LAB 2014-2015 > Gunhild Enger & Jenni Toivoniemi – The committee

Gunhild Enger & Jenni Toivoniemi – The committee


Gunhild Enger

NORWAY


Gunhild Enger was born in 1980 in the countryside outside of Oslo. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in visual arts (BA), Lillehammer College with film studies, and The School of Film Directing in Gothenburg (MA). She was nominated for a BAFTA with her graduation film from Edinbugh, ‘Bargain', and has since then screened her films at festivals around the world. She has made several prize winning shorts. They are always humorous, yet set in a serious context and with a universal message. 'Premature' and 'A Simpler Life' was both nominated for the Norwegian Amanda award in 2012 and 2013. At the moment she is working towards her first feature, as well as couple of new short films.


Jenni Toivoniemi

FINLAND


Jenni Toivoniemi is a screenwriter and a director from Helsinki. Jenni Toivoniemi’s first film as a director, ‘The Date’ has been selected to several major festivals and it won the Jury Award in the International Short Film Competition in Sundance Film Festival and Special Mention from the Youth Jury in Berlinale 2013. Jenni Toivoniemi did her BA in literature and theatre studies at Helsinki University and is now finishing her MA in screenwriting and directing in ELO Film School Helsinki. She has studied screenwriting in international workshops including Script & Pitch and Berlinale Talent Campus Script Station. Currently she is working with several feature scripts and a new short film.




LAB PROJECT:

The committee



A Nordic collaboration is taking place. A group of delegates from Finland, Norway and Sweden are gathered for a three-day meeting in Lapland to decide on a Nordic art piece that truly celebrates the friendship between the three countries. The monument is to be placed at the exact place where all the three countries meet geographically. They have commissioned the Norwegian artist and dancer Torgeir to make the artwork. Torgeir has been staying at a Nordic residence for art in Lapland the last three months. He has been working on the artwork alone for all this time.

There is a delegate from each country, and a project secretary who is taking care of all the practical things. The three-day meeting is taking place in a conference room of a city hall.

The Swedish delegate Åsa is a fashionable and hip woman in her thirties. She has a baby son that still needs to be breast fed so he is coming along to the meetings. The Finnish delegate and president of the committee, Markku, is a man in his late fifties with a lot of experience from bureaucracy work. He has not worked with art before, but he has run big Nordic projects in the area of winter sports. His educational background is in agriculture, and his personal hobby is Finnish war history. The Norwegian delegate, Gunnlaug, is a woman in her early fifties. Arts and crafts have always been very important to her, and she started her career as a handcraft teacher back in the 80’s. She has over the years formed a particular interest in folklore.

Torgeir has created a Nordic dance that he wants to be danced at the colliding point of borders in Lapland, and he presents this idea on the first day. The delegates give their thoughts and feedback. Torgei's idea is that the dance it self is to be the art piece. There will be a Smartphone application to teach the choreography to people, and the instructions are to be written on a sign at the geographical place in Lapland. The meaning of the dance is that the three countries shall unite, not only in a monument, but also in movement and interaction whenever Nordic people meet around the world. Torgeir wants all Nordic people to contribute by uploading their own versions of the dance online. His dream would be for the dance to go viral on a big scale.

The Swedish delegate Åsa is embracing the idea and thinks the more interactive the better. The Norwegian Gunnlaug is open to the idea of a dance, but she would like the dance to have a stronger folklore element. Markku, the Finn, however is not ready to let go of the idea of an actual stone. All delegates seem to focus a lot on the actual opening ceremony, rather than the art it self or to the possibility of reaching lager audiences though interactive elements.

The delegates spend hours on trying to agree on the movements for the dance. They all want the dance to somehow represent their own countries, and their body language. In the end they have to agree that they cannot agree. The compromise and the solution becomes a traditional bauta stone instead of a dance. But the artist is welcome to perform his dance in the opening ceremony. Naturally this process has been very hard on Torgeir, having spent three whole months to come up with his elaborate concept. At the end of the film he is disappointed and worn out.

This films deals with the absurdity of democratic decision-making processes. We want to make a humorous portrait of an international collaboration. Our aim is to investigate the nature of compromises, and mirror political processes that often have great ambitions, but end up little to show.