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From Sweden with Love: A James Bond festival in Stockholm

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2014-10-14
Official report with exclusive photos from the first James Bond weekend in Scandinavia - From Sweden with Love - a three-day event celebrating the website's 10th Anniversary.

Abba museum Stockholm
On September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 - James Bond fans in Sweden and from around the world - Brazil, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Holland, Norway, Northern Ireland and Wales - gathered in Stockholm to celebrate the world's most famous secret agent. (A couple of French fans were supposed to attend as well but a sudden strike at Air France sadly prevented them from coming.)

International actors, directors, Bond girls, stuntmen and Academy Award winners graciously accepted our invitation of coming Stockholm to hang out with the fans at the National Film House and Solidaritet Arena (part of the brand new Tele2 Arena). The occasion marked the first time that Scandinavia was visited by this many (13 in total) Bond celebrities for the same event.

James Bond festival Stockholm
James Bond festival Stockholm press conference
A master class with Per Hallberg kicked off the celebrations at the Film House and was followed by a press conference for the media at Berns which officially opened the event. The weekend continued with (oh oh) seven screenings - On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Man with the Golden Gun (for which Maud Adams & Britt Ekland kindly sent a written introduction as they weren't able to attend) , Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (introduced by director John Glen) and Licence to Kill - masterly overlooked by Jerry Axelsson at the Film House in the new digital cinema format 4K, Q&A sessions (conducted by yours truly, film reviewer Ronny Svensson and Morten Steingrimsen) with cast and crew in attendance, autograph signings and an exclusive gala. The man behind the event, yours truly, spent six months working full time to plan everything and did not earn a single cent. The main reason for organising this weekend was to give something back to everyone who have supported, helped and contributed to the site over the years.

James Bond festival Stockholm Film House
For the gala, all guests were welcomed on the red carpet by press photographers and an Aston Martin Rapide S. The memorable gala evening continued with a champagne (Bollinger, but of course) reception with a speech by the British Ambassador to Sweden (Paul Johnston) speaking about Roger Moore, a three course dinner, performances by the brilliant singers in Eclipse and the talented girls in Ms Trez. The latter group performed their version of the theme song to Licence to Kill which was followed by standing ovations from the crowd. John Glen (director of LTK) thought that Ms Trez version was better than the original version by Gladys Knight!


(Originally, opera-trained singer Robert Davi was scheduled to sing some of the songs from "The Great American Songbook" popularised by Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately, and most sadly, the plane with his musicians got cancelled and in a mutual decision with Robert, we had to make a last minute decision to cancel his performance.)

James Bond festival Stockholm
The gala was hosted by professional communicator/journalist/TV presenter/moderator/producer/actress Sabinije von Gaffke and actor Viktor Åkerlom, a job they handled with perfection including short Q&A's with each and one of the Bond celebrities. Stunt maestro Paul Weston also demonstrated a fight scene with Victor as volunteering sidekick, much to the delight of the audience. Sound maestro Per Hallberg, triple Oscar® winner (one for Skyfall), revealed in his speech that he will also work on SPECTRE (2015), a surprise that was warmly received.

James Bond festival Stockholm
A special video message from Lynn-Holly Johnson (Bibi Dahl in For Your Eyes Only followed, much to the delight of John Moreno as she took on his role as Luigi Ferrara in the clip. An official UNICEF video celebrating Sir Roger Moore's 20 years as Goodwill Ambassador was also screened during the night.

Yours truly concluded the gala program by thanking all guests for their support and asked at the same time for a minute's silence for the very popular Richard Kiel (1939-2014) who sadly passed away the week before.

During the evening, a silent auction was also held for a Sean Connery photo (from the set of Diamonds Are Forever) signed by photographer Terry O'Neill who recently photographed Bond girl Izabella Scorupco (Iza was also invited to the weekend but unable to attend). The framed portrait was sold for 7,000 SEK with the amount donated to UNICEF Sweden.

James Bond festival Stockholm
A total of 200 people attended the gala including Swedish celebrities such as Christian Lundqvist (drummer in The Poodles), Christos Neo, author/journalist Daniel Nyhlén, Håkan Hemlin (artist under the name Nordman), tv profile and personal trainer Mårten Nylén, casting director Sofia Eng (screen tested for the role as Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough) and tv host Sofia Rågenklint.

The gala festivities at Solidaritet Arena lasted well into the night with everyone enjoying themselves.

