As a film maker, I work to create movies that matter and which have a meaning. I have done movies in many genres, from thriller to poetic love stories, from comedy to drama and criminal to spirituality. But my main focus has been on creating movies that have a message.
I also strive to create feel good movies either in the form of a comedy that makes you happy, or love story that makes you feel what it’s like to be in love or, spirituality that makes you to feel closer to yourself and nature to create a sense of calmness.
The Living Forest is one of those movies that deals with spirituality. It’s a movie about the inner journey to find ourselves; the most challenging thing for a human in life is to know himself. We are mostly afraid of ourselves and try to ignore our own being. But this is our biggest mistake. As long as we don’t know who we really are, what´s our purpose in life? How powerful we are? And finally what’s our connection to nature? We will always remain incomplete. And when we are incomplete, we will never be happy and that creates a lot of uncertainty and concern in our lives.
The Living Forest is also supports the famous quote from Gandy who says, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." All changes start from the inside and spreads out into the world. This is a movie about the transformations of both humans and planet earth, at a time where humanity has reached the highlight of its destruction of mother earth. The time where the spirit of mother earth tells us to STOP. Now it’s time for humanity to wake up and reacquire the forgotten knowledge from our past and take action to save the world before it’s too late. Mother earth is calling all of us!
WORKING WITH THE FILM CREW
In “The Living Forest,” I had a film crew of different ages and backgrounds; in addition, most of the film crew were inexperienced or first or second timers.. In the beginning, many of them had almost no idea what film processing is really like. . In most of cases, when you have so many inexperienced people involved in the making of a film, it turns into a disaster. Because many can get nervous or tired and on the next day they will never come back.
Lina who did a really good job of sound recording,
especially for the Voice Over of Grandfather
But I can proudly tell you that I was very lucky to have that great film crew with me. Every one of them did their best to create this film—to make it as good as possible. No one ever complained during the 3 weekends of shootings, and if someone couldn’t show up there was another one who could volunteer to take his place. Everyone had a lot of patience and really wanted to help me with this movie.
Some of the film crew at the premier of “The Living Forest”
At the same time, I also had many experienced crew members beside me, which is always makes the work more fun. I am very grateful that I worked with such amazing people and I want to thank all of them from my heart.
Harald, Hamodi and Patrik
MANY THANKS TO: Ulrika Redington, Therese Larsson, Harald Sandø, Enver Ramirez, Mikael Persson, Lina Hellström, Hamodi Gabry, Nasim, Angie Cobos, Moa Hellström, Vladimir Carrasco , Gunilla Nadler and Tomas Fredén.
WORKING WITH THE ACTORS
I had only three actors in my movie. Two of them played the same character (Abraham), at two different ages. And the third one actor played Abraham’s grandfather. Both of the actors who played Abraham were in front of the camera for the first time, and they had no experience acting in a movie.
Harald the Director of Photographer and Patrik, who played Abraham
The actor who played the adult Abraham was the main actor in the movie. When he got the script from me, he didn’t have time to read it and finally one week before shooting, when he wanted to read it, I said maybe it’s better you don’t know anything about the script so you can mostly improvise. He did so, and never read the script. The result was good, for his first time ever playing in a movie without reading the script. The downside of low budget independent movies is that you never have enough time to work with your actors.
Lars who played grandfather
The actor who played Grandfather (Lars) came all the way from Stockholm to Gothenburg to play in the movie. Unfortunately, on the shooting day he and I and the camera man were sick; as a result, it was very difficult for us to shoot our scenes together and that’s why it took so much time. I also had to throw out my camera man because he was too sick to manage the shooting, and made so many noises while he was breathing. So he had to get some rest. Because of all of these difficulties, I had bad material from those shootings and it was challenging to find the best and right pieces in the post production process.
Enver one of our camera man who was really sick
However, I think my actors also did a really good job and I want to thank them for their great
This is how our camera man transported the kid actor Liam to the shooting
MANY THANKS TO: Patrik Deijenstedt, Lars Hansson and the little cute Liam Cobos
I also want to THANKS, Samuell Malm and Lina Sternö from Valand Academy Gothenburg and finally big thanks to Lars Wiberg, Gustaf Berger, Lena Huttunen, Maija-Liisa Huttunen, Sylvia and Raul Cobos.
Thank you for your time to read this article!
Written by Alex Afshar, Director of The Living Forest
The Living Forest on IMDb:
The Living Forest is Top Shorts Special Screening, and will be available to watch online on May 8th, 2016 at www.topshorts.net