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Best of BFI: Future Film Festival 

Oskar Nilsson  

Winner | Best Short Film Award - 16-18

From Future Film Festival 2018

Saying goodbye is always hard especially when it's someone you love with all your life, Here we find a Father's regression towards his Daughter leaving home and spreading her wings. Their journey is documented through expression all dance and the stages of farewells. Sometimes you just have to hug tighter and longer and other times you have to let your bird fly by itself.

Hey Oskar, thank you for talking to The New Current, how's everything going?

It’s my pleasure! And I am very well thank you.

What does it mean to you to be screening Father|Daughter at this years BFI Future Film Festival?

It really is a great feeling, I must say; knowing that the BFI Future Film Festival is one of the most prestigious youth film festivals in the world, and that my film is going to be shown there is truly exciting. Our film has been accepted into a few different festivals around the world, but I can say that this one feels the best. On my own home turf, I can’t wait!

You are nominated for two awards at the festival, are there any nerves setting in?

Honestly no, I don’t really have any nerves yet which is surprising but perhaps it’s because I’ve been so busy that the news hasn’t had time to settle in! But I must say that it was a pleasant surprise and a humbling one at that. What a way to start the year off!

Does getting this type of recognition for your work add any additional stress or pressure on you for future projects?

There may be a small element of pressure, but if anything it encourages me even more to make new projects! I now know that there are people around the world who genuinely like my work and I look forward to showing them a more typical “Oskar Nilsson Film”. Father|Daughter isn’t what my work normally looks like, but it was definitely fun to create and a great experiment!

Can you tell me a little bit about Father|Daughter, how did the film come about?

The film was made while I attended the BFI Future Film Academy. We had a brief which detailed that the film couldn’t have any dialogue and had to incorporate both Digital and 16mm film; this was unlike anything which I had created before, but I was lucky to be working with a great team. We had to be quite creative as I wanted the film to be visually striking while conveying some meaning… I hope we succeeded haha. 


"Always try your best; you can’t do anything better than your best, so that’s what you should always strive for."

What was the inspiration behind your film?

We wanted to create a film which was truly unique and could explore some areas which are underrepresented on the screen. Our Camera Operator’s father used to be a dancer and we instantly latched onto the the image of an older male dancing under spectacular lights. Furthermore, as we were all around the age where people were considering University and leaving home, we thought that we should somehow incorporate this aspect. Fusing the ideas together, we came up with Father|Daughter, a film which shows the emotional rollercoaster of leaving home, through dance.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced bringing this all to life?

We were very unfortunate during the post production process. We had filmed beautiful footage where the dancers were moving through multicoloured smoke outdoors; I had called my friend and he was flying his drone overhead to capture the moment from the air… But when I was in the editing suite, I discovered that the footage was corrupted. It meant that we couldn’t use any of the footage which we shot that day, and it really was a shame because I think it was some of the best footage which we captured.

Since making this film what would you say has been the biggest lesson you are taking from it?

To remain fluid while keeping your vision firmly in your mind. As we couldn’t use any of the footage from that day, we had to come up with a completely new edit within the space of a few days. It was important for me that the new edit relayed the same vision which I had from the start, but obviously I had to keep an open mind as it was never going to be exactly how I had planned. I was very happy with the end result, and it is a lesson I stick by today. 

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

My passion for film began when I lived in The Netherlands. I would have a lot of free time after school, so I would always go to the cinema and study films. My passion for filmmaking began when I had just moved back to London; I was lucky enough to become friends with someone who was even more interested in film than me. Together we made lots of short projects and even to this day we still work together!


What has been the best advice you've been given?

I think the thing which has stuck to me the most is something my dad would always say,”Always try your best; you can’t do anything better than your best, so that’s what you should always strive for.” I mean he said this in Swedish, so it’s the translation haha.

For anyone out there thinking about making their first film what advice would you offer them? 

I would say that if you have a script, you should keep looking at it again and again. Keep adding to it, cutting off any excess fat which doesn’t need to be there. You don’t need a great camera, you don’t need amazing actors… all of these things help, but if the story is excellent, that is what will shine through above all else.

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Father|Daughter?

I hope that each person will be able to find something which they can relate to or hold onto. Whether it triggered them to think about their children, whether they loved the cinematography or even if they only liked the title screen, I hope that it has a positive effect on them and that they remember the name “Oskar Nilsson” haha!

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