A Word From the President

Gudrun Giddings

Hej Alla,

Universal Studios Hollywood has certainly made a big deal of the grand opening, “Wizarding World of Harry Potter”, here in Los Angeles. Further down you can read more about how to get your own magic wand making your LA-dreams come true. And for some that dream might include being the recipient of SWEA-LA’s Film Scholarship, who is awarding one filmmaker the prize of $10,000 plus a trip to Los Angeles. Next Thursday, April 14th, you have the opportunity to join SACC-LA member Expert DOJO and famed fitness company Equinox for a sunset yoga followed by cocktails, food and lots of fun.  

We would also like to congratulate the two winners Carina T and Marcus Eliasson, who will together with friends, get to attend the Newport Film Festival later this month. But before that, SACC-LA member The Church of Sweden in LA is hosting an evening on the theme of “Love Cares”. On Tuesday the 19th of April, guest speaker Daniel Mendoza will visit the church and talk about optimism, self-awareness and faith for the future. You can find more information about The Church of Sweden under this week’s “Membership Spotlight” as they also provide lots of different activities each month, and a fabulous choir who is expanding and looking for all of you who like to sing. 

“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.” 
 - A.A. Milne From "Winnie-the-Pooh"


          Happy Friday !!
          Gudrun Giddings
          President of SACC-LA


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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Photo Courtesy of Universal Studios 
Magic comes to life this week at the Universal Studios Hollywood as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has finally opened! After two and a half years of construction, the gates to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts opened up to the public on Thursday April 7th. Many enthusiastic Harry Potter fans had been standing in line for hours. The first people in the line arrived as early as 9 a.m on the day before the opening.

Earlier this week, a celebratory red carpet event took place at Universal Studios. The celebrations had lots of stars in attendance, including acclaimed director Steven Spielberg and many actors from the “Harry Potter” movie franchise, fireworks and a performance by the L.A. Philharmonic. 

Watch the clip below to get a glimpse of what the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer!
Inside look at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter coming to Universal Studios Hollywood
Click on the image to watch the clip. 
Video Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood 
L.A. Times has documented the opening day of the Wizarding World, including the celebrations on Tuesday. Click here to see the live updates from visitors and staff at Universal.
Visit Universal Studios Hollywood's
website for more information about the Wizarding World.

Sunset Yoga at Expert DOJO with EQUINOX

Photo Credit: SACC-LA
SACC-LA member Expert Dojo invites you and a friend to Equinox Member Night @ Expert Dojo! A prime real estate space for entrepreneurs. Learn about their mentor program and mingle the night away. The day of the event is Thursday April 14th, and it starts with Sunset Yoga at 5:30pm with Elise Joan on their outdoor patio and is followed by cocktails, food and fun!
Please visit Expert Dojo's website for more information about the event and how to RSVP. 

Thumbs Up for Schwedenland

Photo Courtesy of 
It's not very uncommon the Swedes and Sweden gets mixed up with Switzerland (and perhaps the other way around too). To make things easier for everybody, SACC-LA sponsor Swedish Institute went out saying that Sweden and Switzerland will become one country, called Swedenland. This was of course an April Fool's joke, but a highly appreciated one. It quickly spread across social media by people relating to the mix up and many newspapers in Switzerland picked up on the joke and took it even further.  
Find more about Swedenland in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Winners of Newport Beach Festival Tickets

CONGRATULATIONS to Marcus Eliasson and Carina T who answered the following question correctly: "In which summer 2016 blockbuster feature film will Swedish actor Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd play the lead role?", and the correct answer is "The Legend of Tarzan"! 
Thanks everyone who participated and we wish Marcus and Carina and their plus one's an amazing time at the Newport Beach Film Festival! 
Also, all SACC-LA members get a discount code that applies to Film and Party Only and has no limits on purchase. SACC-LA will send out the code exclusively to members shortly. 
Photo Credit: Newport Beach Film Festival

Screening of the Award Winning Movie "The Girl who Saved my Life" at NBFF!

The movie "The Girl who Saved my Life" will be shown for the second time ever at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It tells the story of a brave documentarian who is leaving his wife in Sweden and returns to his homeland of Iraqi Kurdistan to document the refugees of war, who are fleeing from the Islamic State. Due to an encountering with an eleven year old girl on his journey and therefore missing an outbound flight by stopping to help her, his life is inadvertently spared as the helicopter he was meant to be on crashes. While chronicling his own journey to find the girl that saved his life, his story also paints a portrait of the women, children and men whose lives have been torn apart by the terrors of the Islamic State.

