When we talk about the 7th edition of WENIFF, we can not forget the movie ‘Fyrvaktaren’. A fantastic realization by director Ole-Andre Rønneberg, who from WENIFF continued his journey to the doors of many other festivals. We are very honored that mr.Ole-Andre found some time to tell us the details of this journey.
WENIFF: Tell us more about your film. What were the difficulties and in what period of time it was shot?
The film has been an ongoing project for many years. I think I’ve got the idea back in 2013, and it premiered at WENIFF 2018. We shot the film in October 2017. I had a deal with a company who were supposed to make a mermaid fin for my production. And suddenly they stopped taking my calls, did not reply to my emails, and I were starting to freak out. Because you can’t find a mermaid fin around any corner, right? I am a part of a LA-based community called Act One, and in my most desperate moment, I cried out to God and to the community, and my prayers were answered. A woman in the group had a fin at home! What are the odds?
She express shipped it to us, and we got it the same week as we were starting to shoot. And it had the perfect color, the perfect size, even the same skin tone in the shading from the fin to the skin.
During the shoot, we were launching a bathtub into the sea with a mermaid inside. I had pre-tested it, but not in movement. When we did a test with weights on set, it sank, and we had a rescue operation for three hours, and I was standing in the water all the time, in open sea, in Norway, in October. Afterwards we used my wife as a stunt mermaid, and she did a perfect job, sitting still, in the bathtub.
WENIFF: “Fyrvaktaren” was premiered at the WENIFF festival, in the last edition. What was its journey afterwards? We have seen that it has received a lot of attention.
It has been a good journey for the film. I’ve got a contract with a German festival distribution company who did a tremendous job on submitting the film to festivals. It has been accepted at many festivals, won some awards and it is still getting accepted a festivals here and there.
WENIFF: After WENIFF, during the last two years, your film has been screened in over 50 festivals in 20 countries! That is amazing. How does that make you feel?!
It makes me feel very glad and humble. A film is not a solo project. There are so many people involved in the process, and I am thankful for the contribution to each and anyone of them.
And it gives me confidence that I am on the right track. And the things that I would like to tell in my films, are something that matters. My ultimate goal in filmmaking is to tell stories that can impact change to the better for the viewer.
WENIFF: Tell us a little about your WENIFF experience. Why did you decide to screen the film for the first time at our festival and what do you remember from that experience?
When I come from Sula, it was a natural choice to premiere the film in my hometown. And what was more fitted than in our very own film festival! I am very glad that we did. There quite a bit of people in the cinema, and people had a good time. It is always scary to screen a film for the first time, but it was a good experience, and people liked it!
WENIFF: What are your ongoing plans? What’s next for Fyrvaktaren?
Fyrvaktaren is still running on a couple of festivals here and there, and it will be launched two streaming services. “The fantasy network” who is an indie service for fantasy and sci-fi content, and it will be included in a series called “The strowlers”, where it will be one stand alone episode that will be air on Amazon Prime.
Ohh, my ongoing plans. Where to start? I have so many plans. I am always learning new stuff, and I have consept to at least seven new projects in various stages. Most of them are feaure films and tv-series, and all of them can be cross-media/ transmedia projects, were I can develop the universe in various ways and on various platforms. An extended form of storytelling, and that makes be excited!