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ECFA Award Winner

Gabi: Between Ages 8 and 13

English title: Gabi: Between Ages 8 and 13
Original title: Gabi, mellan åren 8 till 13
German title: Gabi: Between Ages 8 and 13
Sweden, Norway, 2021

Director: Broberg, Engeli
Production company: House of Real
Co-producers: Fuglene, SVT, Film i Skåne
Length: 76 min.
Film genre: Documentary

“Everyone thinks I'm trying to be a boy but I’m not. I can't, I can only be Gabi.”

At 8 years old, Gabi is a lively kid who feels that she is different from other girls. She loves to speak her mind when it comes to what she thinks is wrong with the world, and in particular, how there should be no differences between boys and girls. Gabis' full name is Gabriella Jude Fletcher but she would rather be named something cool like Brad, Mike-or Paulo, like her biological father. She thinks about him a lot but her mother refuses to talk about him.

Gabi’s mother Tracy is from England and in a relationship with Thomas. When Gabi is 10 Thomas loses his job and with Stockholm being expensive, the family moves to a small working class town. Gabi feels lonely and to fit in at school she starts agreeing with the others, even when she doesn’t. With no friends she stays home a lot, playing video games. At the same time she is pushing puberty. Her body changing scares her, will it hurt? Not to mention the M-word, menstruation.

Finally! After discussing it for years Gabi gets to cut her hair really short at 12. It makes her feel like a different person-more like Gabi. But the climate in school is still harsh. She’s found a friend, Jassin, but people are calling each other names like faggot and pussy. There are rumors of someone being gay in the ninth grade. Gabi doesn’t know if it’s true, and even if it is, it doesn’t matter because they are hiding it well.

Starting in the sixth grade, something has changed. She doesn’t feel like an outsider anymore. Two days before her 13th birthday Gabi gets her period. It is not as scary as she imagined. It’s more of a relief, as in not being the first or the last person to get it. Everyone in school is talking obsessively about their crushes. Gabi is in love too. But that is a secret. There is no way that she can approach her love interest. No way. At the same time she can’t relate fully to the norm for how a girl should be. “Does this make me a boy?” she asks herself when reading online about gender reassignment surgery.

Gabi captures the rarely documented pre-teen years. A story about a person who struggles to find her place in the world during the most transformative period of life. It’s a film which challenges preconceptions of gender and norms. Showing the search for identity and underlining the human right to belong and to be who you are.

IDFA Amsterdam IFF 2021, Thessaloniki Doc IFF 2022 (awarded), Nordic Filmdays Luebeck 2021, BUFF Malmö 2022, Reel 2 Real CFF Vancouver 2022 (awarded), Kristiansand CFF 2022, Zlin CFF 2022 (ECFA Award), BIKY CFF Busan 2022, Filem'on CFF Brussels 2022, My First Festival Barcelona 2022 (special mention), Leeds YFF 2023

ECFA interview available

Study guide: Spanish

Study guide: Swedish

World sales address/es:
Cargo Entertainment (USA)

Sold to:
Pack Magic (ES)