Film

Berlinale – awards & photo competition

 

The last couple of days of the festival went quickly by. I wanted to try as many venues
as possible, to try to enrich my theater experience as well as wander around various neighborhoods, with my Berlinale bag on my shoulder.

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Filmstill from: Child’s Pose

Saturday

I decided to watch the award ceremony on a big screen outside the Sony Center, in the square where Cinestar theater, one of the venues of the festival. I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to see many of them during the festival, but I really enjoyed watching this outdoor screening, even though the screen itself was a little to pixlated for my taste. The Golden Bear (Berlinale main prize) was awarded to Calin Peter Netzer’s Romanian drama Child’s Pose a film about a egocentric mother struggling to save her lost son.

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The Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear award was awarded to Danis Tanovic’s Bosnian film, An Episode in the Live of an Iron Picker  (2013).

The Silver Bear for best director was awarded to American David Gordon Green, the director of Prince Avalanche, which is an American remake of the Icelandic film Either Way (Á annan veg) by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. The Original was much better in my opinion, portraying characthers and atmosphere that will live for a long time in my film- memory.

 

Filmstill from: Prince Avalanche

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Filmstill from: Closed Curtain

The best Screenplay was awarded with the Silver Bear, the Iranian film Closed Curtain by Jafar Panahi (2013).

The Panorama Audience Award went to narrative feature by Felix van Groeningen –  The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012), and documentary by Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing (2012). In the Panorama category on this years Berlinale, there were 52 productions from 33 countries.

The members of the 2013 International Jury were: Wong Kar Wai (President), Susanne Bier, Tim Robbins, Shirin Neshat, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Andreas Dresen and Ellen Kuras.

 

Sunday

I decided to attend a photo exhibition “Close up” whereas fourteen young photographers showcased their result, after they had been given the task of  presenting their personal view of the 63rd Berlinale in all its diversity—the red carpet, glamorous film stars, audience impressions, and various other things. With a special accreditation, the participants had the opportunity to try out their skills as professional photojournalists every day from 7th to 17th February 2013 at the Red Carpet and at a variety of special events. I had a great time, sneaking a camera out of my pocket taking photos of the guests. This was a fun ending to my great Berlinale experience, I am defiantly going again next year. Viva la Berlinale!

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And Yes. I am going to watch An Episode in the Live of an Iron Picker as soon as I get the chance to. I am so excited about that title.

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Words: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photos: Ása Baldursdóttir and Veera Pitkanen

Berlinale film reviews part II

 

Berlinale. As the days passed by, I had problems choosing what screenings to attend. I decided to go with my gut feeling as did my selection depend on how early I was able to get tickets for each day. I wanted to write reviews on some of the highlights of my selection, part II.

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The Weight of Elephants directed by Daniel Joseph Borgman (2013) featuring Demos Murphy,
Angelina Cottrell, Matthew Sunderland
and Catherine Wilkin.

This highly poetic, sensitive film from New Zealand, about a lonely boy came out with a bang, featuring child actors that played their parts with high emotional excellency. The cinematography of the film echoed the vulnerability those years when you are developing from a child to a teenager. 11 year old Adrian (Demos Murphy) has been abandoned by his mother, and lives with his grandmother and manic depressive uncle in a small town, New Zealand. He is bullied at school, but finds peace in wandering about his neighborhood surroundings, interacting with three young siblings that the audience is not quite sure on if they are real or characters made up by his “state of mind” mechanism for survival. The film delivers this feeling of restlessness and uncertainty, the thoughts of a young soul with a warm melancholic cinema experience, that is visually intriguing.

The director Daniel Borgman attended Berlinale with his two young stars, Demos Murphy (12) and Angelina Cottrell (11), whereas the Q&A became very interesting to the audience for they could ask about the casting process and their experience on acting. It was especially interesting to hear young Demos describe his own life, that he had to dig deep to play the role of a sad boy, being a well situated child in life himself. Those who are familiar with the Scandinavian emptiness element in films, should not miss out on this marvelous debut of New Zealander Borgman.

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Powerless a documentary by Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar (2013).