James Bond festival Stockholm
Feedback from the honorary James Bond guests:
"Thank you Anders for a wonderful, wonderful weekend. I loved every minute of it. You did an incredible job and I will never forget these incredible days, bonding (no pun intended) with Kristina and Carole and Mary, seeing John Richardson and John Glen again, seeing Moonraker again... Brought back memories indeed. I send you many warm hugs and again, thank you."
Anne Lönnberg (Moonraker)

"I really enjoyed myself at the weekend. So good to get together with yourself and the Bond family! I was so well looked after and with great company at the Gala Dinner. I think you took on a huge task with great passion and I'm sure there were lessons learnt but you should do it again (when you have the energy)." – Carole Ashby (Octopussy, AVTAK)

"Thanks for a very pleasant stay in Stockholm ... I am sure those that came had a great time and the word will spread. Good luck for the future. Best wishes from Janine and myself." – John Glen (director of five Bonds and 2nd unit director on three)

"I just wanted to say a proper thank you for inviting me over and for your hospitality. I had a great time meeting everyone and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. I know that you worked very hard for this and congratulations it all went very well, so well that I think you should make it an annual event. The feedback has all been positive." – John Richardson (Nine Bond films)

"I had such a wonderful time in Stockholm, a truly superb city and exquisite food (the breakfast at Berns I have never enjoyed more anywhere). I thought the Gala evening was a great success (I was absolutely speechless with Lynn-Holly's video message, what a kind person she is!) and the time just flew by. In fact, the whole 5 days went so quickly and I can hardly believe we were there at all. Thank you once again for bringing me to Sweden, I had the most memorable and quite unforgettable time." – John Moreno (FYEO)

"Thank you dearr Anders for a fantastic weekend! To see everyone again and the films in such magnificent quality was very special. It was truly an uplifting experience. I'm very proud of you." – Kristina Wayborn (Octopussy)

"Thank you for a wonderful weekend! It was a great pleasure for me to be able to spend time with some of those with whom I had worked in Licence to Kill, and to also meet other 'Bond family' members. The Gala evening itself was great! Good food and entertainment - a truly magical evening! It was evident that everything had been extremely well planned, down to the last detail." – Lars Lundgren (Licence to Kill)

"Anders ! What an incredible event you organized in Stockholm !! Thank you for your kindness and generosity, it will forever be treasured !! You are a class act, a lovely man, a true gentleman !! Thank you soooooo much !!!"
Mary Stavin (Octopussy, A View to a Kill)

"Thank you again for the wonderful 4 days we had in Stockholm at FSWL 2014. It was a delightful experience to meet so many dedicated and passionate fans of the "Bond" phenomenon. Your kindness in making each one of us feel welcome in your beautiful city was must gratifying. Your organization of the event was superb and to be able to see the films in the new 4K was a stroke of genius and made this a very special occasion. I thank you and your team for a very unique and happy memory, please invite me next year." – Paul Weston (10 Bond films)

"Thank you for a lovely weekend, felt like it was very well received by many, myself included. I understand that there was much work for you to keep track of everything but hope it was worth it in retrospect and that you want to do a similar thing again." – Per Hallberg (Skyfall, SPECTRE)

"Anders, I must say I had a terrific time in Sweden. From the exquisite hospitality at the Berns Hotel to all the screenings and the Gala. Your event enabled me to see John Glen who I hadn’t seen in years as well as John Richardson who set me aflame in LTK, and Paul Weston who actually took the burn. And of course Stockholm where I have not been before. Such a lovely country and people. Hugs to Sabinije who did a terrific job hosting the Gala and to Ms Trez who did a terrific rendition of the LTK theme song. The public rarely sees the behind the scenes when it comes to putting together such a daunting task, all the work and support needed to pull off a successful event. A big Thank You to Orlando John and his staff for looking after me and a hug to all who attended as your guests. From an Idea to a Reality, you made your dream come true. Congratulations on what I hope will be many more for you - TO SWEDEN WITH LOVE." – Robert Davi (Licence to Kill)

"Thank you for your warm hospitality shown to us on the weekend and for making our trip to Sweden so memorable! The weekend was a marvellous mixture of movies, interviews, and interaction between fans and 'Bond' guests. The Charity Gala was especially enjoyable for the music and listening to the anecdotes of the various guests. By the end of the weekend we had made many new friends - both guests and visiting fans. It was a great pleasure to enjoy such a fantastic film experience, and share that enjoyment with other 'Bond' enthusiasts. The memory of this special event will last for a very long time, and will rank as one of the best we have attended." – Sylvana Henriques (You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service)

"This was the greatest event ever for me! Thank you again for inviting me."
Terence Mountain (OHMSS, Diamonds Are Forever)

First and foremost, a very special thanks to the honorary guests: Anne Lönnberg, Carole Ashby, John Glen, John Moreno, John Richardson, Kristina Wayborn, Lars Lundgren, Mary Stavin, Paul Johnston, Paul Weston, Per Hallberg, Robert Davi, Sylvana Henriques and Terence Mountain.

