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Nice People (Filip & Fredrik presenterar Trevligt Folk)
by Rose Finlay

Director: Karin af Klintberg, Anders Helgeson - Sweden

There are over 40,000 Somalis living in Sweden as well as over 17,000 born in  Sweden with at least one Somali parent. In Borlänge, a town of some 41,000  residents, there are 3,000 Somalis, about seven percent of the population. When  asked, many people in the town exhibited xenophobic beliefs when it came to the  Somalis. In an effort to help bring together the Somali and Swedish residents  of Borlänge, an eccentric businessman, Patrik Andersson, decided to create a  Somalian National Bandy Team. Bandy is a sport that is like field hockey on ice  and is most popular in Northern European countries, though there are teams from  around the world. Nice People is the  touching story about how a team was put together in less than a year and  participated in the 2014 Bandy World Championship.

In a time where Europe is facing a great refugee  crisis, it is wonderful to see an uplifting film about bringing refugees and  Europeans together under a common banner: the love of sports. Although the  Somalis had never played Bandy or, in fact, ever ice skated before, their  enthusiasm for trying something new is infectious. Their business manager  Patrik Andersson is indeed eccentric, but his partner is also an immigrant and  he has a passion for bringing people together, which includes getting Per  Fosshaug, a Bandy legend, to be the coach of the team. There is nothing too  deep here. Nice People is just  another sports film with its highs and lows, but its arrival is timely  considering the worries some people have about integration. It shows that the  refugees are just people too and that maybe through the power of sports it  might be possible to bring cultures together. Perhaps that is why Nice  People won the Commerzbank Audience Award at the festival.