This “on the street” documentary from Kanpur, India (also once known as the Manchester of the East), the fight for electricity is an ongoing battle, but it is stated in the film that around 400,000 are without viable electricity, so nonlegal activity is the answer to the need in hand. The main character portrayed in the film, has a profession on practising pole climping and illegal plugging cables together, being paid by the poor public in need. The CEO of the local power company KESCO is a strong female character in the film, showing the other end of the spectrum, on how difficult it is to run a profitable company in such conditions where unpaid electricity bills are causing troubles for the business as well as the illegal usage from cables in the city.

The film is a prominent attempt to showcase both sides of the coin, the electricity providers difficulties and the public’s need, in a situation where neither side is willing to compromise. The blackouts that are talked about in the film, underline these issues of conflict in a literal way. The Q&A after the film was very interesting, especially when we the audience were told, that the film would be screened in Kanpur soon, in an open air screening for the public. This documentary was worth the while, and I recommend it highly.

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Tokyo Family directed byYoji Yamada (2012) featuring Isao Hashizume, Kazuko Yoshiyuki,
Satoshi Tsumabuki, Yu Aoi
and Masahiko Nishimura.

In this great remake of Yazujirō Ozu’s Tōkyō monogatari, director Yamada prepares this story in an identical way, an old couple from rural Japan travels to Tokyo to visit their children, which all live a busy lifestyle and the couple are thrown around apartments, ending up in a Hotel. Modernity is very well placed in the film, cell phones, fast talking, GPS technology and current events like the Fukushima earthquake all lead us to adaptation blending in with the new era. The film is hilarious as before, and a great attempt to modernize a masterpiece. But as they sometimes say, the original was better. I can agree on that, but still I would recommend this film for being a great comedy about family bonds, character creation and silly little habits.

 

Thats all for now folks. More to come later!

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Words: Ása Baldursdóttir

 

Berlinale film reviews part I


Berlinale. Where to start my reviewing, where there was a pool of films to choose from? I wanted to mention few titles, that struck me the most the first couple of days of the festival, attempting to point out the highlights of the film I watched.

Side Effects

Side Effects – directed by Steven Soderbergh (2013), featuring Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta Jones and Channing Tatum.

Side Effects is a thriller with a twist, about relationships, depression, treatments and pills. Being a film in competition on this years Berlinale, I had sort of curious nose when I read the synopsis for the first time. Emily (Rooney Mara) is a young and depressed poetic character, who tries to kill herself after her husbands return from jail. After the suicide attempt, she is ordered to see a psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), that prescribes her with anti depressants pills. Emily is restlessly seeking for mental health, and asks for a new drug, Ablixa, after she hears that would make things better. Emily´s husband is found dead in their apartment, while she claims not to remember anything.

The film gives away numerous clues on the twists that are upon us, the character creation is splendid as is the directors strong vision, portrayed in this moody, atmospheric film. It is always refreshing to experience actors that you find familiar, for example Jude Law, in very believable situations. The film is also a commentator on the society that we live in, on the capitalistic way of medical drug usage, for healing problems that maybe never existed.

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Salma – A documentary by Kim Longinotto (2013)

In the documentary Salma, a muslim woman who writes poetry in her fight for freedom in southern India, is portrayed in a very intimate way. In her society, girls that reach puberty are married, in arrangement that their families make. Salma refuses to do so for nine long years, and is locked away until she agrees on doing so. She starts to write poetry, that is published and as following she turns to political life alongside with her husband at first, fighting for freedom and independence.

This honest portrait of this adventurous life of Salma, reminds me on how life is, and how this struggle to change habits of other cultural areas through the medium of filmmaking is sometimes the strongest through the power of film. As a huge fan of Kim´s Longinotto films, I would recommend Salma highly for the importance of these stories she captures to be told to the outside world.

We were so fortunate to meet Salma herself after the screening, where she appeared for the Q&A. Sometimes it was hilarious to hear a question from the audience in German, that the host had to translate to English for Salma´s Indian translator. We found it very rewarding to meet Salma in person, without Longinotto´s presence that mirrored the exact same element as in the film itself.

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Lovelace - directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (2012), featuring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Juno Temple and James Franco.

The film was a part of Berliinale´s Panorama Special category, a fictional film about Linda Lovelace, who was a pornographic icon from the 70ts for her role in the adult movie Deep Throat. The film showcases this world that Linda entered in her time, being a filmstar in one second after her short lived carrier in the porno industry. Several years later, Linda shattered peoples ideas about her as an actress, when she published her autobiography Ordeal, where she described abusive and violent marriage to her manager Chuck.

