100 Year Jubilee – The Characters
Georg Af Klercker
One hundred years ago, in 1915, a film production company in Gothenburg, Hasselblads Film, was established by Nils Bouveng. He was the director of Hasselblads Fotografiska, where high quality film cameras were sold.
At the time, Georg af Klercker was busy working as a silent film director in a Swedish town called Lidingö, but after a dispute with his colleagues there, Klercker left the town with many screenplays in his pocket, and moved to Gothenburg to become an employee at Hasselblads Film.
The summer of 1915 was the outbreak of film in Gothenburg as titles like Rosen på tistelön and Grottöns hemlighet set the competition running betweeen filmworkers in Gothenburg and Stockholm for the for the first time.
Early 1916 came with new plans for films, and being an extra in the titles became a desired role for Gothenburg citizens. As a surprise to everyone, Klercker’s producent, Georg Hasselblad resigned just before the start of the new production season.
In May, 1916 the first film studio was opened in central Gothenburg (Otterhällan), which became the largest one in Sweden at the time, and received a lot of attention thanks to its groundbreaking design.
During this time of many changes, Klercker acquires bigger budgets for his productions, which allows him to film in better locations and during the summer of 1916, Klercker made 15 films, which brings him down with severe illness and resting regime at home.
However, the director returns to the set next summer and makes 9 new movies.
Although Klercker’s career was overshadowed by his Stockholm-based colleagues, and the director did not get the recognition for his work until 1963, Klercker is an important player in the history of filmmaking in Gothenburg. We are glad to bring his work back to life at GoKinema 2016.
Actress, screenwriter and married to a famous director – Selma Wiklund was a visible character among Gothenburg’s filmmakers. Her most noticeable appearances were roles in the films made by her husband, Georg af Klercker – a well known director in Gothenburg. From time to time, they even appeared on the screen together.
Selma was born in Finland, but moved to Stockholm early on. The young actress met Klercker while touring with him, with a theatre group. They fell in love with each other, and were later on also “partners in crime” on many film sets.
Selma was only 50 years old when she died. After her death in 1923, Klercker moved to Malmö and devoted himself to “business”. He married once more, but as many claim, Klercker never again reached the same passion for filmmaking that he once shared with Selma.
GoKinema is a strong supporter of gender equality in film business and we believe that Selma, a brave woman working in an industry lead by men, would agree with us. There are not many stories left behind, that tell about Selma’s work. Therefore, GoKinema team is bringing them back to life for GoKinema 2016.
Gustav Bengtsson aka
Gustaf Bengtsson, or more commonly known as Film-Bengt, was a freelance cinematographer, who loved acting. He inevitably gained recognition after starring in numerous titles, mostly directed by the acclaimed Georg af Klercker.
Film-Bengt was a well-known figure in Gothenburg’s filmmaking scene. He worked closely with director Georg af Klercker and his wife, Selma Wiklund. For example, the title “Högsta vinsten” was directed by Klercker, with Film-Bengt and the director himself playing the main roles. Bengtsson acted in six of Klercker’s movies in total.
Film-Bengt had charisma, talent and the right character. Known for being overweight (some say he weighed over 100 kg, that’s around 140 kg with the film equipment on his back!), he was as much a close friend to Klercker as his go-to actor for various titles.
Every era has its characters which audiences love, and directors thrive to work with. Bengtsson was representing some of Klercker’s best titles and to compliment his work, the GoKinema team has chosen Film-Bengt as one of the three key characters for GoKinema 2016.
*If you have any historical facts, stories or photographs related to Gothenburg’s film history, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org