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MARTIN SJÖGREN

I am a record collector, frequent concert visitor and movie maker from Malung, a small town in the west
part of Dalarna in Sweden. Since 1991 I have been making small short films together with friends. This eventually took me to the school of film directing at Göteborg University in 2007. Ever since I was little I
have been interested in expressing myself through images, sound and music. It has been a way for me to
communicate. I grew up with video games such as “Super Mario Bros” and “The Legend of Zelda” and
movies like “The Wizard of Oz”, “Star Wars” and “Poltergeist”. The colors and tones of the naïve eighties
still fascinate me even today. It could be dark, gloomy and scary but still colorful and naive. There was a
playful narrative that we seldom see in movies of today.

Malung, being a small town having had a scarce selection of activities available for children and young
people apart from sports, made me take own initiatives to find stimulating activities growing up. That’s
sort of how I happened into movie making. It all started when I saw Star Wars on SVT sometime in the fall
of 1984. I immediately began arranging my toys in various scenes. When I was introduced to the world of “splatter” a few years later I was hooked. Together with friends I borrowed a video camera and we began
making horror movies of our own. Over the years the horror movies changed into comedies and finally I had
a group of 30-40 people who acted in my movies which I directed, shot and edited. For more than 10 years
I spent several days a week making small short films. It’s probably safe to say that if my friends hadn’t gotten
older and moved from Malung I would probably have continued making these films. Looking back I found it
fascinating to calculate how many people had actually been involved in my films and it turned out that
10 % of the total population of Malung had in some way appeared in my old films.

Working with children is a big interest that I have developed in recent years. My background working as
child minder/recreation leader has allowed me to take in a lot of their world and I feel now that I want
to tell people about this world and allow them to experience it through the child’s point of view. I love
communicating through metaphors and the form of “story-telling” felt immediately right. Telling stories
about children and about life in the eyes of a child is something we need to become better at in Sweden.

With the help of an elevated narrative I have tried to depict things that I have had difficulties coping with
personally. Through that experience I have examined the powerful tool of people directing, especially
during my training at the school of film directing at Göteborg University, and have found a beautiful way of
expressing things, telling stories and being able to touch people


Martin Sjögren