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AN INTERVIEW WITH Reinhold Hellgren, DIRECTOR
As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself.
The main lines to this day are politics and writing. Been in the local politics in Sundsvall, Sweden, since the 70:s. Worked as journalist, teacher,
in a paper mill, leader of The Centerparty in the local parliament, started my own company for develop web based teaching aid in mathematics.
Much of my inspiration in my filmmaking comes from those experiences. My focus is profound societal issues like democracy,
climate crisis, inequality, and how human group behavior can distort our picture of reality.
So much political issues in a stalemate and here I see filmmaking as a redemptive method.
Today I have a situation that alouds me to tell these stories on full screen.
Why you became a filmmaker as director and producer?
As a Director I can get what I want, authenticity. I have the story and the scenes in my head and the subtle moments that I want to depict.
From that point I like to interact and cooperate with the actors and film team. I want them to contribute with ideas and solutions in scenes.
Until now I have to take the role as Producer, mostly for financial reasons. But also by experience from taking projects from an idea to realization,
both in politics and in my company.
Give some more information about yourself and the films you have made so far, about your experience?
Themes for my short films so far is wife abuse, unemployment, when politicians run out and now bullying. It often starts with a short story I have written. The story is already there, and I can see the film in my head. It ́s a very exciting process to see my words transform to a film.
I ́m also a musician so I do the soundtrack myself and that’s so enjoyable, always looking forward to it. The most shining experience is
how amateurs grow and can act like professionals and the feeling of getting in to a fictional world.
What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I got no inspiration for filmmaking from where I grew up. On the contrary, filmmaking was seen as something beyond our lives.
The norm was to be like everyone else. My inspiration: I was blown away by Jesper Gansland (Farewell Falkenberg),
Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) Michael Haneke (Funny games) and Bo Widerberg (The Korpen neighborhood).
But the deepest impression and the way I want to tell stories comes from two Swedish outstanding TV-series:
“Swedish Hearts” by Karin Mannheimer and “Home to the Village” by Bengt Bratt, that was going on from 1971 – 2006, with the same actors
who aged with the drama. So trustworthy and true to ordinary life, I could believe what I saw.
You have made your good film "The Bullying Dad" which got official selection in the
"American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
As a filmmaker, why you decided to make it?
I was on a scriptwriter course 2017-2018 and chose to make a script of my short story “Everyone has forgotten”.
When I wrote it 2013 I saw the film in my head. The subject is always current. I wanted to depict three themes: revenge, repression and forgiveness.
What were some of the challenges you faced in making this specific film?
Economically. I had to sell my dear Alfa Romeo Spider-88. It was hard to take so many roles in the production, Director, Producer, Composer and Actor (Lill-Lenas husband that give Peter a good scolding). Difficult to find teenage boys for the Bully and his friend. My limited knowledge about the technical questions.
Let us more about your experience in this film?
How important it is to create a good atmosphere on the set. We managed to do the deadline every day, which made it easier even when it was raining. Important for the Director to make clear the vision before start and to have someone to activate the extras between shot.
The screenplay and acting is interesting and supports the story in a very effective way. What was it like to work with them?
The majority of the actors was amateurs and they all did it very well, some of them extraordinary. Especially Lovisa, who is a natural talent.
She was so easy to direct. Anton, the Bully and his friend, was in contradiction a piece of work...
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn after making this film?
I had a Letter of intent and a formally agreement with Kunskapsmedia Group AB how they should distribute the film out to schools in Sweden.
I did the mistake to let them see what we had direct after the last shot. Before processing. They wanted to change the end of the film,
because it was too controversial they said. We did an alternative last scene to please them, so we got two versions of the film.
They wasn ́t satisfied, so I dropped them. Never compromise with your artistic freedom!
It was too hard to both direct and produce the film. Follow your vision and you will make it.
What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?
All the stories I have inside which demands to be told. The good receiving in festivals and local media so far for “The Bullying dad”
and the strong support from my network here in Sweden, both friends and professionals.
The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do for distributing your feature film "The Bulling Dad"?
I invited the crew in the film (50 persons) to the first viewing, and they spread the message around in their own networks.
Official premiere, with Covid 19 restrictions, in June 2020 in my hometown Sundsvall. It was a success.
We did a trailer and spread it on Facebook, and later a link to the film. Next step is to conquer the schools.
What are your filmmaking goals?
To give new perspective to difficult and important issues in our society. Give eye-opener to how group behavior can distort human relations.
Depict how the results of inequality and hierarchy affect individuals to do strange things.
My goal is to get wide confirmation for my films on these themes and maybe contribute to some good changes.
What is your next project?
For a long time I have built on a TV-series about Per-Ove, the poor entrepreneur who passes the limit of humiliation and start to say
and do things like the rest of us just dare to think. He spit out truths about individual and societal stupidity. People can ́t refute him,
so they call him The fool on the Hill. The Titel: “When do you become a fool?”.
Short film about Eva who takes a shortcut to self-confidence and status by creating a near death experience,
just to reach the same status and outlook on life like her flawless colleague Helen.
The most important project is to depict in fiction how human behavior sadly denies and reject the Climate crisis.
That’s whats in pipe.
GOOD LUCK Reinhold
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