BAFTA-winner Jonas Grimås is perhaps one of the more secretive creative Swedes living London. Scan Magazine met the director, who has a number of famous films and dramas to his name.

While Grimås has been living in London since 1988, his directing began in Uppsala where he was involved with student theatre at university whilst studying music theory. A good twenty years later, he is still happy with his decision to relocate to the UK. “When I arrived in London there were no multicultural influences. It’s been fascinating watching the city evolve, and I still find that London holds secret gems and I discover them all the time,” says the director, sipping a cappuccino. “I have always lived in Islington, which is my favourite area. It was not so fashionable when I moved there but now it is very sought after and its soul remains the same”.

Jonas entered the industry with great success when he won a BAFTA Film Award for best short film with ARTISTEN (The Artist), a graduation project. Grimås was also later nominated for best short film with another film – MAROONED. “Of course winning a BAFTA was a big surprise and unexpected. Today, it feels a bit surreal looking back, it feels that the film doesn’t belong to me any longer but to its audience. Naturally it’s amazing to belong to the prestigious BAFTA club.” In Sweden, Jonas has directed film adaptations of Henning Mankell’s Wallander series as well as Camilla Läckberg’s novels The Ice Princess and The Preacher, and in 2011 he was named Cultural Personality of the Year by Stockholm’s Culture Foundation. Jonas has also worked on an impressive number of British drama series, such as more than 30 episodes of the cult series Heartbeat, a successful long-runner that was also aired on Swedish TV4.

These days, Jonas is devoted to teaching and mentoring at The London Film School. The industry as a whole seemed to dip during 2010 and he considers himself lucky that he was picked up by the school at this time. He receives great pleasure from being part of his students’ success and he sees the passing on of his knowledge as an important responsibility.  Recently, he finished writing a book that he wishes “had existed during the early days of his career”, entitled A director prepares – Everything you need to know before you shout action. His own creative work continues with a full-length film in the pipeline, an Anglo-Nordic black comedy entitled Det kunde ha varit värre which is due to hit screens in 2016.

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