What made you want to create a sequel to your 2020 movie Connection?
I felt it was time to continue the first film and see what was happening on the Swedish stage. We have some new riders coming in as well as some old ones leaving, so I felt like some interesting things were happening that I wanted to capture.
I also think that working in this creative space is important to have a project where you will be completely free to express yourself and where you do not really need to adjust your creativity to fit anyone else’s vision. This project fulfills this for me on a personal level.
What is it about the Swedish scene that you want to highlight?
I want to emphasize the fact that you can come from a small country like Sweden and make a career in cycling or at least try it. But I also want to show the community that, despite different backgrounds and industries, everyone is doing well and working together instead of competing with each other.
Have you been on stage as a rider, filmmaker, photographer and runner – what connects riders across the country?
How have you changed the focus or the riders on your 2nd movie?
The focus remains the same and that is to highlight the Swedish scene and its riders in a positive and inspiring way. As for the riders, this time I let my curiosity guide me. There are some new faces that I do not know much about and this project is a perfect tool for me to get to know them a little better.
Tell us a little about the section you shot on Källviken with Emil Johansson and his team at Slopestyle?
They are really crazy, the level they are at and how hard they push each other. Every time I’m in Källviken shooting, at least one of them does a “world first” trick.
They did well with the event organized by Emil with them 791 MTB crew. The movie section also focuses on this fact. We haven’t had a proper Slopestyle event like this for a few years now, so it’s nice to see them bring it back.
Alma Wiggberg is new to the rider line this time – what makes her special?
It’s what you would call “generational talent” and I have never seen anything like it in Sweden. It paves the way for women slopestyle and freeride riders coming from Sweden, and does so at just 17 years old.
The fact that she is open and willing to try everything – one weekend you see her in an enduro race winning everyone and the next she sends big leaps to a Slopestyle event – is very nice. Hopefully she has some good people in her corner who can guide her and if she stays long enough without injuries, she has a bright future ahead of her.
Obviously, when you film your brother, Robin Wallner, you have to feel emotional. What does his career and now his retirement mean to you?
Yes, working in this department will be like a therapy session for me. We both broke up and started crying when we tried to do the interview, so there are a lot of emotions associated with that. We’ve been living almost in each other’s pockets for the last 20 years traveling to different places and countries, so when Robin announced his departure I felt that this was also a closing chapter for me. His career is one of the main reasons why I was able to work full time as a photographer and filmmaker and I am forever grateful for that.
Robin’s departure marks the end of an era for Swedish mountain biking, so it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Swedish gravity scene.
Are there specific riding locations in the movie that mean a lot to you?
Obviously, Robin’s section will mean a lot to me – it’s the “last chapter” for us and in the riding shoot for it, I have to note some locations that have been bothering me for a few years now.
But overall I’m very excited about all the sections, the people I chose to participate in are people who are personally interested in me.
What other riders can we expect to see in Connection 2?
When and where can we watch it?
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