It's an understatement to claim that there are many thoughts behind this year's festival profile, it being both a tribute to Films From the South's grand movie past and also a pointer towards our future as a festival.
This is our 25th annual festival. The focus will always be on films, but the profile also reflects the numerous potential effects that the film medium has. These expressions are located at the intersection between entertainment and freedom of speech, as well as a burning political and social engagement. A bit like Films from the South, that is. Full circle in a quarter century!
This year's profile also represents the duality in how the Films from the South Foundation has expanded the cinema market, and how our films broaden the horizon of the individual cinema attendant. Here are some figures to illustrate our point: In total we've purchased nearly 50 films for national cinema and television distribution. The festival's film committee also constitute a large proportion of the 4-5 % of Sørfilm shown in Norwegian cinemas during the year. And how many films we have shown in total during our (soon to be) 25 years of existence? About 2000. That's a lot of film. Consumption is a key word in regards to this year's profile, for you and for us. How we consume film – food for the soul!
But how was this wondrous eyecandy created, really? Fortunately, we have a very talented visual guru – Eiliv Gunleiksrud. He's creative and digital design director at Saatchi & Saatchi Norway, and has for many years been the Films from the South Foundation's profile artist, both for Films from the South and Arab Film Days. As the crazy design-scientist he is, Eiliv finds inspiration in both surrealism and pop art, with a (literally) red thread tied to our previous festival profiles.
The composer of the profile's electronic score is Ingar Hunskaar. It sounds hypnotic, weird and dreamlike – a perfect fit for us.
Eiliv tells us a bit about the process behind the profile. «This year's profile for Films from the South celebrates 25 years of expression and impression – exclamation and digestion. Red is still the color and surrealism is still an important part of the expression. This year we have also travelled some new roads in expression and technique, beyond mere illustration, that we hope will make you even more hungry for this year's programme.»
Eiliv has made it a habit to work closely with the team in Film from the South, consisting of Artistic Director Lasse Skagen and Marketing and Communications Director Ida Johannessen. So which thoughts do the festival's inner circle have on the profile design?
Ida has more than a few ideas about it. «A natural symbol representing the concept around consumption is the mouth. Herein lies the element to devour visual expression – chew on it and spit it out if it doesn't taste well, or in the opposite case – taste it and let it shape your interpretation of the world around you. The logical conclusion lies in how the movie experience becomes part of you, one that occasionally shapes you afterwards.»
«The mouth is a representation of all the films we have «vomited» onto Oslo's many big screens throughout 24 years», says Artistic Director Lasse Skagen. «It's also a weapon in the fight for freedom of speech for the majority of our directors. Their medium happens to be a cinematic one, and we want the profile to represent this. The film language replaces a verbal language in their case, and forms a symbiotic relationship between the political and the psychological. The profile also has many hidden references to previous festival films, and with this – our role in Oslo and Norway's cinema market.»
Ida concludes with «I feel that some of my best film experiences have crystallized and partly become part of my DNA. That's what movies can do and those are the experiences that makes me love my job. I hope this is clearly visible through this year's profile.»
The end result is an iconic and playful expression with room for many interpretations! We look forward to studying the profile's many details as we bring it along with us into our 25th year as a festival.