Ella Lemhagen

“Tsatsiki” is a rarity — a film aimed at kids but equally loved by adults.

One of last year’s biggest local hits, Swedish film critics voted it best Swedish film of 1999.

“My only problem now is how to proceed,” says director Ella Lemhagen. “I want to do the films that I want to do. I’m afraid of people expecting me to do the same thing over and over again.”

Lemhagen, 35, has studied filmmaking both in Stockholm and Paris. After some successful shorts, she made her feature debut in 1996 with “The Prince of Dreams,” a story of teenage love. Her second feature, “Welcome to the Party,” opened in 1997.

Both films were well-received, but “Tsatsiki,” the story of a charming little boy and his single mother, is her breakthrough. This week, the pic opens the Kinderfest at the Berlin Film Festival.

“I don’t feel in any hurry to start a new film immediately,” says the helmer. “I have a couple of scripts that I’m thinking about, and I’ve been offered a TV series that would give me an opportunity to play and experiment.”

She stresses that she’d only consider doing a sequel to “Tsatsiki” if the script feels absolutely right.

“I would also like to do something with adult actors,” she adds. “They are motivated in a different way. With kids you have to be manipulative.”

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