During the festival, the movie will be shown on Wednesday, April 27th at 5:30 pm at Edwards Big Newport in Newport Beach. You can watch the trailer below. 

Click on the image to watch the trailer.
Video Credit: Lolav Media

Swedish Running Club

Many of the runners in the Hello Stranger! project come from war-ravaged North Africa or Middle East.
Photo Credit: Johannes Poignant/
Hello Stranger! ("Hej Främling!" in Swedish), is a non-profit organisation that started to help refugees build new lives and integrate with the local community by organizing regular runs. This innovative charity organization started in 2013 in Östersund in northern Sweden by Emma Arnesson and Anne Lundberg. They first began volunteering to help asylum-seekers from North Africa and the Middle East whose desperate bid to escape conflict.

“As well as helping out, Emma and Anne began teaching the men, women and children based at the camp a little of what they know – namely, winter sports,” says project leader Martin Machnow.

On hearing about the project, Machnow, an outdoor sports enthusiast, and his friend and renowned Swedish trail runner Christine Hagglund, contacted Arnesson to offer help with a summer running club. “During the spring and summer it is running – but we also host plenty of other sports for all-comers, including football, dance, yoga, climbing and hiking,” says Machnow.

Hello Stranger! organizes sports and activities at the camp accommodation one or two nights a week, all year round. They collect and distribute donated sports gear and clothing and run the groups. All training sessions are free and open to anyone who wants to join – they’re not only for asylum-seekers.

Read more about this in The Guardian

Apply for SWEA's Film Scholarship 2017

Ninja Thyberg receives SWEA's 2016 Film Scholarship. 
Photo Credit: Mathilda Tennysdotter
SACC-LA sponsor SWEA Los Angeles is looking for new candidates for their 10th Annual Film Scholarship for 2017. Since it's the 10th anniversary for the scholarship, it's been raised from $7500 to $10.000, including roundtrip tickets to Los Angeles.

The grant purpose is to support a Swedish filmmaker, man or woman based in Sweden, that for three months wishes to practicipate and develop existing skills in a new environment and new circumstances in the entertainment capital of the world; Los Angeles.

For more information about the Scholarship, visit their webpage

Five Hot Scandinavian Designers

Holger Bags.
Photo Credit: Sandra Myhrberg
Scandinavia is famous for its design and designers, and this for good reason. The next generation of designers and design houses are making sure the image will hold even in the future. In SACC-LA member SAS' online magazine "Scandinavian Traveler", you can read about five Scandinavian designers to keep an eye on. 
Read full article in Scandinavian Traveler here

What to do in Los Angeles in April

Picture Credit:
April is here, and LAist has once again collected a bunch of happenings and tips on exciting stuff to do in Los Angeles during the month. Amongst other events, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival is taking over the desert for two weekends this month (April 15-17 and April 22-24), with Guns N' Roses and the reuniting of LCD Soundsystem as headliners.

Check out LAist's ultimate guide to April here

Nine Odd Swedish Eating Habits

A school dinner of milk and pea soup.
Photo Credit: Susanne Walström/
Have you ever heard of, or better yet tasted, such a thing as soup made out of rose hip? Did you ever think that you're the only one putting ketchup on pasta and actually believing it to be a better dish because of it? Well, you're definitely not alone! Both the above may seem a little bit strange to most people, but they are actually quite common in Sweden. The Local has put together a list of bizarre Swedish eating habits, which might be puzzling for foreigners but are as natural to a Swede as snowfall in wintertime.
Check out the list here!

A Story of How a Stranger Can Change Your Life

Photo Credit: Gloria Steinem Papers, Sophia Smith Collection
In 1963, Gloria Steinem was making a living as a freelance journalist, writing style pieces and profiles of celebrities, when she heard that Martin Luther King Jr. was leading a march on Washington. This was the iconic and massive campaign for jobs, justice, new legislation, and federal protection for civil rights marchers who were being beaten, jailed, and sometimes murdered in the South, all with police collusion. On, Gloria Steinem tells her amazing and inspiring story from that particular day in 1963, that would change the way she lived her life.