A personal thanks also to those who helped out with practical things over the weekend and in particular: Alexandra Öfwerman, Erik Olsson, Fatima Churgi, Jerry Axelsson, Krister Collin, Maria Andersson, Morten Steingrimsen, Niclas Elvingsson, Niclas Kroon, Nils-Olof Lundqvist, Paul Deblond, Peter Johansson, Pontus Forslund, Robert Bijlhout, Ronny Svensson, Sabinije von Gaffke, Steffen Winkler, Vesna Acimovic and Viktor Åkerblom.

And a big thank you to all sponsors and partners that enabled the weekend: Affärstryckeriet i Norrtälje, Arvid Nordquist (Bollinger), Atlantic Film, Berns Hotel, British Airways, British-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, British Embassy Stockholm, Callisma (Aston Martin), Cawa Media, Cbiz (Scalextric), EA Förlag, Eclipse, Eon Productions, Filmhusets Bar & Bistro, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Ms Trez, Nordic Light Hotel, Norwegian, Orlando John, Park Circus, Polhem PR, Rem-art, The Photo Gallery (Terry O'Neill), Radio Sweden, SAS, Sascha Braun Photography, Scandinavian Cosmetics (007 Fragrance), Selstam, SF Home Entertainment, Solidaritet Arena, SR (National Swedish Radio), SVT (National Swedish Television), Swedish Film Institute, Ticnet and Visit Stockholm.

Official photos from the weekend:
>Sascha Braun Photography
>Cawa Media (Peter Johansson)
All photos. Copyright © 2014 From Sweden with Love

Foreign media coverage of the weekend:
21-9-2015: >James Bond Brasil (report from Brazil)
1-6-2015: Club James Bond France (club magazine)
16-10-2014: >Bond Lifestyle (report from Holland)
16-10-2014: >JamesBond.no (report from Norge)
4-10-2014: >Behind the Stunts (Northern Ireland)
23-9-2014: >007 Travelers (report from Finland)
20-9-2014: >Radio Sweden (report in English)
19-9-2014: >News from Europe and Latin America
13-9-2014: >Episodi (Finland)
5-9-2014: >The James Bond Dossier (England)
26-8-2014: >James Bond Brasil (Brazil)
22-8-2014: >Cinema (Norway)
20-8-2014: >James Bond International Fan Club
13-8-2014: >Sir Billi (Scotland)
13-8-2014: >007 Travelers (Finland)
13-8-2014: >James Bond Nederland (Holland)
11-8-2014: >Author Mark O'Connell (England)
10-8-2014: >Bond Lifestyle (Holland)
9-8-2014: >Cinema Retro (USA)
7-8-2014: >The James Bond Dossier (England)
7-8-2014: >JamesBond.no (Norway)
7-8-2014: >Commander 007 (France)
6-8-2014: >The Book Bond (USA)
6-8-2014: >James Bond-magasinet (Norway)

Coverage in Swedish media:
23-10-2014: Svensk Damtidning (Stavin interview)
20-10-2014: >Pontus Forslund (report)
12-10-2014: Svensk Damtidning (Wayborn interview)
10-10-2014: >Capische (report)
3-10-2014: >Moviezine (John Glen interview)
1-10-2014: >Popmani (Per Hallberg interview)
22-9-2014: >ImproveMe.se (report)
21-9-2014: >Finest.se (gala report)
21-9-2014: >ImproveMe.se (gala report)
20-9-2014: >ImproveMe.se (Wayborn interview)
20-9-20:14 >Moviezine (Robert Davi interview)
20-9-2014: >Deckarhuset
20-9-2014: >Om filmer (report)
19-9-2014: >SVT (video report)
19-9-2014: >Sveriges Radio P3 (Hallberg interview)
19-9-2014: >Om filmer
18-9-2014: >SVT ABC (video report)
18-9-2014: >Radio Stockholm
18-9-2014: >Mitt i Stockholm
17-9-2014: >P4 Radio Skaraborg
17-9-2014: >Onyanserat.se
16-9-2014: >Svenska Filminstitutet
15-9-2014: >Finest.se
13-9-2014: >Lyx.se
8-9-2014: >Moviezine
23-8-2014: >Capische
14-8-2014: >Agent007.nu
13-8-2014: >James Bond news
8-8-2014: >Moviezine
8-8-2014: >Filmparadiset

From Sweden with Love will return.

Written and compiled by Anders Frejdh. © 2014 From Sweden with Love.

Tags:

#film_festivals

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