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Amber - I Am My Own

In the remote forest landscapes of Sweden, a drug dealer kills a police officer in self-defense and finds himself having to take care of a baby. With little regard for the welfare of the child, he must meet a delivery of the new killer drug "Grunt" to a contact in Finland. During his escape, he runs into old acquaintances and visits his boss Petri. An encounter that will force him to confront his past and that will determine his future. Twitter: @amber_movie

  • Johan Anders Bergqvist
    Director
    Vertical village (Short)
  • Johan Anders Bergqvist
    Writer
    En Saga Om Liv
  • Filip Tegstedt
    Producer
    Marianne - The ghost inside
  • Johan A Bergqvist
    Producer
  • Emma Bergsten
    Producer
  • Christoffer Latvala
    Key Cast
  • Leia Bergqvist
    Key Cast
  • Margareta Pettersson
    Key Cast
    Hip Hip Hora!
  • Roland Nordqvist
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Jag Är Min Egen
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Genres:
    Drama, Crime, Nordic Noir
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 24 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 29, 2013
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Sweden
  • Country of Filming:
    Sweden
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Canon 7D
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:35.1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Liege International Crime Film Festival
    Liege, Belgium
    April 24, 2014
    European Premiere
Director Biography - Johan Anders Bergqvist

Born 1978 in the small village of Sågmyra in Falun county, Sweden grew up loving film. It all started when he at the age of 6 were allowed to stay up late to see Star Wars (the first one) on Swedish television - it blew his mind.

He was making all kind of minor projects from the age of 12 when he realized he could be making those movies himself untill he turned 18 and his life took another turn. Down by depression he had trouble finding the inspiration or motivation to make any films what so ever. After the battle with depression Johan started thinking film again - now as a screenwriter. Slowly he got to producing his own short films that slowly grew in scale and aim, winning prizes at local film festivals. In 2008 he decided to make this hobby a fulltime thing, so he applied to the acclaimed filmproduction course at the Arts University Bournemouth in the UK. He finnsihed his BA in 2012.

In early 2011 the idea of making a feature length film came to life as he became a father, this were to be the beginning of AMBER (I AM MY OWN).

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Director Statement

This is an extremely personal film for me, and this is highly reflected by the lack of dialog and shot choices. I would say that it is the first film I have made, which actually shows the style that I want to work towards in my career.

This film is not your ordinary “run of the mill“ Swedish crime drama - it is a whole new breed, made outside of the usual Swedish film funding system. Swedish crime drama usually takes the side of a police officer or a crime reporter following them as they solve a gruesome murder. However, in AMBER, we take the point of view of the offender, and how his journey towards self realization begins when he needs to care for a baby girl.

I knew that, deviating from the norm, the story would have to be gripping, and the lead character a really unsympathetic individual. Nevertheless, he should also have a heart of gold somewhere deep below that callused exterior. As a result, a person shaped by an upbringing in foster care came to life. This man, who I chose to name M (after Clint Eastwood's character “The Man With no Name”), had never felt love as he grew up, and therefore he did not know how to love, nor show empathy. It became a pet challenge for me to take an audience along for the trip, as M goes from being an unscrupulous thug to actually showing a bit of heart, without losing the audience's interest along the way. I feel strongly that I have actually achieved this feat. However, future audiences and critics will be the final judges of this.

To bring the audience into the haunting mindset of the offender, I knew the film would need an almost surreal quality. With this in mind, I was highly influenced by the fluid and well-composed work of Kubrick, as well as the more erratic handheld style of Swedish and French new wave directors of the sixties - such as Bo Widerberg and Jean-Luc Godard. In order to achieve my goal, I mixed between well-choreographed static and handheld shots in different sequences throughout the film, as seamlessly as possible. A static camera or dolly was used in scenes where M acted calm and calculated, while a handheld camera was used to portray M in tense situations. The main problem was doing this in the short time we had (We shoot it in 16 days), so a dual camera setup was used for 90% of the film – making it possible to cover both close-ups and mid-shots in every take, as well as having two handheld setups available at all time.
Hop on, and enjoy the ride that is AMBER (Jag Är Min Egen)".

SINCERELY

/Johan Bergqvist - Writer Director