Gothenburg International Film Festival – this is where it all started for me, with an attempt to get in.
Based on a lie.
My mom, who might love film even more than I do (If that’s possible),
She kept a yearly tradition while I was growing up.
That I followed very closely.
She would count down the days and then stand in line just to get her hands on one of the first hard copies of the freshly printed festival catalogue.
(it should be noted that she still does this, completely uninterested by the existence of a digital version)
It was a big thing. Not only for her, but for me as well.
My mom sat there, in her armchair at home and highlighted –
…or more like graded, the films that she would either “try to watch”, “watch” or “must watch”. All with different circles, colors or lines, page by page in the alphabetically ordered catalogue.
I wanted nothing else than to join her and see the films.
But I was too young.
At that time, you had to be 15 years old to get into the festival.
So of course, I suggested that we should lie about my age.
– No, that’s not possible (!), mom said.
Then as I reached 15, I moved away from Gothenburg.
The Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm became my next home, and later London.
And then the world…not only my home but also my workplace.
I always returned.
Through you, I early discovered some of my favorite directors like Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, Michael Haneke and Andrea Arnold.
Gothenburg International Film Festival – you educated as well as introduced me to the world of film, this art form that today is my passion.
And it truly feels like coming home, when I stand here today.
I have made three (and a half) Swedish feature films.
All with strong women.
Two female directors, female writers, female producers and women in the leading roles.
It gave me the opportunity to experience a diversity that was meaningful for my personal development and it gave me inspiration as an artist.
But it also made me realize something even greater.
Strong women are alone – as women – on the big screen.
The roles we play, we play against strong men.
A few years back, I did a scene for a film together with my amazing colleague Holliday Grainger.
A scene when I as a woman had a dialogue with another woman.
I realized that I hadn’t done that for a very long time.
No. Let me clarify.
I did four leading roles in a row, and didn’t have a single scene together with another woman.
But instead of getting frustrated,
I told myself to focus,
Focus on the inspiring and, sorry to say but – “fresh” – dynamic I had experienced with my female co-star.
Also realizing– there and then – that I can be a part of a change.
Not alone, but together (with others).
Together we can do a little bit more.
Together we can change everything we want to change.
Create our own little “Euphoria” …
And so, it became –
MeToo, TimesUp and Tystnadtagning makes a difference.
But, it’s not all about men versus women.
In this world, our world, this amazing world of film – it’s also about
Us –women to women.
We have been separated.
We’ve been made to compete.
Forced to believe that we need to bushwhack our way forward
…guard our positions.
But something has happened.
It’s like we suddenly realized that there is NOT room for only ONE girl.
We are sisters. Not competitors.
With sisterhood comes play. Through play comes creativity.
The last few months I have made more friends in my own business than I had managed to rattle together from all the films that I’ve worked on before!
Now I would like finish where I started.
And return to my mom.
Today she is not only here as a curious visitor of the festival and (I hope) as a proud mother.
And she hasn’t lied about her age to get in.
No, she is here as a guest and an actress in the film “Ja må hon leva” that premieres tonight here at the festival!
That, if anything, is worthy of applauses.
Thank you all!