Men Who Swim

Men Who Swim

  • BY Dylan Williams |
    Premiered January 4, 2011

About the Film

Men Who Swim is a humorous and poignant look at a group of men of a certain age in Stockholm who have found unlikely fellowship as members of Sweden’s all-male synchronized swim team. What began as a weekly escape from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities, gradually evolved into a more serious commitment. By day, they are train conductors and meat buyers, archivists and teachers; but by evening, they channel Esther Williams and become earnest and passionate exponents of the sport. MORE

After initially believing themselves to be the only all-male synchronized swim team in the world, they’re surprised to discover that other countries also have teams including Japan, Ukraine, Holland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain. And the first-ever All Male World Championship in the sport is coming up soon.

The team enters the competition, but they quickly realize they will have to train hard if they are to have a chance at the medals. Drama flares as their competitive spirit collides with differing opinions about how to train and who is in charge. Slowly, a competition-caliber routine comes together.

Not only are the men anticipating the championships, but most of the team is also looking down the barrel at milestone birthdays. More than half will turn 40 during the year they first compete on the world stage (or in the world pool, as it were). They are all, in their own ways, taking stock of their lives, measuring their achievements to this point, and wondering what the future might hold.

Men Who Swim looks at what it means to be part of a team, but also what it is to be an individual at a crucial time in one’s life. Ultimately, the film is about realizing that maybe you’ve already got everything you ever wanted.

The Filmmaker

Dylan Williams’s credits include productions on the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, ZDF-Arte, and The History Channel. He moved to Sweden in 2002 and has since directed a number of Scandinavian documentaries including the tragic-comic Madame and Capt. Nilsson (2006) and Reserved for George (2007). Men Who Swim is his story.


Film Credits

Men Who Swim features the Stockholm Arts Swim Gents:

Jonas Beckman
Rickard Friberg
Pompe Hedengren
Lars Kumlin
Mika Laine
Henrik Lundgren
Tony Lundman
Lennart Ploom
Marc Rappe
Pontus Värmhed
Sam Victorin
Martin Von Sydow
and Katalin Y. Bachry
Jane Magnusson

Directed by
Dylan Williams

Produced by
Al Morrow
Erik Pauser

Stewart Le Maréchal

Edited by
Russell Crockett
Jerry Rothwell

Director of Photography
Erik Pauser

Additional Photography
Barbara Adriano
Björn Granberg
Thomas Lindén
Lars Siltberg
Dylan Williams

Underwater Photography
Erik Börjesson

Sound Recordists
Björn Granberg
Fabio Coggiola

Ljudkollektivet Stockholm

Re-Recording Mixer
Per Boström

Senior Colourist
David Chapman

For AMP Film

Production Assistant
Henrik Lundgren

Production Accountant
Göran Ståhl

For Met Film

Chief Financial Officer
Stuart Thomson

Production Accountants
Paul Ledington
Mikko Luukkanen

Legal Affairs
Andrew Sturcke

Original Music By
Scott Shields

Theme by
Ilan Eshkeri

Produced by
Northpole Music

For KuBeMusic
Lars Kumlin
Jonas Beckman

“Walking on a Wire”
Composed by Ed Harcourt and Scott Shields
Performed by Ed Harcourt
Published by Kid Gloves/Dalmation Songs & BMI/PRS

Developed at the Discovery Campus Masterschool 2008

Funding Provided by
MEDIA Programme of the European Community
Nordisk Film & TV Fund
Piemonte Documentary Film Fund

Commissioning Editor ZDF/ARTE
Martin Pieper

Executive Producer for SVT
Axel Arno

Commissioning Editor VPRO
Barbara Truyen

Executive Producer for BBC
Greg Sanderson

Executive Producers
Jerry Rothwell
Jonny Persey

Men Who Swim was co-produced by AMP Film and Met Film, Ltd.,
in association with BBC Storyville, ZDF/ARTE, SVT, and VPRO.

This program was produced by AMP Film and Met Film, Ltd., who are solely responsible for its content.

©2010 AMP Film and Met Film, Ltd. All rights reserved.

How did you — or will you — handle your mid-life crisis? Did you reinvent yourself, change careers, or pick up a new hobby? Do you think you are more or less self-confident than you were at 20?


  • Silverdocs (AFI Docs) Documentary Festival
    Audience Award
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How did you — or will you — handle your mid-life crisis? Did you reinvent yourself, change careers, or pick up a new hobby? Do you think you are more or less self-confident than you were at 20?