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Sundance Film Festival Crowds Go Bananas!* for Swedish Documentary


Big Boys Gone Bananas!* filmmakers

After much struggle, Swedish filmmakers Fredrik Gertten and Margarete Jangård have finally been able to screen their new documentary, Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, in the United States. The powerful movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week; the documentary was met with cheering crowds and enthusiastic standing ovations.

In less than two weeks the fimmakers’ Kickstarter fundraising project has also already raised more than half of the money needed to pay for the prohibitively expensive insurance that the U.S. requires. Mr. Gertten offers this insight into his experience in Utah thus far on the film’s website:

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… 

I’ve been to many film festivals, but I think I’ve never experienced a better audience, or a better reception of a film I had done. It’s a strong feeling. 

The standing ovations were crazy. How do you handle that? Well, yes, I decided to just enjoy. It has been such a long journey to do this film. It has been hard to finance. Love will not pay the bills, but it makes us stronger.

Meanwhile more Kickstarter pledges are coming in. After 12 days, we’ve already received half of what we need to raise. We lost a huge amount of time and money in the fight against Dole. So every single dollar is important to us, as is knowing that supporters will also help us to get the new film out there. 

After the screening, an American journalist told a Swedish radio reporter: 

“I was crying. The support the filmmakers got from Sweden – so beautiful. And we American journalists always know who pays our salaries. We could never go against the sponsors of our media.”

Congratulations to these brave tenacious filmmakers. They fought back against an evil corporate giant and eventually won. Their inspirational story gives me hope, and really needs to be heard, especially in this country. Perhaps this overwhelmingly positive reception at Sundance will soon lead to a major international distribution deal for this important documentary?

image is via @LALincolnLawyer