A short film by Faroese director Andreas Høgenni has been nominated at the Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) at Cannes Film Festival. The film, titled “Ikki Illa Meinta” (No Ill Will in English), is one of only ten films nominated in its category. More than one thousand films were submitted.
Things could have turned out quite differently, however, had a bird influenza not hit chicken farms across Denmark. Andreas and his film team had initially worked for one year on a different film about a chicken that gains consciousness five days before it is to be slaughtered. Three weeks before the scheduled filming, the Danish Veterinary and Food Association notified Andreas about the bird influenza.
“We could not film in any chicken farms in Denmark which meant we lost all our filming locations,” Andreas recalls. “Ikki Illa Meint was an emergency solution. We had three weeks to think of a new idea for a film.”
In his newest film, Andreas choses to stick to a theme he has used previously: a tragicomedy that takes place in a claustrophobic environment. It centres around two female friends that randomly meet one another in a supermarket. An initially relaxed chat about daily life turns into a confrontation about their friendship. One has blocked the other on Facebook and does not want to reveal her motive. A hunt to find out why ensues.
“I seem to make films about how much it requires of humans to have empathy for others in daily life,” Andreas says. “It can be challenging to be available to others, your family and friends, so much so that it often takes a performance of sorts to follow through with the act. In essence, that is what Ikki Illa Meint is about.”
Bird influenza derailed Andreas’ initial film idea, but Ikki Illa Meint had its own challenges.
“Soon after we settled on the idea, we realised we had nowhere near the budget to shut down any supermarket in Denmark,” he recalls. “That meant we had to film while the supermarket was open. People had to squeeze past us to reach the milk cartons, which obviously was not ideal.”
Ikki Illa Meint was Andreas’ final assignment at Super 16, a non-traditional film school based in Denmark, where he has studied for the last few years. He is currently work on a new Faroese feature film about a non-alcoholic wedding in the village of Runavík.
The Critic’s Week at Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15-23.
Words: Levi Hanssen
This article was originally published on Faroeislands.fo