Sweden Appoints Baker Karim as Public Film Commissioner

The director, screenwriter and cinematographer studied in Los Angeles and has worked with Roger Corman and John Landis.

Director, screenwriter, editor and cinematographer Baker Karim, whose career path includes stints assisting Roger Corman and John Landis, has been appointed as one of Sweden's new film commissioners.

Karim, 39, studied at Los Angeles City College and the American Film Institute. He will replace Linus Torell on Nov. 11.

The appointment, by the Swedish Film Institute, means Karim will be among the expert team that makes decisions on the distribution of public funds to Swedish films and co-productions.

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Karim shot his feature debut Four Women in 2001 before following it up with his Swedish Guldbagge-nominated and international award-winning short film Malcolm in 2002. He promises to bring a strong personality to his post.

 "WHAM BAM! Just like that! Obama gets elected president. Baker gets appointed film commissioner. The tide has turned! Now it’s up to filmmakers here in Sweden to mobilize their most creative troops, to look sharp and polish their artistic bayonets," he said in a statement Thursday.

"This day marks our unflinching commitment to making Swedish films of only the highest artistic order! Together we can create a new golden age for Swedish cinema. There’s no chickening out, no shying away. No being satisfied with things that have worked in the past," he continued. "It’s all about excellence, diversity and courage. Swedish Film is going to war! It's about time. Damned right it is!"

During his time in the U.S., Karim worked as an assistant director for indie film scion Roger Corman and as a production assistant to director John Landis.

Karim has also worked for Swedish television, with his credits including Swedenhielms, Orka! Orka! and recently the Kristall-nominated series Familjen Babajou.

Karim has lead workshops in Africa and was recently behind the much-discussed “Black List”, a list of the names of black workers in the arts in Sweden that was designed to highlight their relative invisibility in the field.

"Baker Karim not only has wide experience from many parts of the film industry: his enthusiasm for seeking out quality projects is truly inspirational," said Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute.