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One-on-one with Filmmaker Gustav Olsson - "New games - New Rules"

Gustav Hugo Olsson is a Swedish award-winning director, producer, screenwriter, filmmaker and editor with over 10 years of experience in film productions in various sizes and genres.


Dare! (2020)

iFilmFestival: Tell us a bit about your most important film so far.

Olsson: "I would say [Dare!] is my most important film so far. I am intrigued by how Social Media affects us in our life and how we do change our behaviour in normal life because of it. Sometimes Social Media mimics life and sometime life can mimic Social Media. This film is a comment on what can happen when a great mass of people online pushes us to go beyond and over our boundaries. The films tagline is "New games - New Rules"."


iFilmFestival: What were the key challenges making it?

Olsson: "One challenge was to work with kids and a very young actor in the main role. He was not very experienced but did great. I wanted him to have a great time on set so we did our best to keep the mode on the production very easy going and happy even though the films central theme is very dark. It was also a challenge how to communicate emotions of the boy when he is wearing a mask. We decided to tell a lot of these emotions through camera movements, sound design and the boy's body movement."



iFilmFestival: What’s one aspect that you’re particularly proud of?

Olsson: "I am very happy that we did the film that I had in mind. Many things turned out better than I could have imagined, such as the interface between the app and the reality. I also very happy that we managed to do the whole production with such a tiny budget. Thank you the whole team :)"

Trailer: Dare! (2020)



iFilmFestival: How did you get involved in filmmaking?

Olsson: "It was kind of by coincidence. I studied something completely different in high school. I thought I had to and that I wanted to be a lawyer, or something like that. After high school I was really tired of school and life here in Sweden. I also realised I really didn't want to study something traditional and become a lawyer... So I went out for some soul searching travels in the world for a couple of years and decided I wanted to work in the creative fields. I didn't know within what yet, but I found out that there was a Documentary School in Chile that I for some reason applied to. The criteria were 1: to be able to speak Spanish, 2: have some connection to Chile, 3: have previous film making experience... Actually I fulfilled none of these three criteria. But for some reason my applications letter must have been very good or something, because I got accepted. I fell in love with filmmaking there and had great teachers. Since then I have worked with film."


iFilmFestival: What new projects are you working on or are you hoping to work on in the future?

Olsson: "Right now I am writing a script with a colleague based on a book he just released. This will be my first feature film. I am also working on a feature documentary about how death is perceived and dealt with in different cultures."


iFilmFestival: What role do film festivals play?

Olsson: "I think they play a great role. Such a good way to reach a new audience internationally and also a great meeting point for future creative partners. A great way for a filmmaker to discover and get inspired by other filmmakers as well."


Gustav Hugo Olsson

iFilmFestival: What is your advice to filmmakers tackling the festival circuit?

Olsson: "Send the films to a lot of festivals. But don't spend a fortune if your project isn't well funded. You can try to get a discount code on some festivals if you ask really nicely. Try to get some information about the festival you are sending your film to, so you know it is a suitable festival for your film. Also don't get sad if your film isn't accepted - this doesn't mean your film is bad. One festival might accept your film for the same reason another rejects it."


iFilmFestival: How do you see the future of film?

Olsson: "I think and hope it will be a bit braver in the different ways the narrative can be told. I also hope and think there will be greater opportunities for films that don't seem to fit in a pre-made box. I would like to see some wilder stories."


iFilmFestival: Which filmmaker do you admire and why?

Olsson: "Gaspar Noé. He has been pushing the limits both technically and emotionally of what one can show and how to do it. A true artist in all the ways, he is. He also seem to be very humble and funny."


iFilmFestival: What film have you recently seen that you have admired in one way or another?

Olsson: "I saw the film "Another Round" by Thomas Vinterberg at Göteborg Filmfestival last week. A great film! Love all his films!"



Thank you Gustav for answering our questions!

Interview by iFilmFestival on 18 February 2021

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