MFF Praha - Febiofest
While Girl Picture was winning an award at the Miami Film Festival, director Alli Haapasalo and actress Eleonoora Kauhanen introduced this energetic look into the lives of three Finnish teenagers at IFF Prague – Febiofest.
“I was already excited by the synopsis. The story’s take on teenage girls was so fresh,” the director recalled. “Still, I mostly felt fear as I was making the film. Our story is pretty simple, it follows ordinary girls. I was afraid people would say ‘what is this about?’ For the film to work, viewers have to sympathise with the main characters,” said Alli Haapasalo. The Audience Award from the American Sundance Festival testifies to the film's success in achieving that aim.
Eleonoora Kauhanen also likes how natural Girl Picture is. “The girls are just themselves, no one's telling them how to behave. My character could have visible acne, which I'd never seen in a film's main character before. And it's also okay that someone doesn’t know who they are yet and is still trying to find out,” the actress enthused. The visuals also supported the director’s depiction of the world of teenagers: “I didn't want to make a nostalgic film, or show an adult view of teenagers. I wanted to be on the heroines’ level and capture the bubble they live in. So suddenness and movement were keywords for our concept.”
At the post-screening talk, the Finnish filmmaker also spoke with the audience about music, shooting intimate scenes and the film’s less common 4:3 aspect ratio. “Our cameraman came up with that. He was afraid to suggest it in person, so he texted me instead. At first, I thought he was crazy, but about a second later, I realised it was a crazily good idea," the director laughed.