Review Fix chats with writer and director Jimmy Olsson, who discusses the creative process and journey behind his newest film, “2nd Class.”
About the Film:
Charlotte has got a new job as a second-grade teacher. One night she is attacked by a Nazi and is severely injured. When she comes back to her students she discovers that one of her students is the son of a Nazi.
Swedish writer and director Jimmy Olsson studied at film school in Stockholm and went on to create nine films. His filmography includes 2nd Class, the comedy Palmegruppen tar långlunch, Void, Ceasar, the comedy Bättre Ränta, Förträngd, Linjer and Leva, leva, leva. Olsson prefers stories that focus on the human being, inner self and relations. When he is not doing short films or writing scripts he directs commercials.
Review Fix: How did you feel the first time you read the completed script of this film?
Jimmy Olsson: At first it felt very good because I wrote it so quickly. It felt simple and yet very moving and direct but then I started to have doubts. After a month or so I started to review it and changed a few scenes a lot. Words were stricken and a few scenes were shortened and one scene was even dramatically changed on set. Review Fix: Was it difficult to direct this film?
Olsson: Not really. We all knew what we wanted to achieve so it was pretty smooth. But with that said It was very hard to act as a Nazi. I’m not going through that again. I had a lot of help from the dp and the first ad.
Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set?
Olsson: Stressful. The first day we had so much to do and we were working with kids and it was a bit technical and we were understaffed. But the overall feeling was very good. A small crew that wanted to do their best and know that it was really nice to shoot and we allowed ourselves to shoot a lot of takes.
Review Fix: What stands out the most about your cast?
Olsson: I’m very surprised about Mio who plays Anton. It was basically the first time hed id anything like this and he was a star. He got tired for sure but he pulled through like a champ. Hannah who plays Charlotte was a real pro and she was in the middle of rehearsing a play during this shoot so she had some issues remembering lines because we shot a lot of long takes but she took a few moments and nailed it. We worked really well together.
Review Fix: What makes this film special?
Olsson: I think it is special because it is so simple and the message is really clear. It makes you think. Every scene is well planned and there are no unnecessary scenes and that makes it quite powerful.
Review Fix: Who will enjoy it the most?
Olsson: Hard to say. It is very broad. A lot of parents or people in their 30s and up really seem to get it but I’m planning a school tour as well to talk to young people about the message it brings.
Review Fix: How does it feel to be a part of the Giffoni Film Festival?
Olsson: It was great fun and such a nice festival. So cool to have so many kids to be a part of the jury and it was really nice to win there since it is so prestigious. Would love to come back.
Review Fix: Why is the subject matter of this film important?
Olsson: It is always relevant. We need to remind ourselves constantly and keep making films about this subject. Right now in the world, there is so much fear and hatred and we need to really go to the core of things and teach our children good values and teach them about love. We can’t fight hate with hate. Children are such innocent people and it is our responsibility as adults to mold them the right way.
Review Fix: Do you connect with it in any way?
Olsson: When I grew up and was a teenager in the south of Sweden we had a lot of problems with racism and Nazism and I got really close to it, having friends with dodgy views and you are so vulnerable at that age and sensitive to peer pressure and looking up to cool young men and stuff. That could be dangerous if you don’t have the right support.
Review Fix: Bottom Line: Why must someone see this film?
Olsson: To remind ourselves where we come from and that we were born into this world as a blank piece of paper and then it fills up with views, opinions, facts, fake news and all that. And that creates you when you are a grown up. Remember, we are only born with two types of fear. The fear of falling and the fear of drowning. All other fears are taught. Fear is a virus easily transformed into hatred.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Olsson: I have written a feature based on this short film idea and I have another two feature scripts ready to go and also another short film that I’m shooting next spring.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Olsson: If there is a producer out there who likes this film and wants to explore a feature out of it please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org And please go in and check out my other work at www.regissor.com.