Tuva Novotny is a Swedish actor with Czech roots who lives in Denmark and made her directorial debut Blind Spot in Norway. The drama touching on the taboo of depression among teens is, however, relevant everywhere, not just in the Northern Lights section. “For me it’s not a film about suicide, but about the things we don’t speak about. It’s important that we learn to speak about mental illness. Not so that we can find out who’s to blame or who should spot the warning signs,” the filmmaker said.
She did not wish to cast herself in the film. “Personally I don’t believe that an actor can concentrate on their performance and also the whole film,” she said. The film was made in one shot, though Novotny revealed that two cameras alternated on the shoot. “I didn’t want to romanticise or glorify what happened. Editing would dramatise the whole thing. I didn’t want to build tension. For me using real time allowed me to shoot the film in a sober, unembellished way,” said the director, whose screenplay was checked by psychologists, rescue workers and doctors.
Asked by a viewer why Scandinavian films tended to be so dark, Novotny said she had seen plenty of depressing films during her studies at FAMU. “The second film that I’ve directed is very happy, though,” she said, referring to Britt-Marie Was Here. “That said, I’m now about to make a film with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that’s also about suicide.”