One of Them (Icelandic Title: Ein af þeim)
Start date: Feb 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2015
The Project “One of Them” is a short film directed by the Icelandic Eva Sigurdardottir and produced by the Icelandic Eva Sigurdardottir and Ragnheidur Erlingsdottir for Askja Films and Madeleine Sims-Fewer of UK based Booruffel Films.
Eva Sigurdardottir has a special interest in making films for young people and teenagers in particular. This film, “One of Them”, is partly based on the director’s own experiences and is a reaction to the need that’s felt by participants of this project to address young girls concerns and experiences in film.
Film is a mass medium that is mostly made up of male scriptwriters and directors. This means that male experiences are given preference. There is a gap in the market for a story told by women for women and we intend to help fill that gap with this short film.
“One of Them” tells the story of the fourteen year old girl Soffia who has been bullied at her school for most of her life. She is an outsider and her only friend is a boy in her class, another outsider. They have been friends since childhood but as Soffía grows older she's uncomfortably aware that he's not enough anymore. She's had enough of staying on the sidelines. She feels like she’s missing out on life and is desperate to be accepted into the dominant group of girls at her school. She gets her way by taking action and picking a fistfight with the leader of the girls. Winning the fight gives Soffia a foot in the door but she has to prove herself further by participating in group activities, such as shoplifting and drinking. The final test to prove her loyalty to the group comes when, a few days after the fist-fight, the kids throw a rainbow party. A rainbow party is when boys and girls come together, the girls all wear different shades of lipstick and are expected to perform oral sex on the boys, creating a rainbow pattern on their penises. This is a loyalty test. Soffia knows that she will have to perform this too if she wants to become fully a part of the group. Filled with liquid courage Soffia is finally ready and is pushed into a room by the girls where they tell her a boy is waiting. But it turns out to be none other than her childhood friend lying passed out on the floor from too much alcohol. With the group of girls standing behind her, Soffia now has to make the fateful decision of whether she is to take advantage of her childhood friend in order to prove her loyalty to her new friends.
The participating companies in this film were Icelandic based Askja Films who provided main support and management of the project and UK based Booruffel Films who provided minor support and management and also technical supervision in post-production.
This was an Icelandic-UK co-production where the script was written in Iceland, pre-production was handled jointly by both participant companies, the film was shot on location in Iceland over a period of one week with Icelandic actors and a mix of Icelandic and British crew and post-production was done both in the UK and in Iceland. The Director, Eva Sigurdardottir, lived and worked in the UK for a number of years, but more recently she moved back home to Iceland where she shot the film. This co-production brought together the two industries that she knows so well, and was an opportunity to share skills and knowledge between the two sides.
The main objective of the project was to address the peer pressure and conformism faced by teenage girls everywhere in the western world. By making this film we found and trained teenage actors who benefited from the training received by the director and casting director.Katrín Ynja Hrafnkellsdóttir and Kristín Auður Sophusdóttir got a role in the TV-Series Réttur and Blær Hinriksson got a role in Heartstone by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson. Young adult were also given the opportunity to work on their filmmaking skills and honing their talent, which they might otherwise find difficult since it is always hard to get funding for a starting project. The co-operation between the countries was very beneficial to both partners. Each company brought different people with different set of skills to the table who could learn from each other. We believe that this partnership will lead to a continuing collaboration on a larger project in the future.
The film "One of Them" has already received awards from Reykjavík International Film Festival as the Best Icelandic short film, London Calling and for the pitch (Shorts.TV Pitch at Cannes 2014), the script (Doris Film) and is currently long-listed for the BAFTA awards and final nomination results will be revealed in a few weeks.
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