a film by Sara Gunnarsdottir

In the beginning, a Canadian woman mentions that she’s never heard anyone outside of her circle who knows who “He” is? So how does Sara Gunnarsdottir, filmmaker, first hear of this character?

I had a good friend that had a Canadian girlfriend, the same girl talking in the beginning, and while he was spending some time with her over there he was given a copy of the CD. This guy, Helgi (the first man we see talking) brought that copy with him to Reykjavík and that´s how I heard it.

If you were ever to meet The Pirate of Love, what might you ask?

Who is Sherry?  And, Are you angry with me?

As a filmmaker, what compelled you the most to tell this really unique story?

The human aspect of it, in the end it´s just a story of human emotions, love and loneliness. The mystery of it was also very exciting to me, specially as an animator. With so little known I was totally free when it came to visualizing it.

Wait, so who exactly is Daniel C.?

I don´t know!

This film is so incredibly layered. Is Mikhail Lezin the first to ever discover the CD? Or what is his connection?

I found Mikhail on Youtube very late in the making of the film, he had posted a video to one of the songs. He didn´t know anything about the singer, Daniel C, except his name and that he was a Romanian truck driver. Later on I found online that some collectors have this CD. As I was finishing the film someone posted it on Grooveshark, I don´t know who that person is!

What was the most challenging element in this production? How long an endeavor was it for you?

It took me two years to make the film, mostly because I did all the animation myself. But I think the challenging part about this film was the editing.

Again, so many layers. There exists this audio as a document. What else can be said about this story that is certain?

The interviews are real, that is they are not scripted. So in a way I feel that these three men telling us the story are really giving us a bit of themselves, their ideas about the music and the myth. The interviews also record the circle of fans existing in Reykjavik.

It was only about a year ago or so that I became aware of animated documentaries. Was this your first animated doc?

Yes, this is the first animated documentary I´ve made and my second animated film.

The Pirate of Love mixes interview footage, with found audio, and animation? Was this film ever going to be completely animated?

Yes, at first it was suppose to be completely animated with an interview only as a voice over. I quickly realized that getting a real feeling for the fans of the music, that are also the real root of the story, would make it richer.

What are you working on these days?

Right now I´m working on moving from Los Angeles to New York. But animation-wise I just worked on a teaser for a feature with Marielle Heller called The Diary of a Teenage Girl, based on the book/graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner.  Beside that, my husband and I just applied for a grant for an animated short we’ve been developing together. I´m keeping my fingers crossed!

Thank you Fabian, these questions are great.

Sara is born and raised in the capital area of Iceland, Reykjavik. She has a BFA degree in Fine Arts and received her MFA degree in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts in spring 2012. Sara currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.