THE BLOG



Dancing in the Sun

An email from Caroline Libresco made my heart beat.

Dear Fredrik and Margarete,
On behalf of John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, it’s our great pleasure to invite BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* to play in our World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Our programming team is very excited to present the North American premiere of this excellent film.

One email can sometimes change a lot of things. This one was then followed by a flood of emails from film festivals, sales agents, distributors, journalists – and of course friends wishing us all the best.

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Yay! We're at Sundance!

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This is what Sundance says about our film...

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Video: Q&A after the last screening

After the last screening at IDFA Film Festival on 27 November, Fredrik Gertten attended a special Question & Answer session at the Tuschinski cinema. Moderator was the well-known VPRO journalist Teun van de Keuken. Thanks a million to photographer Frank Verburg who filmed it all. Enjoy!

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"Banana-gate" on Screen Daily

Screen Daily just summarised their review of the film in these words:

Big Boys Gone Bananas!* makes for gripping viewing and you can only admire the stance taken by Gertten and Jangard as they refuse to bend to pressure.

In additon, they also published this background story entitled "Banana-gate"...

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Video: Q&A after the world premiere

This is the Question & Answer Session with Fredrik Gertten after the world premiere of BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA) on 19 November 2011...

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Black water and other feelings after a world premiere

Photo: Fredrik GerttenBlogging by the canal. White swans on black water. Trying to get my head around the intense day I lived yesterday. Including the jampacked festival bars of this great festival city. IDFA, Amsterdam is an amazing place to meet friends and collegues from all over the world.

Saturday morning I gave the opening speech at the International Fair Trade Towns Conference in my hometown of Malmö. Good people from 23 countries fighting for a good cause. Really inspiring. If you have the time, listen to my speech here from minute 44. After the conference I jumped on my bike and had a coffee with my sweet daugther. A few hours later, I met up with my producer Margarete Jangård and went to Amsterdam. Straight to a press conference where Morgan Spurlock and friends announced the new Cinelan short film project, where I have also been invited to do a 3-minute short. Really cool.

After a rushed dinner at a Peruvian restaurant it was time for the BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* World Premiere. A long line of people waiting to get in. Friends asking for tickets, but everything sold out...

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We'll fix it in post!

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Emma here, post-production supervisor on BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*.  With just one day left in post-production I should be panicking. A bit worrying that I'm not, but I'd like to think that everything is going according to schedule! So I will spend my free time informing everyone interested about the post production process, or rather, "The making of BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*".

As always with documentaries, the amount of footage that is captured during the shoot is enormous, and BBGB is certanly not an exception. Because of the situation we were in when we started shooting for this film, with Fredrik still traveling a lot with his previous film BANANAS!*, we tried to combine his world tour with shooting the new film, which resulted in hiring a different cinematographer at each location...

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A half-rotten banana on my head?

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4 days to go to the world premiere at IDFA in Amsterdam, and I should not spend time blogging here. But it's quite fun so here's a short one. (Right now technical coordinator Emma Svensson works with Michael Cavanagh putting all title cards in place, the soundmix is there, the title animation was delivered this morning....)

A great film needs a great poster. I don't know if it ever sells tickets, but it's cool to hang on your wall. The original BANANAS!* poster and brand identity was created by Rebeca Mendez in Los Angeles. That really helped us a lot to reach out when DOLE attacked. People understood just by looking at the design that we were not the sloppy activist filmmakers as DOLE tried to portray us as. A good thing for sure. (You can read more about this on the BANANAS!* website.)

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Nine days to the world premiere and the site is up!

Fredrik GerttenIt might look like one small step to be launching an outreach website, but for us this is a giant leap. We now look forward to a more direct connection with our friends and audience. This is certainly needed in a world where the Hollywood studio films consume almost every screen in theatres around the world. We know that documentary film is a broad and loved genre, we have audience. Now we need your help, sharing the trailer, signing up for volonteer work. We also need your opinions and experience of corporations attacking their critics, shooting the messengers.

Here are some comments that appeared on the site yesterday:

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Report from the caves of Malmö

As a filmmaker I love light and open spaces. Also hanging out with friends and interesting people. In the process of shooting a documentary like BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* I travelled the world. We have shot in Malmö and Stockholm, Sweden. In Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Francisco and New York City. Toronto, Ontario and St John, Newfoundland in Canada. Berlin, Germany and Reykjavik, Iceland. London, UK. So imagine me looking for the best shots, possible locations, the perfect b-roll and always the tastiest coffee. I confess, only really good coffee is good enough for me. (I found out that if you look for the best coffee you also find the coolest hangouts. They come in pairs.)

But after all hard work of bringing home material to the edit I am forced to stay home. Quite a challenge for a restless guy like me...

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The true story about a Swedish filmmaker and a banana corporation. Dirty tricks, lawsuits, manipulation, and the price of free speech.

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