At this year’s GoKinema we celebrate 100 years of professional filmmaking in Gothenburg – something that is well forgotten, but needs to be taken out of the archives and communicated towards the society. Hosting GoKinema at Gotheburg Studios, just a stone’s throw away from where the first ever film studio in Gothenburg was established, gives us not only passion, but also responsibility to bring the filmworkers and films from the time back to life.
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.
*If you have any historical facts, stories or photographs related to Gothenburg’s film history, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org