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Member of the Jury 2017

Aase Högfeldt (Sweden)

Ever since childhood, my great source of happiness has been storytelling. This also prompted me to tell a story of my own. I would write compositions, poetry, books and stage-plays which I used to illustrate, and when I was six years old my father gave me my first camera. I loved to arrange photographs to a story I had written or create a story out of my pictures – or simply go out and capture nature in the moment. The tone of the different stories varied and the greatest challenge was to make my encouraging family laugh, while telling a serious one. Occasionally, inspired by silent films, I would make titles between the slides while accompanying the story on the piano. Such fun!

My dad and I would often go on day trips in our old car and talk about interesting topics of life and philosophy. I brought my notebook and my camera. There were thrilling explorations of nature and dad was good at getting people we met to tell their exciting stories.

Father always said he thought I one day would become a lawyer, but, when I heard Bob Dylan sing “Blowing in the wind” I was fascinated, and bought my first guitar. Symbolic and philosophical lyrics felt substantial as I wanted to perform while telling important stories.

This influenced the repertoire during my fifteen years as a touring artist and musician. Every song was like an internal short-film and I projected its emotions through the performance. When I later studied to become a producer, making my first short-film, I instead worked through the images.

My film, “A Springtime Melody” had its world-premiere at a Swedish film festival as opening act for Ken Loach's “It's a Free World”, was screened in various contexts for politicians, teachers and at many international film festivals. It won several awards.

While working with documentary films at FilmAteljén, a non-profit organisation called DorisFilm, invited me to be on their board and juror of their script competition resulting in Doris the Movie. We have since given lectures about our work towards gender equality in film in Russia, Korea, Turkey, amongst other countries.

I believe my whole life has shaped my love for film in all diverse formats, leading me to start LadyBug Festival in 2009. LadyBug welcomes filmmakers of all ages, amateurs and professionals alike, from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. It is a world-wide, film and cross-culture festival, focusing on equality, human rights and environmental issues.

Film and storytelling in all its forms, affects us in more ways than we realise and in order for us to get a better and a more just picture of the reality we live in, I think it is really important to strive towards a cultural diversity, high-light different stories and encourage those who are not motivated by commercial interests. There are so many great voices to be heard, so many stories and films, to be made visible. It is about freedom of speech and, in essence, a matter of democracy.

- Aase Högfeldt