The film is very believable for its film setting and costumes. There is a glamourous tone portrayed throughout the film, the characters are playfully set up to comment on this reality of the 70s porn industry. The film was maybe too American for my personal taste, but all in all it was a good and entertaining film never the less. But it fell short in comparison to what the potential of this material had to offer in my opinion, even though the family of Linda, that now rests in piece, was happy about the outcome the filmmakers said.

In the coming days I will follow up on Berlinale, with more reviews and more experienced filled posts as I ponder upon the topics and visuals I want to put out there. I am now soon off to Iceland again, but stay tuned!

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Words & photo: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photos of Salma: Veera Pitkanen


Berlinale – the fiesta of films

 

My first Berlinale. Finally. I have been daydreaming about going to Berlinale for years.
I realized that the schedule is massive and that one has to be super organized in order
to survive this jungle of fantastic films and events.

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I started out by wandering around the European Film Market, finally signing up for a panel about the economic situation across Europe, and how its affecting film production, sales and distribution. Representatives from Germany, UK and Spain sat the panel to discuss these topics, and it was really interesting for me, as I have sat several panels about these kinds of issues before, where people just rant on about obvious facts, and nobody wants to jump into the deep end of the pool, being afraid to represent their company in a disorted way.

I managed to agree with all of them in some ways, having a blast listening to their frank outtakes about the situation. One things is for sure, I am even stronger in my opinion on being against piracy for example than I was before. Filmmaking deserves more than that. And we, who work with film, want to strengthen the movie theater experience and we want to build audiences.

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Even though my first two days were about meeting people, getting lost in trains, and seeing some films at Berlinale, I think the queer short film program stood out for me, content wise. The short film Ta av mig / Undress me directed by Victor Lindgren (Sweden 2013) was inspirational and honest, funny, witty and modern. How does it feel to hook up with a transgender woman? That´s what I felt like watching the film, and it was confusing, for sure.

Another film from the same program, When I was a boy, I was a girl directed by Ivana Todorovic (Serbia 2013)
was really great as well, showing the family life of a transvestite in Serbia. It was hillarous and realistic in so many ways, so I highly recommend the film.

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I will be taking on reviews in my coming posts, about films seen at Berlinale, both documentaries and fictional films.

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Words & Photos: Ása Baldursdóttir

XL

XL is a feature film by Marteinn Thorsson that premieres in theathers on Januar 18th in Iceland. The film portrays an alcoholic slob, Leifur, who is also a high profile politician and parliamentarian that is forced to rehab by his co-workers. Leifur decides to throw a final party before going away to rehab, which turns out to be a night to remember. We wanted to hear more about the film, so we paid the director a short visit, a few minutes before the premiere.

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Where did you get the idea of telling a story about an alcoholic parliamentarian? Is it maybe a metaphor for the financial crash here in Iceland?

Ólafur Darri and Elma Lísa (Icelandic actors) came to me when we were shooting Rokland and said they wanted to make a film about alcoholism but I didn’t get around to writing anything until November 2011.Then my wonderful co-writer, Gudmundur Óskarsson, took my first draft and made a decent script out of it and we began shooting in February of last year, so it was a pretty quick process once we got around to it. Making the main character an MP was a very calculated thing to do because it does give us the opportunity to use him and his world as a metaphor for corruption and breakdown of ethics on a grand scale, there is something rotten in the State of Iceland. It is still a very personal story though.

You have worked with Ólafur Darri (Leifur), the main character before. Why did you choose him for this role?

We just have this great chemistry, I think. It’s very easy to work with him, he is such a professional and obsessed with details in the same way I am. He is also the type of actor who can transform himself very easily into almost anything and he brings a charisma and likeability that is absolutely necessary for a character like Leifur (who is a total asshole).

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There are very strong visuals in the film that portray this state of losing control, where the line of reality of everyday life and the drunken state is blurred. Was it your intention to make the audience feel like they were Leifur, to make them feel what he is feeling?

Yes! I think it even came before I wrote the script. I wanted to take the audience inside Leifur’s head and make a film pretty much from his point of view. I wanted to say: “this is what an alcoholic feels like when he’s drinking”. It’s risky because the audience can refuse to get on this ride and then the film won’t work for them but if they do, it’s one hell of a ride and you taste the truth of what alcoholism is like. This is true for both the camera style and the editing since the film progresses in a very disjointed manner, exactly like time passes for someone under the influence.

