Nature filmmaker Mikael Kristersson has spent almost two decades putting together his third feature length documentary Light Year which captures everyday life in his own garden, filmed in its natural rhythm, over the course of four seasons.

Very much like in his previous documentary films Pica Pica (1987) and Kestrel's Eye (1998), Kristersson spent long hours and years filming animals in their minute details, with secret cameras, microphones and lights. His goal is to invites the audience to a spiritual journey, to let people discover something new in the most banal elements of everyday life. "There's nothing we're more ignorant about than our immediate surroundings," he says.

The documentary film first screened to Swedish cinema audiences in December 2008 and was selected at the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival.


The heart of the film is the sundrenched kitchen garden. Towards the street in the west are dense lilac bushes; on the northern side a half-timbered house; a raspberry thicket serves as a border to the southern neighbour and a lush honeysuckle grows on the fence to the parkland in the east. There are out-houses, a chicken run, a bricked -in corner for compost and a herb garden. The giant hawthorn lives side by side with the gnarled old apple tree, and then, there is a throng of birds at all times of the year - the residents, the casuals and the migrants.

With beautiful sequence of shots and meticulously authentic sound, Mikael Kristersson explores the greatness of the small objects in his own garden in Falsterbo, an old village in the south of Sweden. We see the real world from the perspective of the great tit, the wasp and the cabbage butterfly, and we human beings as one species among many.

Director - Mikael Kristersson

Born in 1947, Mikael Kristersson made his first documentary film for Swedish television in 1972. After graduating in film and photography from Dramatiska Institutet'- in 1975, he made 35 films, primarily documentaries. He directed his first feature length documentary Pica Pica in 1987 and his second film Kestrel's Eye in 1998. Both films were well received by critics and international festivals. Light Year is Kristersson's third feature-length documentary film.

Producer - Lisbet Gabrielsson

Born in 1944 in Växjö, Gabrielsson studied film prodution between 1969 and 1971 at Stockholm's University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre. She worked  as a producer on children, animation, short and documentary films for the Swedish Film Institute between 1975 and 1993, then as film commissioner for the institute's 'Greenhouse-new filmmakers' strand until 1996. the same year, she set up her own production company Lisbet Gabrielsson.

Key production information

Original Title - Ljusår

Director - Mikael Kristersson

Scriptwriter - Mikael Kristersson

Producer - Lisbet Gabrielsson

Production company - Lisbet Gabrielsson Film AB

Film Length - 101 min

Swedish distributor - Folkets Bio

International sales - Post Scriptum & Media