 280-meter skyscraper was planned to be built in the city, but today, nine years after the English architect Norman Foster got the job to build it, I couldn’t see any signs of it. Biathlon World Cup competitions are held there every year and there seems to be many biathlon stars coming from Khanty-Mansi judging from the posters outside the skiing stadium.

Hotel Irtysh

The Hotel was right by the skiing stadium and a short walking distance from the city. Khanty-Mansiysk is divided into two parts with a hill/park between. The hotel was in the middle, on the hill.
All the film festivals that I have visited so far have had several films playing at the same time in different locations and sometimes it has meant some tough decisions. In Khanty-Mansiysk you didn’t have that problem. There was only one thing happening at a time. One schedule to follow. A couple of films to see every day, some workshops and discussions, and two ours of activities/performances.

Planting_trees Locals

I tried some local specialities, like frozen raw fish and cranberry vodka.

Frozen_fish Cranberry_shot

One of the films was dropped from the schedule and I got a chance to show our film instead in that slot. The film was in Swedish with English subtitles, and live translated into Russian. Three languages at the same time was a bit hard.
On the final day, at the prize ceremony, I was surprised to see our film as one of the three nominated to win the category “ecological traveling”. And even more so when the winner was announced and I found myself on the stage with the first prize giving a speech to the audience and all the TV-channels. You can watch it here. Fast forward to 29:00.

Stage Screen
On_stage Prizes

I returned by train and it took 4 days to reach Helsinki. Khanty-Mansiysk doesn’t have a railway station so the trip started with a 3 hour buss drive to Putyak. The road wasn’t great. I was happy I didn’t party too hard, and too late the night before. I had bought tickets in the 3rd class, and it was okay, but the space on the top berth was a little too tight. It was impossible to sit and it was too short. I spent a lot of time sitting in the restaurant coach instead. It didn’t seem to be a very popular thing to do. Most of the time I was the only person sitting there.

Train Train2

All in all, it was a great experience. I was taken well care of by the organizers, got a chance to visit a place that I would probably never go to otherwise, and met some people that I might get in contact with later. And I won a first prize!

Tics Pizza_and_sushi
Putyak Putyak2

In Moscow I visited GUM. A huge department store right by the Red Square. Three arcades in three stories, mostly selling brand name clothes and shoes.

GUM

The Wheels are slowly Turning My Way

pa_filminstitutet
The Last Generation? won second diploma at Murmansk film festival in November, and in January I presented it at Stockholm Film Institute’s spring presentation. Shared the stage with Swedish celebrity actors and directors, I did. In March 6th it will be available for movie theaters and I have already got one booking! The local radio station interviewed me and Henrik (the main character) about the film. Henrik was interviewed over a phone while I was sitting in the studio.

Last autumn I started my own local TV-channel. Sort of. I created a FB-page called Gunnarsbyn TV, and every now and then I post a video clip. It has over 200 likes, which I translate into regular viewers, and I get between a couple hundred and couple thousand views every time I post something. It’s fun to make these short videos and get feed back the same day I shoot them. Very different compared to my usual work with my longer documentaries that sometimes take years to complete. And if I in the future succeed to get a big number of regular viewers, it will be a good place to display my documentaries too. This TV-station caught the interest of local media and I was interviewed by both the big local news paper, and the (national) local radio station!

The other day, when I was shooting episode 10 for Gunnarsbyn TV, it was around -25 c, and I handled the camera without gloves. I got frost bites on my fingers and I’m afraid some of my finger nails are going to fall off. If nothing worse.
frostbite

A documentary film maker, making a film for the Swedish national television, liked what she’s seen of my work, and wanted to buy some of it. Maybe even have some sort of cooperation in the future.

I’m going to show two of my documentaries at the county exhibition center later in the spring, and I’ll be there to answer questions after the shows.

All in all, it’s not a bad start this year, and to all things above I can also add some paid company work.

What to do, what to do…

To get viewers and sales is a lot harder than actually making the films.

Today our local movie theater showed two of my films and it had been advertised with all the usual flyers, mentioned on the home page, I had printed and distributed 250 flyers in mail boxes two days before, and I shared it on FB a couple of hours before show time. Seven people came.

It is about average for our theater, but to be honest, I was expecting a little bit more. But on the other hand, some award winning films haven’t got even that many.
Two weeks from now it’s going to be shown at an other theater and I think it’s going to yield better results.

It’s going to take about a thousand years before my films have paid off. I’m an incurable optimist.