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Synopsis

When John returns home to his father after serving time in prison, he is looking forward to starting his life afresh. However in the local community, his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven. John’s presence brings out the worst in everyone around him and a lynch-mob atmosphere slowly takes shape. Feeling abandoned by his former friends and the people he loves, John loses hope and the same aggressions that previously sent him to prison start building up again. Unable to leave the past behind, he decides to confront it.

 

Directors statement

I came up with the idea for ‘The Here After’ when I was preparing for my exam film, ‘Without Snow’ at the Polish film school in Lodz. I was reading documents from police investigations of crimes committed by teenagers. Among these documents I came across a story that particularly moved me: a fifteen year old boy had killed his girlfriend, because he couldn’t stand the fact that she had fallen in love with someone else. In-between the lines of his confession I felt that behind the awful act there was actually a shy, young boy. He admitted to the crime but had no idea how he could actually have done something so horrifying. He was frightened, unhappily in love and tried to make amends for his crime while not being emotionally prepared for it at all. That was the inspiration for our film.
To me, the essence of ‘The Here After” is the story of a boy who after having committed murder and served his punishment is released back into society when he is still a child. He wants to move on but the people surrounding him are unable to let him do so. It's a tale about emotionally disconnected people. A quiet, dormant illness present in society and that has been passed down from generation to generation in the protagonist’s family. Finally it found an outlet in the killing of a young girl. Everyone carries a blame inside, but admitting to it would mean taking on a responsibility which cannot be avoided; a failure, which cannot be washed off.

Polish-Swedish Film

‘The Here After’ combines Scandinavian aesthetics and storytelling with the emotional POWER OF MUCH Polish cinema. Magnus von Horn was born in Sweden but his film, though set in Sweden, came into being in Poland. Magnus’ filmmaking has been shaped at the Łódź Film School, which is reflected in all his short films, as well as in his debut feature.

‘The Here After” is the fruit of the friendship of two graduates of the Polish Film School – Magnus von Horn and Mariusz Włodarski who started working together during their studies, getting to know each other and each other’s working methods. The debut was supported by Madeleine Ekman who joined the friendship, adding her experience, energy and optimism. Together they created a one of a kind Polish-Swedish team.

An over-aesthetic Scandinavian world clashes in the film with Polish sensitivity, creating a new Polish-Swedish quality in world cinema.

Łukasz Żal’s cinematography, enclosed in the sombre, sophisticated visual layer of the movie, enables the transition of the pain which accompanies the main character of ‘The Here After’ into an aesthetic experience. The world where John is doomed to live is meticulously scrutinized by the director. Von Horn and Żal have managed to wrap the bitter story in a soft, poetic form, giving rise to a remarkable sensitivity and a coherent cinematic language.

Trailer

Team

Magnus von Horn – director

Magnus von Horn – director

Magnus von Horn was born in Göteborg and studied at the Łódź Film School. He lives in Warsaw. So far, he has directed a few short films, which have won him several awards around the world. His documentary ‘Radek’ has won the Maciej Szumowski Award at the Kraków Film Festival, while his school short film ‘Echo’ received many awards, including the Silver Hobby Horse for the best live action short film, the best film award at the Munich International Short Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Aix-en-Provence Tous Courts Short Film Festival. ‘Echo’ was also officially selected for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. His diploma short ‘Without Snow’ premiered at the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival. He has also received the Grand Prix at the Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Film and has been nominated for the Swedish Guldbagge Award for best short film. In Poland, he has received the Silver Hobby Horse at the Kraków Film Festival and the Grand Prix in the Young Cinema Competition at the Gdynia Film Festival. He is the co-screenwriter of Anna Kazejak-Dawid’s film ‘The Word.’ ‘The Here After’ is his debut feature film.

Łukasz Żal – cinematographer

Łukasz Żal – cinematographer

Oscar© and BAFTA nominated DOP of Academy Awarded IDA directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. For ‘Ida’, his feature debut, Łukasz has won multiple cinematography awards including Golden Frog/Camerimage 2013, 28th Gdynia Film Festival, 29th Warsaw Film Festival, 20th Minsk International Film Festival Listapad, 20th Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, ASC Spotlight Award, Medias Central European Film Festival Award, The San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards, PSC Award, EFA Award. In 2008 Łukasz graduated from the Polish National Film School in Łódź.
His area of work includes feature films, shorts, documentaries, commercials and music clips. The latest movie AT THE BORDER, directed by Wojciech Kasperski is currently in production.

