IRON RIVER, Mich. (WJMN) – For film maker Anders Lindwall, there is no place like home.

“To be back here, selfishly I just love to be back in this part of the world,” said Anders Lindwall. “I spend as much time as I possibly can up here. Outside of work and travels, If I have any free little windows I’m back in the ‘Yoop’.”

Lindwall has spent the last three years writing and directing his first feature film, originally titled ‘God Loves the Green Bay Packers.’ The movie is currently in the post production stage. If all goes according to plan, it will be released sometime this year.

“This is a really long-arch learning process,” said Lindwall. “In the history of making movies, if you say it took 3-4 years, that’s not uncommon, so we’re on year three. We’re in the process of sales right now so we’re talking with distributors out in Hollywood and there’s just been a great response. We’ see what happens, this is just like the road without maps right now.”

Lindwall says the inspiration for the film came from real-life experiences.

“Our film is a story about an old dairy farmer from Northern Wisconsin trying to hand on to his family farm,” said Lindwall. “My mom was a diary farmer and grew up on a dairy farm. Just knowing the difficulty that famers life’s have it was something I wanted to share.’

The film, however, goes far beyond that.

“It goes into the values that I was excited about and that really shaped me growing up in the U.P. It’s values of hard work, values of community over your own individual story. It’s the beauty of normal people and how those people are actually changing and shaping the world. It’s not these charismatic figures but maybe these little farmers, these little volunteers throughout our communities, to really pay attention to those.”

On Friday, Lindwall returned home to West Iron County High School as the commencement speaker for this year’s graduating class.

“For me, it’s such an honor,” said Lindwall. “The more I thought about it and started going into the speech, it was quite a sacred thing to do. To share and impart wisdom and do your best to take from your experience and pass it along. So, it’s just been such a joy and such a beautiful experience.”

Lindwall say’s he enjoys coming back and reflecting on his journey. Something he says wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a former teacher at the school.

“One of my high school teachers changed my life,” said Lindwall. “His name is Mr. Rometti and he saw my talent in high school and my interests and really pushed me into it. He would come open the doors for me at the school on the weekend and say, ‘hey, come on in if you want to edit, if you want to work and keep developing this craft and interest. He launched me. My life wouldn’t be the same without him.”

Lindwall’s message to the Wykon class of 2023 can be summed up using three main points.

“Try to understand your gladness,” said Lindwall. “Try to understand what makes you click but go well beyond that to find where’s the world’s need. Usually within that crosshairs of your your dreams, gladness, joy, and the world’s needs that’s the sweet spot to be in. The third one is just use the community around here. These people are here to cheer you on to help make all of those things come true. They want to see you alive and be out there in the world pursing these good and beautiful things.”

It’s a message this year’s senior class will hold close as they venture out to write their own story. For Lindwall, his plan is to continue chasing his passion for creating. 

“The world’s largest movie premiere that’s ever happened was in the Philippines for 43,000 people,” said Lindwall. “Lambeau (field) hosts 80,000 people and my dream is to pack out the stadium for a premiere on this, but we’ll see, we’ll see what happens.”