Swedish film heads to the "African Oscars"
Director Dani Kouyaté spoke with Radio Sweden about the film Medan vi lever which passed relatively un-noticed in Sweden - but it has pulled off seven nominations at what is known as the "African Oscars".
When the Swedish film which translates to "While we live" recieved seven nominations for the Africa Movie Academy Awards, the actor Richard Sseruwagi was annoyed with the lack of attention it was given in Swedish media.
"I wonder if it would have been any different if the director and the actors had been blonde and blue-eyed, and not black," he told Dagens Nyheter.
Director Dani Kouyaté said that while he understands Sseruwagi's frustration, he thinks the issue is more complicated than that.
"I am not making a commercial film, we are not trying to make special effects and so on," he said.
"We are trying to tell stories, to touch people, and say important things. And those kind of films have difficulties in a commercial system,"
"And it is a film made by an African, which makes it a little more difficult. But it is not the main problem," he said.
Then again, he is aware that this probably is the first Swedish film with a majority of black actors, and possibly the first film made here by an immigrant from Africa. And it offers a different perspective than many Swedish, and European films, said Kouyaté.
"We should write stories about the reality of Sweden. You have blacks, you have whites, you have any kind of people here; Swedish people!
The writers could be a little more imaginative maybe, and write stories for everyone," he says.
Click on the link above to listen to the full interview.
The 13th Africa Movie Academy Awards will be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on Saturday.
Medan vi lever is nominated at the African Movie Academy Awards for:
Best Film by an African Living Abroad
Best Actress in a Leading Role - Josette Bushell-Mingo
Best Young Promising Actor - Adam Kanyama
Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Richard Sseruwagi
Achievement in Screenplay - Dani Kouyaté and Olivier Guerpillon.
Achievement in Soundtrack - Andreas Unge.
Achievement in Editing - Philip Bergström.