"On that hot August day, I was just one person being carried slowly along in a sea of humanity. I washed up next to "Mrs. Greene with an e," an older, plump woman wearing a straw hat who was marching with her grown-up, elegant daughter. As Mrs. Greene explained, she had worked in Washington during the Truman administration, in the same big room as white clerks, yet she had been segregated behind a screen. She hadn't been able to protest then, so she was protesting now."  The conversation that followed with Mrs. Greene would change Gloria's life forever.
In the mass of people, Mrs. Greene and Gloria eventually got separated. Gloria used her press credentials to climb the steps, hoping to see Mrs. Greene and her daughter. But instead, she saw a vista she'll never forget. "Stretching over the expanse of green, past the reflecting pool, past the Washington Monument, all the way to the Capitol, were a quarter of a million people. They looked calm, peaceful, not even pressing to come closer to the speakers, as if each individual felt responsible for proving that the fears of violence were wrong. We were like a nation within a nation. I thought: I wouldn't be anywhere else on this earth. "
Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Read the full story of how a stranger changed Glorias life here

Largest Flea Market in Los Angeles

Photo Credit:
Welcome to the world’s most unusual flea market, R.G. Canning flea market! Featuring over 2,500 vendors and 20,000 buyers each month, the Flea Market is celebrating over 45 years of continued success at the world famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California this Sunday April 10th.

Read more here.
For well over sixty years, the Church of Sweden has been present in Southern California. Here in Los Angeles, the Church rent space from the Norwegian Seaman's Church, located in San Pedro with an amazing view of the port of Los Angeles.

The Church of Sweden in Los Angeles strives to provide a meeting place and a community - a home away from home - for the many Swedes in the area, as well as to all those interested in sharing Swedish culture and traditions.  

In the picture to the left is The Norwegian Seaman's Church
Picture Credit: Church of Sweden Los Angeles

Swedish services are held on the first Sunday and third Wednesday of every month. Other activities include Sunday school, playtime for children, movie nights, informal get togethers and much more. The church choir is growing and evolving, please don't hesitate to contact music director Mikael Sandgren if you love to sing and would like to give the choir a try. 
Photo Credit: Church of Sweden
On April 19th, The Swedish author Daniel Mendoza is visiting the church for an evening on the theme of "Love Cares", an inspiring lecture on constructive engagement, awareness of optimism and to follow your heart. The lecture will be held in Swedish. 

Daniel was born in Uruguay and after a year of life on the run, he finally ended up in Sweden. Despite a dark and extremely violent childhood, he never gave up faith in the future and love. In 2010, after his studies at the Stockholm School of Economics and nearly ten years in the financial sector, he jumped off the carousel and founded the magazine Good News magazine to spread optimism and faith for the future. 

Starting from their own history and their own journey like Daniel, inspires and provides insights you can take with you, which will last for a long time, perhaps for life. The lecture sense to create insights that brings awareness, awareness that we as individuals can influence. That gives optimism.
Daniel Mendoza.
Photo Credit: Pernilla Danielsson/
For more information about the lecture with Daniel Mendoza, click here
For more information about the Swedish Church in Los Angeles, visit their

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The 20 Happiest Cities to Work in

9 Animals that Pranked Humans

Photo Credit: Henrik Trygg/
Photo Credit: wipandco/youtube
To determine the happiest places to work, CareerBliss looked at eight key factors that can influence an employee's contentment, including work-life balance, an employee’s relationship with his or her boss and co-workers, general work environment, compensation, opportunities for advancement, company culture, and resources.

You might have gotten fooled last week by a friend on April Fools, but have you ever been fooled by an animal? Here are nine animals that got humans to not underestimate the intelligence in these amazing creatures. The list includes a panda pretending to be pregnant in order to receive treats and a golden retriver plays dead so he can stay in the park.

See more

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- Matchmaking opportunities
- Discounted deals for members
- Consulting service(s) and market research

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SACC-LA is a non-profit organization that enables innovative and creative exchange in order to create business opportunities and enhance trade between Swedish and American companies.  The Los Angeles chamber is one of 20 regional chambers in the United States and was established in 1988.  With 25 years of experience SACC-LA is skilled in navigating this hotbed for entertainment, creativity and innovation.
Copyright © 2016 The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, All rights reserved.

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