When Fumi Nagasaka moved to the forest outside Stockholm after living in New York for 10 years, it was total gear change. The Japanese photographer decided to put her experience to use and create a film about adapting to her new environment, a mood of darkness with hope, featuring a poem written by the photographer, translated into Swedish.
Self-trained Nagasaka made her first film in 2007, and is known for her street casting and subculture-leanings. "When I find someone amazing it's like finding treasure," she explains. "But the hard thing about street casting is some kids say no sometimes. I must respect that, so the process is a bit like a gambling."
Dazed Digital screens A Light, presented at Berlin's Projekt Galerie, as Nagasaka talks more of the film's casting.
"I saw Daniel for one second at some station in Stockholm last year. I was on the train and he was standing on the platform so I didn’t get chance to talk and I was really upset. A few weeks later I saw him again and asked him to be in my Dior Homme story for Dazed. When we met he was wearing a vintage long leather jacket and cybergoth boots, his hair half shaved and half long. I was just in love with his look. We kept in touch and when I decided to make this film he was the person I pictured in my head.
We shot on January 1st and 2nd 2012 because that was the only time there weren't many people in town. I felt really bad to ask Daniel to meet me on new year's day when people were still sleeping or partying. He was on time and I was thankful for that.
I was looking for a young boy who could read my poem in Swedish for the film and Kimie was perfect because I knew he would understand the viewpoint
I met Kimie at a shopping center in Stockholm in 2010, I was actually waiting to take polaroids of some other kid I'd scouted for a Dazed shoot. Kimie passed and I was like, 'Wow who is he?!' He was 14 years old at the time and he told me he went to music school. He had black dyed hair and was wearing all black clothes. He ended up being in same Dazed story as the other kid I was waiting for. He came to the shoot with his mother who is a journalist for a Stockholm newspaper. She and I got along well and keep in touch through Facebook.
I was looking for a young boy who could read my poem in Swedish for the film and Kimie was perfect because I knew he would understand the viewpoint. When we recorded his voice at my flat (actually it was in my closet), I told him I was looking for the right song for the film too. Kimie said he could make some, played my flatmate's piano right away and we discussed rhythm and feeling. He then made a few samples at home and sent them to me, I just loved them all. I can't believe how amazing his talent is and I really want to support him in the future. He is going to be someone!"