Interview Jimmy Olsson: Racism is still very common all over the world

2nd Class is the latest film from director Jimmy Olsson that addresses the relevant important issue of Racism. We had the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Olsson about his film, his upcoming projects, and what message he would like people to take away from this film.

Hi Jimmy, how are you doing?

I am doing great thank you. I am enjoying the festival circuit with my latest short.

You just released your new film 2nd Class. Where did the idea for the story come from?

I read about what happened in Charlottesville in the US (hence the lead characters name) last year and a lot of similar rallies were happening all over Europe as well. So I started to think about how we as adults teach our children and how we mould them with our view and thoughts. It is as if we want to create small copies of ourselves.

The film contains a very vital message about forgiveness and acceptance. How important was it for you to add that message to this movie?

I think it is very important because you can’t fight hate with hate. Love will always conquer because we are born out of love and it takes more muscles to frown rather than smiling. I realise this is a bit naïve and frustrating sometimes because people are treated unfairly and the world is unfair but that could also be the of the reason that hate was planted very early on. We need to fight hate with love.

Do you have the feeling that people are still confronted with the same thing Charlotte is going through?

I have talked to a lot of people and it is still very common all over the world. People like power and power trips and even though it’s not just about physical violence, words can hurt too and sometimes people are unaware that they are hurting people out of pure ignorance or just a lack of knowledge. We need to be better at how we communicate and that is super important for children because they are the ones we are moulding to be decent people. We can’t raise them with our anger and fear.

This film is for both Hannah Alem-Davidson (Charlotte) and Mio Adermark (Anton) their second movie. How did you come across them for this film?

I found Hannah in the theatre in Gothenburg and I liked her presence and vulnerability so we had an audition and it turned out very good. Mio was the last kid we auditioned and he really understood the story and the process so he was bliss to work with.

The movie was already selected for different film festivals such as Giffoni Film Festival (Italy) and Flickers Rhode Island Film Festival (Rhode Island). Are there any more upcoming film festivals you’re heading to?

Right now it is in Sao Paulo competing and then there are some more in Europe and then I might go to Fort Lauderdale in Florida in November. 2nd Class has won 8 awards already and has been selected to play in about 25 festivals in just 3 months so I am very happy about that. I am hoping for a lot more festivals during the upcoming season.

 When can we expect a UK release for this movie?

I am hoping for a UK release soon. There are a couple of festivals I am waiting to hear from and I hope the sales agent is going to push it and sell it to TV there.

2nd Class is your sixth film now. When did you know in life that you wanted to become a writer and producer?

When I was 15 and saw breaking the waves by Lars Von Trier. I remember it so vividly. I was home alone one summer night and I was blown away by the film and I realised then that film isn’t just entertainment so I decided there and then that I wanted to be a director and to become a director you often need to write your own stuff to make something happen and when you become an indie director you also need to produce it as well. But now I need to make my first feature and I have two scripts ready, just need to find the money for it. That is not the easy part but I am going to fight for it.

In this movie, you also make a brief but important appearance. Do you now going be in front of the camera more or are you going to stick with directing and writing?

When I was 14 I wanted to be an actor but when I then started to work with film behind the camera I felt like I was so aware of myself, how I look in front of the camera so it kind of scared me so I left that so-called dream rather quickly and focused on portraying other people in front with my own thoughts. That was easier. In this one, one of the producers thought that I should be the Nazi and that was scary and I got almost physically ill to act that part because I don’t have the tools to switch on and off like a professional actor has. But back to the question, I got a lot of help from the first ad Arvin Kananian doing that scene. And yes I would like to be a bit more in front, now when I am older and wiser. But with that said I don’t want to do a similar part again.

One last question: Do you already have more upcoming plans? Some other movies we can expect soon?

Right now I’m writing a feature based on this short film and I’m also writing two other features as well. One is a story about a guy who meets a refugee who is staying in his old boy room when he was away in prison. And I just finished another short film about a hotel examiner who meets with a cleaning lady who collects semen to try to become pregnant. I’m going to shoot it early next year. So I move from different subjects and genres all the time.

Liselotte Vanophem, Just Celebrity Magazine’s Film and Celebrity Reporter

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