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Is the music in the film mainly Icelandic? I noticed the song “Góða tungl” by Samaris, how was that chosen for the film?

The music is in the film is all Icelandic. I work very much from a musical standpoint when I do a film. Also, the music came even before the script as I am always trying to discover new music. I had heard a track by Anna Thorvaldsdottir somewhere and I found her album, Rhizoma, on the web and bought it and I listened to it when we were working on the second draft of the script and her music was speaking to me in the way I wanted the film to speak so I contacted her and she agreed to do the score. I am so lucky, she’s such a great artist. Last year she was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize for her work “Dreaming” , which is a great honour (Björk got it a few years back).

“to have Samaris portray the softer/warmer/tender sides of Leifur’s character and Anna to do amore sinister/dangerous side”

Then there was Samaris. I heard a song on Viðsjá (RUV Radio 1 program) and I bought their album and I felt they were such a great contrast to Anna. I thought how great it would be to have elements of both, to have Samaris portray the softer/warmer/tender sides of Leifur’s character and Anna to do amore sinister/dangerous side and luckily Samaris was also willing to participate. I feel very fortunate they were willing to be on board. At such a young age, they have quite a brilliant and unique sound, they’re going places. Then there are other songs by the MA quartet, representing Leifur’s conservative past and connections with “old money” as well as other songs representing other themes and ideas.

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The trailer has English subtitles; will the film be screened with subtitles?

Sambioin are distributing the film in Iceland on January 18th and I hope they will allow us to screen it in Bio Paradis with English subtitles no later than a week after the premiere but it will definitely end up there.

links:

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facebook.com/xlmovie
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soundcloud.com/samaris
facebook.com/samarisss
youtube.com/trailer

Interview: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photos: Nanna Dís


RIFF 2012 – Italy, Love it or Leave it


Italy – Love it or Leave it was one of the documentary highlights at this year´s RIFF. One of the films´s director Luca Ragazzi, visited Reykjavík and did Q&A´s with audiences. The other director of the documentary and Ragazzi´s partner, Gustav Hofer, did however not make it to Iceland this time around since he was busy promoting their film at another film festival. In collaboration with Docs & Film Festivals we interviewed director Luca Ragazzi at RIFF. Enjoy!

The documentary is in a way a travel story where the two directors travel around Italy to come to a conclusion if they should continue to live in Italy or leave it. Gustav wants to move to Berlin and Luca needs to convince him that Italy is worth living in. They set on a six month journey in an old Fiat 500. They meet a lot of people along the way who may or may not help them make up their minds about Italy.

Italy – Love it or Leave it has had great film festival success, being screened at more than 75 film festivals around the world – and still counting. Luca and Gustav are not unfamiliar with traveling to film festivals with documentaries, but their previous documentary Suddenly, Last Winter (2008) is a multi award-winning documentary about civil rights for same-sex couples in Italy, what also had a great film festival success.



Luca Ragazzi & Brynja Dögg

Italy – Love it or Leave it has also been recently been released theatrically (or soon to be) in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada.

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Text / interview / editing: Brynja Dögg Friðriksdóttir
Photos / camera: Nanna Dís


Klapp

We dropped by Klapp office, a film production organization with the objective of contributing to the Icelandic film scene, the other day. Klapp produces and co- produces films and projects of audio-visual kind, the group’s manifesto notes that its founders want to create a platform for talents in the film community by hosting creative workshops and cultivating an atmosphere of ambition and co-operation. Filmmakers Arnar Sigurðsson, Heimir Freyr Hlöðversson and Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttir met with us for coffee and to chat about their operation.

How did this project come about, and where did you meet?

Arnar: Well, me and Heimir met in Madrid I even played in some of his short films, at the time he was studying filmmaking. Ragnhildur and I have known each other from the beginning of time, and they met through me. We decided on Klapp actually in a café here in Reykjavík when we were discussing the need for this kind of a film community organization. Built on our experience on doing things, we wanted to form a scene for enthusiastic and passionate filmmakers, an environment where you are not judged only on how long your CV is.

Ragnhildur: We decided right away, that we wanted to run this on equality based ground, so people would not be hesitant to approach us. We want to welcome all that have ambitious heart for filmmaking.

