Erik Gandini in 2015
14 August 1967 |
|Occupation||Producer, director, writer|
Erik Walter Gandini (born 14 August 1967) is an Italian-Swedish film director, writer, and producer and one of the co-founders of production company ATMO.
Erik Gandini moved to Sweden aged 19 to attend film school and avoid military service in Italy. After his studies at Biskops Arnö and having completed a master's degree in film science at Stockholm University, he started working as a documentary filmmaker.
In 1994, Gandini adventured with a fake letter of recommendation from a small local Swedish TV broadcaster to the besieged city of Sarajevo where he directed and produced his first documentary Raja Sarajevo for Sveriges Television. The film, shot on a small Hi-8 camera by cinematographer Martina Iverus, followed four young friends trying to survive the brutality of the siege. Raja Sarajevo was Gandini's international breakthrough and was presented at Berlin International Film Festival, at IDFA, Cinema du Reél in Paris.
In 2000, Erik Gandini founded the Stockholm-based film production company ATMO, together with Tarik Saleh, Lars Rodvald and Kristina Åberg. In 2013 Gandini moved to Fasad, working alongside Jesper Kurlandsky, Jesper Ganslandt and Juan Libossart.
Raja Sarajevo from 1994 (Raja means 'group of friends' in Bosnian) starred i.a. Enes Zlatar, leader of rock band Sikter and international artist Nebojsa Seric Soba, who at the time was a part-time art student and part-time soldier in the Bosnian army. In 1996, Erik Gandini shot a second documentary about the Balkan War, Not without Prijedor, about four young Bosnian refugees in Sweden who decided to return to their country to join the war. The same year he became part of a cult TV show on Swedish TV, ELBYL, where he met with Tarik Saleh.
His film Amerasians-the 100.000 children of the vietnam war from 1998 about the children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women was awarded the Silver Spire at the 1999 San Francisco International Film Festival
Sacrificio - Who Betrayed Che Guevara?
In 2001, he co-directed with Tarik Saleh the documentary film Sacrificio - Who Betrayed Che Guevara?. The film centers around Ciro Bustos, Che Guevara's Argentinian lieutenant and the person who more than other has been blamed in history books as guilty of Che's death.
When captured in Bolivia, Bustos drew Ches portraits of Che Guevara and his guerrillas for the Bolivian army. Providing his interrogators with drawings framed Bustos as a traitor by historians but was according to his version part of a misleading strategy adopted under interrogation. After living in Sweden in silence for some thirty years, Sacrificio was the first documentary he took part in.
Sacrificio confronts Busto's version of the events with the surviving protagonists of Che Guevara's death and raises questions about how history has been written. Sacrificio stars several of the main characters surrounding the capture and killing of the Argentinian revolutionary leader, including former CIA agent Felix Rodriguez, former Bolivian General Gary Prado and Che Guevara's executioner Mario Teran.
Surplus - Terrorized into Being Consumers
Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers from 2003 is a film odyssey about the destructive sides of consumer culture, shot in Sweden, USA, China, India, Cuba, Hungary and Italy over a three-year period and described as "a global doomsday satire set to music". Surplus marked the start of a strong co-operation with composer-editor Johan Söderberg. Surplus premiered in competition at the largest documentary film festival IDFA in Amsterdam in 2003 where it won the prestigious Silver Wolf Award.
Surplus's innovative style is the product of a method that Gandini adopts in his very personal approach to documentary film, "the freest, cheapest way for a person to express themselves cinematically". Although his films deal with social issues they are far from traditional political documentaries. They are "creative documentaries" relying on the idea of "show, don't tell", to give the viewer an experience of politics rather than mere facts, making a powerful use of cinematography, music and editing to make their point.
Gitmo – The New Rules of War is a documentary about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh. The film features interviews with Janis Karpinski, Mehdi Ghezali and Geoffrey Miller, among others. Gitmo premiered at IDFA in 2005, and reached mainstream theaters in Sweden on February 10, 2006. It won a Jury award as best documentary at the 2006 Seattle International Film Festival,
In July 2012, after a suicide bomb attack that left seven people dead in the Bulgarian city of Burgas on a bus carrying Israeli tourists, Gitmo's main character and former Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali was named in Bulgarian and Israeli media as the main suspect. The Swedish Secret services denied soon after categorically his involvement but his name picture had already been widely exposed in the world press.
Erik Gandini's 2009 feature-length documentary Videocracy is so far his most successful film. The film, produced and directed by Gandini, explores how Italy has been pushed to the brink of moral melt-down under the rule of Silvio Berlusconi. When it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, its trailer was banned by Italian state broadcaster RAI, stirring an international controversy. When widely released in theaters across Italy, it climbed to the fourth position on the Italian Box Office the first week end.
Videocracy was voted best documentary film at the Toronto International Film Festival by a critics poll conducted by Indy Wire and chosen as one of the best documentaries in 2010 by The Guardian top critic Peter Bradshaw.
"The Evilness of Banality"
In 2010, Erik Gandini was appointed visiting professor at Karlstad University, Gobal Media Studies. Besides his professional career as a director and producer, Gandini lectures extensively about film, politics and media, in Sweden, Italy and around the world.
Erik Gandini is the winner of the 2012 Maj Zetterling award. The prize of 200,000SEK was granted by the Swedish Art Council for his 'innovation of cinematic language within the documentary genre' Gandini was also nominated Swedish producer of the year in 2010, competing for the Lorens Award
Gandini has three children with his wife, author and culinary writer Johanna Westman.
|2009||Special Jury Prize||Sheffiled Film Festival||Videocracy|
|2006||First Prize||Seattle Int. Film Festival||Gitmo|
|2006||Special Jury Mention||Miami Int. Film Festival||Gitmo|
|2004||Audience Award||Vila do Conde International Film Festival, Portugal||Surplus|
|2003||First prize, Silver Wolf||IDFA Amsterdam||Surplus|
|2003||International Festival Environmental Film, FICA, Brazil||First Prize||Surplus|
|2001||First Prize||Its all True Doc, Film Festival||Sacrificio|
|2001||Best non Latin American documentary||Havana Film Festival||Sacrificio|
|2001||Best use of music and sound||One World Film Festival||Sacrificio|
|2001||First Prize||Oporto International Film Festival||Sacrificio|