Mariusz Włodarski – producer

Mariusz Włodarski – producer

Mariusz Włodarski was born in 1980 in Poland. In 2005 he graduated from the Department of International Relations at the University of Lodz with his thesis about using the marketing approach in film distribution in Poland. He completed postgraduate studies of Film Production at The Polish National Film School in Lodz. He launched his career spending five years at a major production studio in Poland – Opus Film. In 2010 together with three friends he founded his own production company Lava Films, where for the start he produced a 35-minute short film WITHOUT SNOW by Magnus von Horn, a film generously awarded worldwide. In 2011 Mariusz has graduated from the EAVE producers’ workshop. At EAVE Mariusz was taking part with the same director’s follow up debut film THE HERE AFTER, now premiered. Since two years Mariusz teaches at the workshop for creative producers organized by Wajda School in Warsaw. Currently developing several projects including “Wooma” by Paweł Borowski and “Viet Wander House” by Mariko Saga.

Madeleine Ekman – producer

Madeleine Ekman – producer

Madeleine Ekman started working with film in the early 90´s working as a production manager and a 1 st AD on Commercials. She graduated from Stockholm’s Film school in 1994 and finished a bachelor DEGREE in Film studies at the University the same year.
From the mid 90´s she worked for Traktor, a Swedish company making international award winning commercials.
IN THER late 90´s Madeleine started to work on feature films with directors like Jan Troell & Daniel Bergman. She produced her first documentary in 2000, about Sweden’s Nobel Prize winner Eyvind Johnson.
Since then Madeleine has worked as a line-producer for feature films and international commercials in her own company based in northern Sweden.
In 2006 Madeleine was asked by Memfis film to be the head of THEIR business in Trollhättan. During her time at Memfis she has worked on features like ”Nina Frisk”, ”Mammoth” etc. and was also rented out to work on the Swedish epic ”Arn”.
Since January of 2009 Madeleine has been the CEO and producer of Zentropa International Sweden. She has produced ”Happy End”, by Björn Runge that was reworded prize for best photo 2011 in San Sebastian. And ”En Gång om Året”, by Gorki Glaser-Muller and now ”The Here After/Efterskalv” by Magnus von Horn.
She has also co-produced for directors like Lars von Trier (“Antichrist”, ”Melancholia”, “Nymphomaniac”) Susanne Bier (“In a better World”, “Love is ALL you need”, “A second Chance”), Thomas Vinterberg (“The Hunt” and “The Commune”) Erik Poppe (“A 1000 times Good Night” and “The Kings Chose), Hans Peter Moland (“In order of Disappearance” and upcoming “The Longships”) and Nikolaj Arcel “A Royal Affair” and many more.
Madeleine Ekman is an ACE producer and is currently in development of 4 new feature films with her new company partner Lizette Jonjic at Zentropa Sweden.

Producers

Zentropa International Sweden

Zentropa International Sweden

Zentropa International Sweden AB is a production company with the mission to produce and co-produce and/or invest in Swedish and/or European films.
Presently the company has been involved as investor and/or co- producer in projects by directors like Lars von Trier (“Antichrist”, ”Melancholia”, “Nymphomaniac”) Susanne Bier (“In a better World”, “Love is al you need”, “A second Chance”), Thomas Vinterberg (“The Hunt” and “The Commune”) Erik Poppe (“A 1000 times Good Night” and “The Kings Chose), Hans Peter Moland (“In order of Disappearance” and upcoming “The Longships”) and Nikolay Arcel “A Royal Affair” and many more.

Zentropa Sweden co-produces with Zentropa Denmark, Edith Film Finland, Paradox Norway, Zentropa Spain and others.

Zentropa International Sweden also produces and develops Swedish directors like
Björn Runge, Gorki Glaser Muller, Magnus von Horn & Andrea Östlund.

The company has two producers Madeleine Ekman & Lizette Jonjic, and produces mainly drama feature films. The company are in 2015 also starting to developing TV-drama.

Lava Films

Lava Films

Lava Films is an independent film production company which collaborates with aspiring filmmakers as well as with established professionals coming from Poland and abroad. The company’s goal is to help artists transform their potential into debuts, second features or subsequent works of film art. Lava Films aims at producing features, documentaries and animated films bearing hallmarks of director’s artistic and national individuality, yet reflecting universal, humane issues of our times. Believing that international co-productions are the most accurate answer to the needs of multicultural audience, Lava Films engages in projects with worldwide potential as the main or minor producer as well as conducts service productions.