When did you start out, and how many of you are participating in this project?

Arnar: We have been running this project for two years; the three of us are the founders of Klapp, and are working on the project all year round. Other participants are around thirty-forty people that have been involved in one of the projects, some only once but others long-term, which we think is great.

Heimir: Sometimes we offer workshops or script meetings, and then more people are involved, we are always trying to develop Klapp to a more concrete form.

Ragnhildur: Well, we have done projects that are very concrete and organized. For example the Guerrilla film campaign, were we had workshops for filmmakers under 35. We assisted them in the film production, provided them with scripts and acting workshops and so forth. This workshop was also a great platform for people to form connections or network, both amongst the group and with other filmmakers. We offered various kinds of activities for those who participated in the project, script workshops, acting workshop and a technical weekends where we covered a lot of stuff, for example lights, the camera, sound etc. so they could experiment with these things afterwards also. This was actually our first large project at Klapp, and we had ten young filmmakers working on their films, which were screened in Bíó Paradís at the end of the project. Many of them have since then, been very active in creating films.

Arnar: It is not about us teaching filmmaking, it’s more about creating this environment for people to learn from each other, with support from us. What can I tell you, there is a group of young filmmakers working on an application now on a very ambitious film project, and they all met originally in Klapp. Their group is a Klapp offspring actually, and we will be their sponsors in this upcoming project. This is an example that we hope to be the future for many that participate in Klapp, that there will be groups like this forming, and that they will develop in some kind of scenes.

What about the daily life at Klapp, how does it work?

Arnar: Well, for example, we decided to lend our equipment to some guys that were shooting a short film last summer. They were so grateful, that they called us up afterwards and wanted to lend us tracks, which we could use in a project that another guy that has been around Knapp needed at one point in his film production. He was so happy, that he decided to build a “dolly” for the tracks for us to use in the organization. This story sums up, what Klapp is really all about.

We are trying to create a place for collaboration and consensus for filmmakers in Iceland. How can I explain our organization, more clearly … we are not a high-end film production company where things are carved in to stone, but we are not a private group of people that know each other, doing exclusive projects. We are trying to take elements from both worlds, we want to be very ambitious and professional but also focused on the consensus atmosphere.

We help people that have passion for filmmaking and we are always willing to meet new people and discuss their projects. The Klapp community is also building slowly but surely, and that is a very rewarding for us to experience.

What can you tell me about the script workshops?

Arnar: We have been hosting all kinds of workshops, including script workshops. We had a talented guy the other day to host a workshop in frame composition, where people could discuss and look at different frame styles and methods in film making. So the community is growing because of those workshops.

Ragnhildur: The people that have participated in Klapp are serious about what they want to do, and this is the thing about filmmaking in general, you can’t do it all on your own. Its not just about the equipment, for example the art of making a good script, it takes a lot of time and thought, which is necessary to get feedback on. It´s also important to go on set and work with people that know and understand your idea, at least a little bit, it’s a whole other deal than just to call somebody the same day and ask for help. That’s the whole idea about Klapp, we want to create this community of people that can work together in filmmaking.

So, is this community only for people that want to make films or is it also for people in other artistic fields?

Arnar: I think Klapp is perfect for people that are doing independent projects, or are working in other artistic fields, where they don’t have the opportunity to access filmmaking per se. The form is very open and we do not have opinions on the subjects or anything like that. This medium is about people working together so Klapp is a good place to start.

Heimir: Yes, it is very important for the process of for example script making. I think a good story, or a good script is always the most important thing. The artistic development and communication between people is something that you can always evolve further as a filmmaker.

How do you finance the organization, how do you run Klapp?

Arnar: It would be great if we could apply for more grants and such, but that takes time. This is not our main profession, to be working full time on organizing Klapp, but we enjoy it very much. We celebrate if the projects get financed in any way, or if people get paid for what they are doing. We of course want to take this to a higher level, but this is an art form and people are usually involved in filmmaking because of passion. The dream is actually to have ongoing workshops all year round, which of course would be great in the future. We own all the equipment, we look at it as an investment in Klapp and we trust the people that are working with us on projects to respect that investment. People are very willing to participate in this ideology, sometimes this is the other way around, and they lend others in Klapp things.

