Scenes from a Dying Town comes to life at Nordic Talents
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Kaisa El Ramly won the €27,000 Nordic Talents Pitch Prize at the annual competition organised by the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the Danish National Film School
A graduate from Helsinki’s ELO Film School, Finnish actress-director Kaisa El Ramly, who has performed in eight films and directed two shorts, was awarded the 16th Nordic Talents Pitch Prize (worth NOK 250,000, or €27,000) for her feature Scenes from a Dying Town at the annual competition for students and graduates from Nordic film schools and industry professionals, organised by the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the Danish National Film School.
“We are giving the prize to a huge talent. The winner showed exceptional skills in her graduation film, and we are eager to see more of that in the future,” said the jury, comprising Norwegian Film Institute film commissioner Wibecke Rønseth, Danish animation director and comic artist Anders Morgenthaler, Swedish producer Lars Blomgren of Filmlance International, Finnish writer-producer Petja Peltomaa of Yellow Film & TV, and Kristina Trapp, head of the European producers’ training programme, EAVE.
Also scripted by El Ramly, Scenes from a Dying Town is set in a small community, observing moments in the everyday life of people seemingly living in the past. But what happens when a stranger enters their midst and breaks their protective shell? In the film, their quiet life is described through the eyes of an outsider.
The second prize was split between Swedish director Mika Gustafson (from the Valand Academy, Gothenburg) for the pitch of her feature, Sisters, and Norwegian writers Harald Mæle Jr and Kjersti Woien Håland (from Norway’s National Film School in Lillehammer) for the presentation of their TV project, Changeling. Both projects will receive €5,500 in development funding.
Sisters tells the story of two sisters who are forced to move in with their grandmother because she is addicted to prescription medication. But the question of who raises whom eventually reaches boiling point. Meanwhile, Changeling follows Vilde, a typical teenager who just wants to fit in. But at 13, she suddenly starts growing a huge tail. She does not learn the truth until a mysterious girl shows up: she is a changeling – a troll swapped at birth.