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On the Way: With Cristina Ljungberg

Falling in love with documentaries means you are now destined to spend your life telling the people around you about all the great films they Absolutely Must See.  If you’re Influence Film co-founder Cristina Ljungberg, falling in love with documentaries means you don’t just limit yourself to the people around you; you instead put your brains, savvy and enormous drive towards making sure the whole world sees these important and entertaining films, because you know that docs can make a difference. In Influence Film Forum’s interview series  On Their Way Cristina fills us in on mushrooms, the 3 B’s and something called Ringly.

How do you get to work each day?

Getting to work each day on foot is an absolute gift, when it’s not raining or snowing.  It takes me about 7 minutes.

What project are you currently working on?

Influence Film Club is keeping me busy, along with supporting about 15 projects through IFFoundation.

When do you feel most creative?

I think the saying is the 3 B’s: Bed, Bath and Bus.  For me it’s more like Running, Airplane and Massage.  If totally relax and let my mind wander amazing things start happening.  I just need to remember, not only to make notes, but review them later.

What is your favourite way to relax?

On the couch, watching great films.  A documentary, of course!  Just watched Dinosaur 13 last night.

What are your current obsessions …

Food/Drink:

It’s mushroom season in Sweden.  I can’t get enough.  I know I have reached my limit if my eyes are swollen in the morning.  It’s only happened once.  I am also obsessed with foraging for wild greens.

Travel:

I am still waiting for someone to invite me to swim with the whales at the Tonga Islands.  In the meantime, I am longing to go back to Vienna.

Gadgets:

I can’t wait to get my Ringly.  I have pre-ordered this ring that will sync with my phone.  It looks like jewelry, but it’s really a bunch of technology jammed in a beautiful ring.

Reading or watching:

At home we are reading, Big Questions from Little People and Simple Answers from Great Minds by Gemma Elwin Harris.  I love the discussions that are happening at the breakfast table with my kids.

As a teenager I was completely into …

Collecting and identifying wildflowers.  I still pick them out on the side of the road or a path through the woods.

In another life I would be …

A marine biologist or scientist in the field

Cristina has been involved in documentaries since joining the team behind the award-winning documentary, THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK, as a producer. The film, which focused on the crisis in Darfur, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. Since that time, she has continued to support film projects and maintained a fervent interest in documentaries that champion untold stories. She is committed to bringing new audiences to documentary and creating spaces for engaging discussion around them.

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Be sure to sign up for our newsletter We Love Docs!

Interested in starting a Documentary Film Club? Everything you need to get started can be found at Influence Film Club.

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On the Way: With Dan McEnroe

Moving from New York City to Stockholm was a bit of a shock for film maker Dan McEnroe, presenting unexpected challenges but also igniting a fresh spark into his work. The change has led him into new areas of film making, including documentary. His latest project, which is a bit top-secret at the moment, addresses questions that many cities are facing. Stay tuned for that to come to light, but in the meantime let’s see what Dan has to say about ramen, bands breaking up and musical theatre in our interview series On The Way. 

How do you get to work each day?

Depends on where I’m working and what I’m carrying. Usually the train, but walking and biking are not unheard of.

What project are you currently working on? 

I’m wrapping up a music video that I wrote, directed and edited. I also did all the visual effects. This project really needed a bigger budget. I’m also working on something that I can’t say a word about other than it’s documentary. Ssssshhhh ….

When do you feel most creative?

I’m not one of those people who carves out a chunk of each day for brain work; that’s just never worked out for me. Consequently, idea and solutions hit me at weird, random times – in the middle of a workout, right before bed, during a boring conference call, etc. They come to me almost exclusively when I am not thinking about them.

What is your favourite way to relax?

I’m such a cliché: I like to hang out with my kids.

Your current obsessions …

Food/Drink:

I love to cook and I’m currently trying to teach myself how to make proper, high-end ramen. Not the salty crap you get in the stores, but the good stuff with fresh veggies and decent cuts of meat. Once I’ve got that figured out I want to take a crack at African or Creole cooking. As far as drink it depends on the weather or what I’m eating. I don’t do hard liquor at all, so it’s wine or beer for me.

Music:

Every band I like breaks up so I choose them carefully. My favourite band of recent years it LCD Soundsystem (who broke up in 2011). I really like Franz Ferdinand’s last album so, yeah, they’re doomed. I’m so sorry.

Travel:

My dream trips are (in no particular order): Italy, Spain and Japan.

Gadgets:

I’m not a gadget person. I’m something of a techie but only because I have to be for work. I have an iPhone and I like it but I have absolutely no idea why people camp out for the damn things every time a new one gets released.

Reading or watching:

I usually alternate between sci-fi and ”proper” books. I just finished Kraken by China Mieville, and next up is Empire of the City by JG Ballard. I’m working my way through Breaking Bad and Arrested Development. I really enjoy an American show called Mind of a Chef, which is not so much about cooking but rather top chefs’ influences and inspirations. It’s beautifully produced by a company called Zero Point Zero. Every show they put out looks amazing.

As a teenager, you were completely into …

Would you believe musical theatre?  I was into music in general, but as a tenor with a three-octave range I was always able to snag a part in whatever the drama club was doing that year. Believe it or not, drama club was the best place in my school to meet girls – it was an all-boys school, but thankfully they cast girls from local all-girls schools in all the female parts.

In another life, you would be … 

Something academic. I like the idea of scouring through obscure texts and getting paid for it.

Dan McEnroe is a New York-born Stockholm-based filmmaker, producer and editor. When not spending time with family he works on a variety of film projects across Europe, including one that might come under the heading of The Project That Must Not Be Named.

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Be sure to sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter We Love Docs!

Interested in starting a Documentary Film Club? Everything you need to get started can be found at Influence Film Forum.