Levan Akin's "Certain People" received a positive response at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
”This is our worldwide premiere … it is a real wow feeling,” Akin said when Nordstjernan met him at the film festival. Niclas Goldberg's Review of the film 'Katinkas Kalas'

What kind of reaction have you received from the American audience?
Great response! I just got a positive review from The Wall Street Journal this morning.
I am glad that the language barrier doesn’t seem to matter, and the audiences managed to understand the humorous parts. Many viewers could relate to the unfriendliness in the film; everyone has felt like an outsider once or twice and it doesn’t matter where you come from or which culture you may have. Sure, this film will not be a blockbuster and therefore just get a few ten thousand viewers, as we have expected from the beginning.


Why is this movie important for you?
Alienation is something I have been passionate about for a long time, and yet I haven’t seen other movies touch this subject in this particular way. It was important for me to do it as real as possible, with no manipulative angles and cuts. One scene in the film—when they are sitting at the pool—is 12 minutes long without a cut, which was a challenge to create but makes the scene feel more real.
I tried to keep the characters as genuine as possible, and on purpose we just used unknown actors so the viewers can't be influenced by the actors’ previous films.
If people, after seeing my film, discuss it on the way home, I have succeeded!

Where do you get your inspiration?
Things from everyday life that move me—and right now alienation—are very present for me. My parents are Georgians from Turkey who came to Sweden before I was born. I grow up in Sweden and went to an international school. My background has given me an awareness of alienation and I have experienced it from different point of views.

What’s your driving force?
I love to tell a story, connect with people and communicate. My films are just showing my point of view, and I want people to react and reflect about that. Another thing, I always try to challenge myself and do things I am scared of. For instance, in the future I would like to do a film about demons, because I think they are a bit creepy and a challenge to characterize.

Do you have a favorite movie?
I have many. The first title that comes to mind is “You can count on me” (2000), written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan.

Text & photo: Hanna Aqvilin