Maria Eriksson-Hecht / Sweden / 2017 / 16:36

It’s John’s first day at school. But Mika has plans other than just taking John to school.

The film reflects how schools turned out to be an educative place for only those who are considered to be the best students. There is no place for children like Mika who was already considered a bad boy. We believe many people can relate to this delicate film. The film made several juries shed tears.
Minikino Film Week 4
Jury's note
It is a touching story that leaves a strong aftertaste to the audience and it is a very well-acted representation of strong bonds between two young brothers that are dealing with cold and harsh situations in life.
Minikino Film Week 4
Youth jury's note

Director Biography – Maria Eriksson-Hecht
Maria Eriksson-Hecht is a Swedish filmmaker with a master degree in film directing from Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. For the last ten years she has made several short films that have been screened and awarded at film festivals around the world. During her master studies she immersed herself in the director’s work with children in film. This work resulted in the graduation film “Schoolyard Blues” and the master thesis “Directing Children”. “Schoolyard Blues” premiered at Aspen Shortfest where it won two awards. Maria was also selected for Karlvory Varys’ section Future Frames – Ten New Filmmakers To Follow.

Director Statement
“Schoolyard Blues” started with the close collaboration between my scriptwriter (and love) Pelle Rådström and me. We wanted to make a film about shame, violence, brotherhood and what happens when a child is forced to take the role of a parent.

Additional Details
Director: Maria Eriksson-Hecht

Writer: Pelle Rådström

Producer: Farima Karimi

Key Cast: Douglas Steyner, Olle Frelin

Project Title (Original Language): Skolstartssorg

Film Type: Short, Student

Genres: Drama, Coming of age, Youth

Runtime: 16 minutes 36 seconds

Completion Date: April 20, 2017

Production Budget: 77,353 USD

Country of Origin: Sweden

Country of Filming: Sweden

Film Language: Swedish

Shooting Format: Arri Alexa

Aspect Ratio: 1:85 Film Color: Color

Screenings & Awards
  • Aspen Shortfest Aspen

    United States, April 7, 2017

    World Premiere

    Awarded Best Student Film + The Youth Jury Award

  • Karlvory Vary Karvlory Vary

    Czech Republic, July 1, 2017

    European Premiere

    Selected for Future Frames – Ten New Filmmakers To Follow

  • Nordic Panorama Malmö

    Sweden, Swedish

    Awarded the Children Choice Award

  • International Filmfestival Haugesund Haugesund

    Norway, Norwegian

    Awarded the Honorary Mention in the Next Nordic Generation

  • St. Cloud Film Fest

    United States

    Awarded Most Promising Young Artist Award

  • Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young people

    Athen, Greece, December 2, 2017, Greek

    Awarded Best Short Fiction Film

  • Nashville Film Festival Nashville

    United States

    Awarded Best student film

  • Illinifesti International Student Film Fetsival

    Illinois, United States

    Awarded Best director + best actor + best scriptwriter

  • Kinolub


    Awarded Honorary mention best short

  • Brussles International Short Film Festival

    Brussles, Belgium

    Awarded Honorary mention best student film

  • Poppy Jasper International Film Festival

    United States

    Awarded Best film directed by a woman

  • TIFF Kids

    Toronto, Canada

  • Minikino Film Week 4, Bali International Short Film Festival

    6 – 13 October 2018, Bali, Indonesia

    Awarded as 2018 Youth Jury Award

    Awarded as 2018 Best Fiction Short