Always Amber

At the age of 17, Amber opted for the gender-neutral Swedish pronoun “hen” and began consulting a therapist specialising in gender identities. “If I lived with my friends on a deserted island where there are no norms, I might not be here,” says Amber. They are part of a new queer generation that confidently demands freedoms and opportunities not offered to them by society.
Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen’s long-term observational documentary spans three years and portrays not only Amber’s transition, but also the friendship with Sebastian. Supporting each other during their transitions, the two are for a long time inseparable. Their friendship breaks apart when they first experience romantic love, yet each remains a presence for the other. The film gives us a glimpse of what it might be like to live on Amber’s utopian island. Possessed of a pop icon-like sense of style, Amber’s social-media-savvy circle of friends celebrates a spectrum of fluid identities and the value of the close ties that can only emerge from this freedom.
by Lia Hietala, Hannah Reinikainen
with Amber Mastracci, Sebastian, Olivera, Alma Mastracci, Luciano Mastracci
Sweden 2020 Swedish, Italian 76’ Colour Documentary form


  • Amber Mastracci
  • Sebastian
  • Olivera
  • Alma Mastracci
  • Luciano Mastracci


Directors Lia Hietala, Hannah Reinikainen
Cinematography Lia Hietala, Sara Thisner Lindstedt
Editing Hannah Reinikainen, Lia Hietala, Anton Hemgren, Charlotte Landelius
Music ShitKid
Sound Design Fredrik Stålne
Sound Hannah Reinikainen, Joel Viksten Abrahamsson, Sigrid Windolf
Assistant Director Neil Wigardt
Producers Göran Hugo Olsson, Melissa Lindgren

Lia Hietala

Born in Stockholm in 1993. For her first short film, If I Say No, she received a scholarship from the Norwegian Nordnorsk film centre. Min Homosyster screened in the 2017 Generation section and won the Teddy Award for Best Short Film. She is a student of fine art at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.

Filmography (short films)

2016 If I Say No · If I Say No; short film 2017 Min Homosyster (My Gay Sister) · Min Homosyster (My Gay Sister); short film, Generation 2020 Always Amber; documentary, Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020

Hannah Reinikainen

Born in Stockholm in 1992, she studied journalism at the city’s university as well as documentary filmmaking at Biskops Arnö Nordens Folkhögskola. As part of her work at the Story production company, she was assistant director and editor on Shapeshifters by Sophie Vuković. She has also directed two short films.


2016 Nybohovsbacken; short documentary 2017 Hon skallar bara dom hon älskar (She Only Beat the Ones She Loves); short film 2020 Always Amber; documentary, Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020