In this irresistible comedy, a sleepy Swedish province hopes to lure a discount store chain by hiring a pompous commercial director to document their town's worthiness, but two bright, brash high school girls from immigrant families use their cellphones and selfie sticks to tell the real story.
"Gabriela Pichler's mix of social observation and poignant humor offers a commentary on the changing face of Sweden." Alissa Simon - Variety
The fictional town of Lafors, Sweden is in a downward trend and unemployment is high. Known primarily for its leather, textiles, and its drunken western weekend fairs, it's in desperate need of an economic boost. Enter Billytown, a German-owned brand of superstores, who wants to open their newest location in Sweden, and they're looking for applicants. Lafors seems like the perfect place for a store that could bring in upwards of a thousand new jobs, and the town council decides to create a tourism video. But with little money at their disposal, they turn to a local high school and task the students with the filmmaking project. Teenagers film everything and always have their phones at the ready, they reason, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Enter Aida (Zahraa Aldoujaili) and Dana (Yara Aliadotter), teens of color from different classes, who take the project the most seriously, shooting footage from Aida's motorbike and capturing snippets of real life. But their vision of their hometown is too real for the council, and when they hire an outside videographer to make what essentially amounts to a lie, the two projects vie for the community's attention. Amateurs is a gem of a movie, smartly weaving through its many themes—gentrification, industrial collapse, immigration, working class woes—without ever losing its charm.
Stockholm native Gabriela Pichler moved to Örkelljunga with her family when she was eight years old and later attended the Göteborg Film School. Before taking on a directorial role, she has worked in virtually every other aspect of production on film sets and has developed a keen sense for developing poignant social commentary.
Sponsored by Pacific Place, Waterton Apartments
- Original Language Title: Amatörer
- Director: Gabriela Pichler
- Principal Cast: Zahraa Aldoujaili, Yara Aliadotter, Fredrik Dahl, Shada Ismaeel, Maria Nohra
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: Sweden
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 102 minutes
- Producer: Anna-Maria Kantarius
- Screenplay: Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Gabriela Pichler
- Cinematographers: Johan Lundborg
- Editors: Andreas Nilsson, Gabriela Pichler, Johan Lundborg
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Goteborg International Film Festival 2018 (Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film)
- Filmography: Eat Sleep Die (2012)
- Language: Swedish, English, German, Arabic, Bosnian, Kurdish
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Level K