LevelK Boards Helena Stefansdottir Magneudottir’s Thriller ‘Natatorium’



LevelK has boarded Icelandic thriller “Natatorium,” directed by Helena Stefánsdóttir Magneudóttir. The movie began taking pictures on Sept. 14, and is predicted to bow regionally subsequent yr.

Produced by Sunna Gudnadóttir for Bjarstýn Movies, marking the corporate’s first characteristic movie, it’s financed with the help from the Icelandic Movie Heart and the Finnish Movie Basis. Scanbox, Sena and RUV YLE are behind the undertaking as properly.

“I’m principally interested by engaged on movies with feminine administrators and/or scriptwriters, [projects] with excessive inventive integrity and common attraction,” says Gudnadóttir, who beforehand labored on “A White, White Day,” and Iceland’s Oscar submission “Lovely Beings.” She provides that “Natatorium” has three complicated feminine leads, and 60% of the crew is feminine as properly.

At present being offered on the Helsinki-based trade occasion Finnish Movie Affair, “Natatorium” zooms in on teenage Lilja who visits her estranged grandparents, Áróra and Grímur. She is meant to audition for a world artwork efficiency group, however when her father and his youthful sister discover out about her keep, a way of panic arises. Quickly, a darkish secret emerges.

Heather Millard of Silfurskjár and Finland’s Tekele Productions co-produce.

“It’s our first minor co-production characteristic,” says Tekele’s Julia Elomäki.

Helena Stefansdottir Magneudottir

Courtesy of Helena Stefansdottir Magneudottir

“With Sunna Gudnadóttir, we met in 2019 at Younger Nordic Producers Membership in Cannes. She contacted me later, as a result of she already had a Finnish editor in thoughts: Jussi Rautaniemi. Once I learn the script, I used to be instantly . It’s a bizarre thriller with a haunting ambiance.”

Tekele can be creating Lauri-Matti Parppei’s “The Beast Good friend,” and Suvi West’s upcoming characteristic. “Viva la Vida” by Ulla Heikkilä is scheduled to shoot subsequent.

“Natatorium” stars Ilmur María Arnarsdóttir, making her onscreen debut, and Elín Petersdottir, noticed in “Eurovision Track Contest: The Story of Hearth Saga.”

Set in a single home over 5 consecutive days, its dynamic is alleged to be “claustrophobic and severely tense.” Whereas Reykjavík-born Magneudóttir is able to deal with the twisted household drama, she may also add fantasy parts to the movie.

“This household comes collectively by necessity, not by selection. The home is the monster of the story: it’s filled with painful recollections and the ambiance is thick and damp. Áróra has created an online all of them change into entangled in and don’t appear to have the ability to escape,” she tells Selection from the shoot.

“I don’t take into consideration any style particularly once I begin writing. Within the case of this story, their actions progressively turned extra thrilling and mysterious. I made a decision to nurture [this aspect] and provides it all of the house it referred to as for.”

Amongst others, Magneudóttir has been impressed by Maya Deren in her profession, she says.

“Not solely due to her modern use of the digicam and daring manner of telling tales, but additionally as a result of she was certainly one of only a few ladies to make movies within the early and mid-Twentieth century.”

She additionally pays consideration to anomalies in human habits, folks’s obsessions, addictions, syndromes and dysfunctions, the oddity of “Alice in Wonderland” and Mary Shelley’s distinctive potential to mix magnificence and ugliness in “Frankenstein.”

“I’m drawn to weirdness. I’d say that my inventive thoughts is a mix of brutalism and artwork deco,” she says.

Her background in dancing additionally turns out to be useful, particularly when working with actors.

“I like to think about myself as a choreographer once I block the scenes. The research of motion is necessary to me,” she notes.

“Throughout my coaching on the Worldwide Theatre College Jacques Lecoq, I used to be launched to a brand new notion of motion in house. Since then, I’ve thought of the characters and the digicam to be inseparable dance companions. I discover it necessary to create an area the place they will carry out their dance in good synchronicity.”

She additionally needs her actors to be happy and secure, she provides.

“Earlier than I step in, I enable them to wander across the set, get to realize it and really feel what sorts of actions it requires.”

“My ambition is to create a transferring story that’s a deal with for the senses and thoughts. My hope is that I can provoke emotions of compassion, discomfort and thrill.”

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