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Focus on Patrik Eklund

Focus on Patrik Eklund

Patrik Eklund made his directional debut in 2002 with his short film One Christmas Morning. It was an instant success; it won several awards and the shorts that followed took it even further: Situation Frank (2007) was selected for Critic’s Week in Cannes, Instead of Abracadabra (2008) received an Oscar nomination and Seeds of the Fall (2009) won the prize for Best Short Film at Cannes’ Critic’s Week. Needless to say, we are very excited that this Swedish filmmaker is our guest in focus.

Our program Focus on Patrik Eklund will show his best films. These films can be characterized by a dark sense of humour. Eklund: “My work is often very dialogue-driven with eccentric characters and set in a world where things are a little bit off.” Take Instead of Abracadabra, a film in which the protagonist wants to be a magician but where things do not always run according to plan. A hilarious short is the result.

Besides showing his own films, Eklund also has the opportunity to screen his favorite shorts in Patrik Eklund’s Choice. His selection is a great variety of European short films that blends both animation and live action, spanning over decades. “Starting with Un Chien Andalou by Luis Bunel and Salvador Dali, a very surreal and creative experience, and from that it only gets better.”

“My Oscar nomination is a great icebreaker at parties.”

That Instead of Abracadrabara was nominated for an Oscar took the filmmaker by surprise: “It was very unexpected being nominated for an Oscar. And besides that very fun and exciting, of course. I think it’s a good thing to have on your resume in the future when presenting new ideas to someone with money, as a reassurance of sorts. And it’s a great icebreaker at parties.”

In 2011 Eklund made his first feature film Flicker, about people trying to find their place within modern society. However, as a short film festival we do not have to worry too much. The fact that he made a feature film does not mean that he stopped making shorts. In fact, his new short film The Infection will be released this year. According to Eklund, short films are equal to freedom: “It’s a very liberating playground where you can try new things and perfect your own voice as a filmmaker, without losing anyone’s money.”

Inspiration for his films comes from different things. Ideas could flow from his writing process, but just as easily from photography or an overheard conversation. Eklund rarely thinks of a specific topic when he starts writing: “I think the topic or your theme has a tendency to change over the period of writing, if you’re not basing it on a true story of course.”

When we ask Eklund if he ever thinks about making a film in a completely different genre, he reveals that if he had to try a new genre it would definitely be science fiction: “No aliens or lasers, just two characters alone on a spaceship going through an existential crisis and arguing about laundry.” Again: eccentric characters set in a world where things are a little bit off…

In the beginning of March the complete program, including screening times of Focus on Patrik Eklund, will be announced.