Marja Pyykkö´s film project won second prize in the Nordic Talents pitching
competition for graduating Nordic film students. The event was held in Copenhagen on 4 to 6 September.
The prize winning film If I Stay It Will Be Double tells the story of 15-year-old Emilia who is always responsible and well behaved. When she meets Venni (also 15) she finally dares to break the shackles of her family. But soon the girls’ friendship becomes a similar shackle. Emilia has to dare to break free of Venni as well to find her own path.
“I myself experienced the life as a teenager very violently, the bond to my family was strong so the outbreak was also full of conflict and mixed feelings,” director and co-writer Marja Pyykkö says.
The film, based on true and lived feelings, has been developing for three years to finally come out like a big burst of energy, as Pyykkö says. “If I Stay It Will Be Double is a very personal project because the story is based on my own experiences as a teenager in Helsinki. We have been using my personal diaries as writing material.”
The script is written by Laura Suhonen and the film will be produced by Piia Nokelainen for Solar Films. “The second prize is not so much money but it gives important visibility to our project and helps us move along with the development of the story.”
|Marja Pyykkögraduated from the Helsinki University of Industrial Arts (Department of Film And Television) in June. Her other films are Tango, 2004 and Respect, 2005 (produced by UIAH) and an hour-long TV-film Here Lies Aino Koski as her graduation, produced by Piia Nokelainen for Juonifilmi, released in March 2007 and showed in YLE TV1 on 17.9.2007Nordic Talents: http://www.nordiskfilmogtvfond.com|
On Nordic Talent
The aim of Nordic Talents, funded by Nordisk Film og TV Fond, is to introduce graduating students from the Nordic film schools to the Nordic producers and financiers and, equally important, to give the producers and financiers the opportunity to meet the future talent.
“It’s a great forum for new filmmakers to meet the important people from all the Nordic countries, from production companies to TV and Film Foundation people. The pitching competition and the workshop were very educative,” says Pyykkö.
Pyykkö wants to show the teenage girls not as victims of time and place but as strong characters who make important decisions, even if they are not ready to make them. She wants to show that even if we have made mistakes in our own teen years, it doesn’t mean that our life will be marred for good. “There is forgiveness and growth in this world. I don’t want to teach a lesson to anybody, just to tell this story as it is,” she remarks and adds:
“Nothing is too much or too hard for the girls when they are together. Our story is not about two girls forming a lesbian relationship. It is the friendship and the feeling of power of what they are in love with. ”
Pyykkö believes life is not scrapbooks and gymnastics for today’s girls; it is time to make a rough and realistic film about girls, sexuality and violence. “Strong women do not spring out of nowhere. It takes a lot of hard choices and mistakes but it’s still all worth it!”
Susan Fourtane – Helsinki Times