Time-honored, boundary-pushing production company B-Reel Films adds Sweden-born director Sacarias Kiusalaas to their U.S. roster. Kiusalaas brings a keen sense for emotional nuance and a gleeful cleverness to his work, which includes the touching “When Harry Met Santa,” a short he made for the Norwegian Postal Service that earned him 71 international awards.
Kiusalaas found filmmaking early on as a way to preserve the bittersweetness of moments passed. But, soon after beginning his studies at film school, Sacarias Kiusalaas determined he would need to tread an unconventional path. He soon left school and joined BR•F's office in Stockholm, where he soaked up the craft as an intern and director’s assistant. It is at these stomping grounds where his career has continued to blossom.
“It’s been amazing to watch Sacarias grow into one of the best directors of this new generation,” remarks Pelle Nillson, BR•F Founder/CEO. “His sensibility and way of working with actors is exceptional, and he crafts his work in such a unique and lovable way.”
With a lens that shares his characters’ most private emotions, the intimacy of Kiusalaas’ work stops time and bates breath. For example, “Together Again,” Kiusalaas’ visceral short for Cancerfonden (The Swedish Cancer Society.) The tender, heart wrenching film, which went viral and remains a popular and influential short shared throughout Sweden, depicts the sweet bond between a father and son through several personal and often funny vignettes, each filmed and produced as if they were drawn from home video.
“I’m very nostalgic; I hate when things end. Filming, to me, is a way to preserve time,” said Kiusalaas. “I can also grow bored quite easily, and filmmaking is the opposite of boredom. It makes you feel so alive.”
His work on “When Harry Met Santa,” a short for The Norwegian Postal Service about a man who strikes up a relationship with and falls in love with Santa, possesses a similar heartfelt intensity and sense of timelessness, while taking his craft a step further with a distinctive and progressive story. “When Harry Met Santa” earned Kiusalaas’ 71 awards globally, including Gold Direction at Eurobest, Gold from The One Show, and a Cannes Gold Lions, among five nominations.
In this next phase, the director hopes to maintain the courage to be kind and honest, even as his work gains more praise and attention, and to persist in defining his distinctive voice. He can see no other way to bring his moving work to the U.S. than with BR•F, the company he has worked with the longest in his career.
“My best films have emerged from speaking out loud what I really believe in, leaving behind the fights that don't matter, and always keeping a good atmosphere,” said Kiusalaas. “BR•F has always been my family and I am looking forward to making them proud in the U.S. by continuing to tell surprising stories in a way no one has ever seen before.”