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Shot by Connor Sprague


At a young age, Seth Gabrielsson had a shocking realisation - the ‘niche’ British band his parents always played for him, The Beatles, were actually the biggest band of all time. It was an experience that tapped into something larger for the future musician, composer, writer, producer and director. He had connected to The Beatles in his own individual way, but so had everybody else. From then on, Seth has been striving to make his art capable of these two qualities - the possibility for wide appeal and the feeling of being alone with a piece of art.

Clockwise from top left: still from 'Nine White Moons', Seth shot by Connor Sprague; still from 'Nine White Moons'; Seth and his co-writer, co-producer and cousin Jonas; still from 'Nine White Moons'; Seth shot by Connor Sprague

Interview with George Foley


Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got into filmmaking, and specifically how your new film Nine White Moons came about?

I am a music maker first and that has always been a part of who I am. I am learning how to write music in an almost avant-garde tradition, really experimental stuff. I love it, but I have been expanding ways of expressing myself to include film, another love of mine. Growing up, I was going through all these different phases and I never realised they were all influenced by movies. I saw a movie about an art guy and I wanted to be a curator, I saw Amadeus and I wanted to be Mozart. But the film Nine White Moons sprung from this beautiful collaborative relationship that I have with my cousin Jonas, who co-wrote and produced it alongside me. It would be a heinous crime not to mention him. The germ of this whole thing is that Jonas had this idea to make a film about these ceramics he makes.

What do you want your audience to take away from your new film, Nine White Moons?

That’s the mystery because I have never operated with the idea that there was ever going to be an audi- ence, and that has given me a lot of freedom in what I want to express.
I do think about the audience in the editing suite, but every stage leading up to that is just about the idea and getting it off your chest because it actually is sometimes a bit of burden. You have this strange and detailed world that you want to express, not for attention or respect, but purely because if you don’t it will turn into some sort of psychosis.


COVID-19 and the most recent lockdown has hit the creative industry hard. How badly is the film industry struggling in Sydney and around the nation?

I think it was struggling before COVID. But also, I am not in the industry, and if I am, I am the farthest flung outpost banished from its citadel. But I think it is struggling to engage the younger generations with original content. We are getting palmed off these Hollywood films that are largely self-reflexive or just rehashing the same stories or fran- chises. The Australian content also feels a bit too cute, not risky enough.

Are social media platforms like TikTok playing a role in this appar- ent lack of interest in the Sydney film industry, in particular for the younger generations?

It is degrading people’s attention spans. Our propensity for abstraction and sustained emotion, things that take time to deliver, is getting degraded. The experience of cinema isn’t culturally relevant enough for us right now, but I think it is such a useful space for people to come together, in seats that face the same way, and watch something that is considered. That is a useful tool for people.

I know you have said you are the furthest outpost from the citadel that is the film industry, but how did you get your foot in the door?

A healthy dose of self-delusion. I think that I can do things when may- be I can’t, and end up doing them anyway because I feel like I have to do it. If I didn’t do it I would feel like I was someone walking around with all these detailed delusions that never come to fruition, and that can weigh heavy.

Who do you think is the most exciting young and emerging creative in Sydney right now?

Kristo Langker

Composer / Director / Musician / Writer / Activist


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