Ragnhildur: We always saw this as a platform for growth, that something takes firstly place here at Klapp, and then people would evolve their connections to do larger projects later on, maybe even feature films. If some project started in Klapp would then get more partners involved and end up as a full-length film.


Is there a project that started in Klapp, and has grown in to a full feature project?

Arnar: The project I am personally working on right now, an Icelandic Bollywood version of Fjalla-Eyvindur, started in a script workshop here at Klapp. website

Ragnhildur: We also can mention the short film Disappear that was originally written for one of our workshops, and evolved into a full-blown project later on. The short is directed by Heimir and shot and produced by Arnar. That project was made possible with the contributions from a number of talented and enthusiastic professionals. website

What are Klapp´s current projects, what lies ahead?

Arnar: We are working in the grassroots at the moment; we are making low budget projects, creating a field of contact platform, experimenting and things like that. We of course want people to approach us, we want people to engage in the organization and come forward with their ideas. We really don’t know what the form of Klapp is yet, we are figuring out what we are exactly. So until that is formed in to more fastened base, everybody is welcome to contact us.

From the start until now, we have been involved in around 19 short films and we are always seeing the name of Klapp in credits etc. We are and will be a cross-over of being a production organization, art collective and group of filmmakers. We are investing in this community, with our projects and that we think is very exciting for us.


We had a great time visiting the Klapp headquarters, with a burning entrepreneur feeling in our hearts, thinking about all the people that have started out in Klapp and what the future holds for this organization. We said our goodbyes to the clan of Klapp, wishing them a bright future.

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Interview: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís

Reykjavík Shorts&Docs festival 2012 – #The price of sex: a documentary

The Reykjavík Shorts&Docs festival finished of with a bang last weekend, for now at least, the plan is to hit the road again to rural areas this summer. The film Price of Sex was screened on the festival in the beginning of May, a documentary about young Eastern European women that have been drawn in to sex trafficking and abuse. Photojournalist and filmmaker Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, tells the story through a personal investigative journey, going partly undercover in the filming process.

After the screening, there was a panel discussion, led by the journalist Jóhannes Kr. Kristjánsson, about these issues. One of the participants in the panel, Steinunn Gyðu- og Guðjónsdóttir, the project manager in Kristínarhús which is a shelter for women victims out of prostitution and/or human trafficking, sat down with us for a quick interview.

How did this come about, that the Shorts&Docs contacted you for the panel?

Because the Shorts&Docs festival was focusing on female filmmakers and women s issues this year they sought after partnerships with NGOs that work in this field. So they contacted us at Stigamot to co-host this screening and panel which of course we were happy to do, to put focus on these issues that often do not get too much attention. I was also asked to point out candidates for the panel, and I think it was very interesting to have a representative from the police and the ministry of interior.

How do you feel that the film medium is suitable for subjects like this?

This medium is very suitable, for many reasons. The audience get to see the women tell their stories about them being victims of sex trafficking and prostitutions. You never fully understand this reality of these women, unless you get to hear them talk about this in person. But the downside is maybe that this is a visual medium, and women have to be brave to step in front of the camera to tell their story. There are many women that choose to speak in other non visual mediums, or to be blurred out completely if they agree on being filmed.

What can you tell me about this film, The price of sex?

The filmmaker obviously had worked very hard on the film itself. She describes the distress of these women very well, that they come from poor countries, which makes them easy victims for those who are behind human trafficking. The movie is about this distress both when the women are in these situations and the aftermath, because when they are free, this is not at all over, and the recovery process is very complex and difficult.

I think it’s very brave for this filmmaker to manage to get interviews with people involved in soliciting prostitution and pimps. I think that is a very good standpoint to take, because this is not a problem that exists in some kind of a vacuum, there are actual persons behind this demand side of the matter that keep maintaining these human rights violations.

What is your opinion about the filmmaker, did you feel her presence in the film?

Yes, absolutely, she is from Bulgaria and her voice as an author shines very strongly throughout the film. She is of course not just a filmmaker, she is an activist and a photojournalist so she approaches the subject in various ways. She has a webpage for the film: priceofsex.org

Finally, what do you want people to notice the most, if they are going to see this film?

Well, I think the main message is that prostitution is sprung from distress, I think we could stop discussing the myth about the happy prostitute and free will, It is not choice and never will be.

 

We thank Steinunn for takting the time to talk with us, and wish her the best in her profession at Kristínarhús.

Interview: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís