She makes movies close by

Photo Mats Engfors/Fotographic

For Charlotta Lennartsdotter, Närhetsliv is the small world where children live, and where relationships play the main role. In her hands, that world becomes a movie.

It has been an intense year for the filmmaker Charlotta Lennartsdotter in Södra Harads, she shows that it is possible to live on creative industries even in the countryside.

Right now she is in the middle of the production of her next documentary series for children, Kerstin’s rabbit, which is about 4-year-old Kerstin and her relationship with her pet, the rabbit Chichilinda.

– I got the idea from my daughter Astrid and the love she knows for her rabbit. I am very interested in relationships, to shape real relationships, says Charlotta.

The recording in Avan this summer has only gone well, Charlotta thinks. But of course there have been challenges. At the beginning of the filming period, something dramatic happened that forced Charlotte to rewrite the script.

– But the biggest challenge when filming with children is to keep the interest alive. If they are not interested in what you want to film, there will be nothing. It’s also the most fun – finding their world and what they think is fun to do. To be flexible, capture the moment and catch on, she says.

During the spring and summer, she has also recorded 30 episodes for the children’s series Tjena chavale, ten of which are in Harads and the areas around Boden. For Charlotta, it feels important to be able to show the countryside on national television and build a pride for those who live here. Tjena chavale is also about the meeting between children and animals, in Romanesque.

Make a movie close by

Charlotta and her children Astrid and Adrian are familiar faces to many children and their parents. In the series “Astrid becomes a big sister” and “Astrid and Adrian moves”, we have been able to follow the family closely on the TV screen.

– When Astrid met Adrian for the first time, I had given birth five hours before, more intimate than that is hard to get. But these are such great moments.

Now many other children see Astrid and Adrian as their friends. They often come forward and talk and want to play.

– My children are so used to it that they just think it’s great fun.

This summer, the exhibition “Sibling Love” has been shown at Norrbotten’s Museum in Luleå, which is based on Charlotte’s film “Snake Shackles”, also with Astrid and Adrian in the lead roles but in a fictional story about the many feelings of siblings. It is Charlotte’s cohabitant and the children’s father Johan Jansson who took the pictures that the film is made of.

– My whole business is based on what is close to me, närhetsliv is what I make films on. I’ve always done that.

She was educated at a school in Buenos Aires with very little money. There the students had to take what was there and make a film of it and she continued on that path.

– There is so much exciting nearby, you do not have to go that far. In “Kerstin’s rabbit” I find Kerstin’s closeness and take note of it. It is her world, that which is close to her.

Happening this fall

This autumn, both “Kerstins kanin” and “Tjena chavale” will be edited. Charlotta also works as a film educator and now she will make films together with children in preschools and schools in Boden in the projects Creative preschool and Creative school. Then all children should see their films.

– I like children very much, you get so much just by being with them. They are so spontaneous and have such good self-confidence. Among the most fun there is is being with children when they get to see their movies. They think it’s so much fun, says Charlotta.

Planning for the second edition of the film festival Vinterljus is also in full swing. Last winter, Charlotta and Johan arranged the festival for the first time, in connection with Winter Week in Harads.

– It exceeded expectations, we received a very positive response. Then we had films that were somehow recorded in the Edefors area. This year we will focus on women, both female directors and producers, but also the portrayal of strong women on the screen.

The festival is organized by the newly started cultural association Edeforsakademin, which was formed by Carlotta, her husband Johan and Haradsprofilerna Mikael Midbjer and Britta Jonsson-Lindvall. Next summer, they will also arrange a song festival here, Sommarljus.

The move to the north

Her husband Johan was born and raised in Bodträskfors, while Charlotta herself comes from Stockholm. Previously, the family lived in the countryside in Sörmland, where Charlotta managed to start her own business. When Johan was offered a job in Norrbotten, the family thought hard. Charlotta felt that she also wanted a job to come up with, so she arranged a meeting with Susann Jonsson, who was then CEO of Filmpool Nord, to investigate the conditions for a life as a filmmaker here.

– She is actually a strong contributing reason why we moved up. It felt so positive and fun that I thought they wanted me to move up. It felt fun.

The family first looked for accommodation in Luleå, because “that’s how you do it”, but realized that everyone they know lives here, Johan’s relatives and old friends. They also really liked the school in Svartlå, a small school where the children could go together. So they moved into the house in Svartlå that they already owned, even though it was actually too small. But then in the spring the dream house appeared and during the summer the move went on to a large Norrbotten farm from the 19th century, right next to the river in Södra Harads.

– I felt that this is my home, from the first moment.

Charlotta thinks she has good conditions for living and running her own business here, but demands fiber here in Södra Harads.

– There is a lot of interest and people are extremely positive and encouraging and that is very important.

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