For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a filmmaker. But like many dreamers I was told by many people from an early age to work towards getting a real job. Study something worthy of the Jewish community that I grew up in. Like many people born between the millenniums, I felt unsure of what to do with my life.
I studied a media law degree because my parents told me it was a great back up plan.
I finished 6 years of studies and was preparing to become a solicitor. But in 2014, something completely out of the blue happened. I was diagnosed with a large 1 kilogram tumour between my lungs and heart. After being given a pretty black prognosis, my priorities in life shifted and I began to think about the things I would never be able to do again. The people I would never be able to see again, and all those I would not meet in the future. All the amazing films I wanted to make but never would.
Once I left hospital I worked towards flying back to Europe to do some soul searching, like every good millennial.
It was when I was in Sweden in 2014 that the gears in my head began shifting. I began to think about all the strange professions in the world. I wondered if it were possible to meet some of these interesting people before I settled on completing my own studies. Wasting no time I put the wheels in motion to make what would become the film's first scene.
I met the world’s best town planner Björn Lindqvist. His unique outlook showed me that you didn’t always have to do something inside the square to get by in this world.
I thought to myself what other people might be out there? Doing strange and wonderful things? Many people didn’t even know that town planning was a profession. So maybe this was just the tip of the iceberg?
When I returned to Sydney I had a health check-up and was incredibly thankful to discover everything seemed to be in order. I had a second shot and a renewed lease on life.
I attained a job in Thailand on an Australian TV series.
I became good friends with one of the local crew named Kevin who told me a strange story about a man who basically ran a convenience store in his taxi. Inevitably I ended up meeting the world’s kindest cab driver. Narong showed me that even when you have nothing you can still give back something.
Through working in TV I ended up becoming a lecturer at a film school. While teaching I discovered that one of my students was the self confessed world’s best ‘Bummer’ of cigarettes.
We tried to film a series about his life but ended up condensing a lot of what we shot into a small scene. I wanted to try and give him a chance at something bigger than me or him. After our extra-curricular activities, he went on to work in big feature films and is working on films in his own right!
I screened ‘Requires Review’ in LA in 2017 at ‘Dances With Films’ to a thunderous response. In doing this I met a producer who told me about her friend Rachel. They told me Rachel runs the world’s best toilet tour in London. So naturally I had to meet her. Rachel showed me that your passions should be celebrated, no matter how eccentric or 'strange'.
In 2017 I finished my day job working in TV and moved back to Sweden to be with my girlfriend at the time, Gabriela, who I met filming Björn the town planner in 2014. I ended up visiting her workplace one day and discovered she could be the world’s best dog sitter.
Sweden treats its furry friends like family, it being illegal to leave dog's unattended in apartments for more than 5 hours.I'd never seen someone wield as many dogs as Gabi.
While writing a drama feature film in Sweden I was invited to Romania to film the MatchFrame conference with a host of inspirational filmmakers. I thought what an honour. I wonder if there will be more interesting people there.
It was while filming some of the conference participants in the medieval citadel in Oradea that I met Arany, ‘The Reenactor.’ I had originally wanted to interview another individual in the Citadel who was painting action figures but my translator misunderstood and asked the other unassuming guy dressed rather mundanely in a t-shirt.
He surprised me and had a beautiful story to tell about going out and being active before you're too old to enjoy the good life. Despite this he refused to call himself 'the world's best'.
I asked around the conference if anyone knew someone else doing interesting things. Eventually I discovered a man covered in makeup and gothic clothes who in a previous life was an orthodox priest. So I travelled to Cluj with some willing participants and met the priest who became a tailor.
I went to a film and tv networking event in Stockholm and was eventually invited to a Swedish short film festival. There I ended up meeting the festival moderator Ivar Fors, a songwriter and the self confessed world’s best griller of bananas.
Naturally we waited for the spring and fired up the grill.
I wanted to go on making more of these weird and wonderful films. Having funded them exclusively through my work in television there was only so many countries I could travel. I thought to myself this could be volume one. Perhaps it’s more important to release these stories to the world now, during a time of worldwide instability and sweeping pessimism around the globe.
It’s my hope that people who watch this movie become inspired to go out and do whatever the little kid in them dreamed they should do. Or whatever the voice inside their head tells them they want to do but can’t. It’s a cliche and maybe it’s cheesy but it holds true.
What else is worth living for in this world?
I understand not everyone in the world can have the luxury of doing these things in some of the countries featured. I hope to continue making these films around the world particularly in countries where people need this message louder and clearer than ever.
I’m happy to report that I became a lawyer and lived to tell this tale.
And so ladies and gentleman may I present to you:
‘The World’s Best Film'