Alice is together with Johannes, but she doesn't have enough space to be herself. On a night out with friends, she steals a strap-on and challenges her boyfriend's thoughts about girls.
Hey Anette, thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?
Great, thank you for asking… We’re heading off to Sundance in a couple of hours and about to lock the edit of a web series at the same time, so things are a bit busy but also exciting.
You had your North American Premiere at TIFF last year what was that experience like?
TIFF was amazing! We had fantastic screenings, people came up to me saying the film empowered them. Some were fascinated by the fact that women can be turned on by being in power. I also got great reactions to the fact that sex between young people is shown in a positive way without shame and the fact that the characters are enjoying themselves and discovering what they like. Two women told me that they’d realize that being in power is hot, something they want to try. All the amazing reactions from the audience made it clear to me that this film has a positive effect on many people and knowing my work means something for someone else is an outstanding feeling.
You got a Special Mention in the International Shorts what did it mean to you to get this type of recognition for your film?
Oh, it’s a huge thing for the film, for me as a director and for the whole crew who has been working so hard using all of their creativity and skill to make the film what it is. TIFF is an amazing festival and to get a special mention means a lot, I’m honoured and happy that the jury saw all the layers of the film, the hard work put in and that they appreciated it. I’m very grateful for that.
Other than the Special Mention at TIFF what did you take away from the experience of being at TIFF?
It’s a festival where you get to know a lot of wonderful filmmakers from all around the world. Lisa, Jason and Anita who program and organize everything for the short filmmakers, made us feel so welcome and “at home” in a way. Toronto is a great city and the festival is very well organized, it was a pleasure to be invited. Amazing films, networking and the staff, everyone who works with the festival are so warm and lovely. I really hope I’ll get the chance to go back there.
This month Fuck You is going to screen another major festival Sundance, are there any nerves ahead of the festival?
Always. I get nervous screening my film even if it’s only five people... so yes, there will be a lot of nerves closer to the screenings. I’ll also have meetings and interviews that will make my heart beat faster. Sundance feels huge and exciting, I’m happy that I'll be able to visit.
"I wish that people find it exciting and empowering."
Tell me a little bit about Fuck You, how did the film come about?
I thought about the gender norms I saw around me as a teenager, and that I still see around me today. I wanted to tell a story about the experiences I had as a teenager and give it a happy ending instead, using the knowledge I’ve gained since then. When I wrote the script, I used my teenage life as an inspiration in order to get closer to the characters and situations but “Fuck You” is fiction, it’s my way of investigating what would have happened if we had dared to challenge the gender norms.
What was the most challenging part of making this film been?
I was worried about finding actors. I didn’t really know what teenagers of today would think of the story and I thought their parents would become an issue because of what happens in the film. As soon as I started to audition people, I noticed that the younger generation is way more open-minded and respectful towards each other’s differences than we were. They want to make a change. I met so many amazing young actors who started to reflect about gender norms and how they are affected by them, this made me feel empowered during the whole process. It also made me realize that this film is important and I'm not the only person who needed to see this film as a teenager, there are many who need it now.
How much has your approach to filmmaking changed since your debut film?
My first short film “Along The Road” is a love story made as an 8 min one-take, while “Fuck You” is a love story made in the opposite way. All of my films are very different from each other and I explore new things all the time. I think that I trust myself more and I take bigger risks... and time will tell how smart that turns out to be in the future.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
I grew up in a small village in the south of Sweden, far away from where the film industry is based. I didn’t understand what filmmaking was until very late, and it never occurred to me that one could work professionally with it. So, my passion started off with a huge interest in human beings and human behaviour more than filmmaking as such. That is what drives me to tell stories. I’ve always been fascinated by photography, poetry and music. The film is such an amazing art form for all of that together.
How would you describe Fuck You in three words?
A girl, a boy and a strap-on.
Do you have any advice or tips for any fellow filmmaker?
Work with your friends.
What has been the best advice you've been given?
“Don’t waste time” – Sally Potter
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
I wish that people find it exciting and empowering. I also want to inspire people to explore themselves and their own sexuality, and to think differently about sex, femininity, masculinity and power. Embrace that people can be both feminine and masculine at the same time.