The Future Frames programme is introducing the future of European filmmaking part of the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. We created a series of interviews with the 10 choosen talents, here’s Halfdan Tøndel from Norway, the director of the short film Bird Hearts.
How does it feel to be choosen into the Future Frames programme?
It´s a great honor to be able to show Bird Hearts in such an important and lauded festival, with such great traditions. My photographer, producer, editor and sound designer will join me in Karlovy Vary, and I hope that someone will grab me or them by the shoulder and say:”Good job!» I also look forward to meeting the other participants and to see their films, and in general to be part of the festival.
How would you describe your short film in one sentence? What does it mean to you?
Bird Hearts is a film about gender roles and jealousy, sex and family – and the tricky power of the stories lovers tell. In total I’ve been working on this film for almost a year, and I always need to write about things that I can relate to on a daily basis, but then it gets very personal – and that is 99% good and 1% bad.
What’s the first line in the film? What or who are we seeing in the opening scene? What are the colors? The sounds?
The first written line in the film is “Take her with you” – but the first thing being said is something like “his fucking face”, and it´s actually me saying it! The first scene is two birds in a lonely road who almost get hit by a bus – then we cut into the bus and we see our two main characters. It’s a chaotic night bus with a lot of drunk people, its extremely noisy and it stinks of alcohol, sweat and cigarettes.
How was the circumstances of the shooting?
We had 10 shooting days, and it was pretty intense. There was a lot of difficult arrangements for the cinematographer, sound guys and the actors, but after a few days we got into a good routine and things went smooth. We had quite a few naked scenes and sex scenes which we shot the first week. This could of course be a problem sometimes, but the actors were very brave, and we were fortunately able to create a safe environment for them. That was important for me in the pre -production period, and was something we practiced on.
What do you expect from the Future Frames programme?
The programme looks fantastic actually. There will be no rest, but that is good. I expect it to be inspiring and a very good experience.
How is the situation of short film in your country?
Short film is good in Norway. Since its quite difficult to get funding for features there is a lot of good reasons to make shorts instead . There is a prestigious short film festival in Grimstad, and in general many possibilities for filmmakers to show their short films to the public.
Will you keep on making short films in the future, even after graduation?
I still have a couple of short films in me, and planning to shoot one of them this year. I´ also working on a feature script, and hope of course to realise this project in a couple of years. Its exciting times, I just graduated, and I stand on my own now. This gives me a lot of freedom, but also a lot of responsibility – I need to take initiative and be offensive. To be a part of Future Frames is a wonderful opportunity and gives me a kind of great boost: to keep working harder, to stay honest, and to to keep going.