Fredrik Gertten

commented on What do you think? 2012-08-06 05:08:52 +0200
Hi Vicky, I agree in many ways. My hope is that the new film in the end also will shift the focus back to the harmed bananaworkers. A lot of people are now buying BANANAS!*, the DVD is out, but also on Netflix and Itunes. You can also buy it through

best Fredrik

What do you think?

So what's on your mind? Would you like to share your thoughts on the film?

Where else is free speech getting suppressed or compromised? Or is there anything else we should know or do?

You can use this form to share your thoughts publicly or message us privately. Just make the selection below.

published Overwhelming reactions in Sweden in THE BLOG 2012-03-05 22:16:00 +0100

Overwhelming reactions in Sweden: 'Transparency is bad for business'

In this very moment the film is playing in theatres all over Sweden. I have been travelling around, meeting audiences all over the country. We opened with four special screenings in cooperation with Doc Lounge, live music, DJs and huge crowds of enthusiastric audiences. The 24th was the official release date and the reviews flooded in. And we can proudly announce that they're really good. We are at the very top of the Swedish critics' list, with the highest score. Average 4.0 out of 5. Really cool.

I've been doing interviews almost every day. I was booked for two morning TV shows the very day Sweden got a new crown princess-to-be. Of course, the media went crazy, and I was kicked out of the TV4 show. A bit frustrating, since I had got up at 5.30, shaved and showered – my first thought: "Well done, Dole!" The SVT morning show did allow for a short slot for me. So in the waiting room, I was hanging around with the Archbishop and a ton of sleazy lovers of monarchy...

published Standing ovations and some tears in THE BLOG 2012-01-23 13:04:00 +0100

Standing ovations and some tears

Fredrik Gertten, Margarete Jangard, Lincoln BandlowNever been to Park City before, always heard about it. So arriving in this remote mountain resort was quite confusing at first. How can this place host one of the world's most important film festivals? After only a few days, now that the streets and bars are crowded, I understand it better. Everybody is here, and if you're lucky you'll bump into celebrities on a slippery, snowy street.

Many great filmmakers are presenting their work here at Sundance. So you never know how your own film will be recieved. Arriving at the Prospector theatre for the very first U.S. screening of BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*, I was a bit nervous. Yet the festival is so professional, you really feel welcome and safe. Projection and sound are perfect. Respect!

When my film was starting to roll I could finally lean back and enjoy it. And the audience did so, too. They were laughing. Some booed, upset by the big boys' behavior...

published Taking off in THE BLOG 2012-01-17 14:05:00 +0100

Taking off – on a plane and on Kickstarter!

Time to go West, to my very first Sundance Film Festival. Flying out today: Copenhagen, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and then a shuttle up to Park City.
My schedule is booked: screenings, parties and morning radio-shows!

Friday will see our very first US screening of BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*. Remembering the L.A. Film Festival premiere of BANANAS!* we know we can except anything. So the butterflies will be there. But my lawyer Lincoln Bandlow will be there with me. Feels good, and safe.

Our Kickstarter campaign has taken off in a very positive way. Soon 6,000 dollars, after only six days. There's still way to go before we reach our target of 15,000 dollars. If we don't get there, no money will be transferred. So please keep spreading the news, and tell your friends to join the campaign.

Remember this not only a campaign for funding a film, it's also an outreach campagin. We want this film to be seen all over the world, and we hope you all can use this film in an imporant debate on free speech and on corporate attempts at controlling the news stories that reach us every day.

Well, now I have to close my bag. Carry it down the stairs, walk to Malmö Triangeln station, and jump on the train to Copenhagen Airport. It takes only 16 minutes.

Let's make 2012 the year of free speech in documentary

2012 is now in full swing, and we hope it'll only bring the best for you! We think we can give this new year a bigger theme. For us, it'll be the year of free speech in documentary. 

This is not just about our own films. It happens quite often that corporate control freaks threaten independent documentary filmmakers and their livelihoods. Or as Dole's PR company said it: "It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than a bad reputation." Here's another example, an article published this weekend in the NY Times about what happened to Joe Berlinger who had made a film about Chevron's mess in Ecuador.

With the Sundance Film Festival, we're lucky enough to have the greatest possible launch platform for BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*. What we don’t have is the money to pay for the initial costs of such a launch. We’re still suffering from the loss of all the time and money that went into the fight Dole had brought upon us. Against all odds, we did succeed in making my previous film available to people around the world. But this came at a huge price.

That's why we've decided to reach out and ask for your help. Today, we're launching a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter...

published Dancing in the Sun in THE BLOG 2011-12-21 17:45:00 +0100

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.

published Sundance in THE BLOG 2011-11-30 22:05:00 +0100

Yay! We're at Sundance!


This is what Sundance says about our film...

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...

published A half-rotten banana on my head? in THE BLOG 2011-11-15 16:54:31 +0100

A half-rotten banana on my head?


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.)

published Nine days in THE BLOG 2011-11-10 14:01:20 +0100

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:

signed up for big_boys_review_request 2011-11-09 22:15:56 +0100

published Report from the caves of Malmö in THE BLOG 2011-11-08 18:20:00 +0100

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...

published Countdown in THE BLOG 2011-11-02 21:13:00 +0100

Countdown to '100 Bad Hair Days'

big_boys_gone_bananas_sm.jpgDios mio! These are intense days. As always when you are in post production of a film. We've been fighting with this film for a long time.

First the obvious question: If our own experience becomes the subject of the film, how shall we treat it? It took some time. We understood that this will not be another film about fruit or bananas. This is a different story, about freedom of speech and about the huge machine a corporation can release when they dislike filmakers, journalists or other critics.

Fredrik Gertten
documentary filmmaker. Love small stories with global impact. BECOMING ZLATAN

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