WOMEN & WINE by Liv Karin Dahlstrøm

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Women and Wine is a humorous film about the fear of losing a friend. Turid is attending her close friend?s fiftieth anniversary, but during the party, she comes to realize she is no longer amongst her closest friends. Thus Turid starts a game to make her mark, and the party turns out to involve much more than singing and wine. Director Liv Karin Dahlstrøm and Producer Isak Eymundsson has been sweeping the boards at film festivals throughout the world, having been selected for 13 festivals and taking home the Oscar qualifying award at the Seattle International Film Festival. The film stars the well-known and popular Norwegian actress Marit Adeleide Andreassen.

Director Liv Karin Dahlstrøm graduated from the Norwegian Film School in 2012. She has worked on several television productions including the children?s series The Games for NRK (Norwegian Public Broadcaster) and the comedy series What if (VGTV). She is currently working on the new NRK series Helium. We chatted to Liv, and here are the excerpts.

What inspired to make you this film about friendship and friends? Did any movies in particular act as an inspiration?

I had no movie as a reference. There were people I've met, and similar situations I've observed that were the reference and inspiration.

I am fascinated by how humans interact in social settings; how we protect and defend our pride and jealousy, and at the same time always try so hard to fit in amongst others. I am inspired by the battles we face in our everyday-life (or even: throughout our tough lives). 

I´ve actually been in the same «mask scenario» my self, which was quite similar to the film’s Inciting Incident. A friend and me «kidnapped» a third friend as part of a bachelorette party. we all wore masks and the groom only recognized me and not our friend. Fortunately the situation didn´t cause any drama or uncomfortable situation, but it was at this moment the other writer Thorkild and I saw the potential of a jealousy inflicted drama and this became the base for the short film.

What was the most challenging and most inspiring thing about making this film?

I thought it was very difficult to make this film, but at the same time the most fun and exciting project I’ve done. The situations and turning points are small and there´s alot that underlines the project. So at the same time as I want to «keep it all down», I have to be sure that the important aspects don´t disappear. 

I wanted to get a balance between humor and seriousness. Comedy is challenging and must balance well with the drama to work.

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The story and our script inspired me. The collaboration with the main character Marit was also very inspiring. The photographer and I worked in an exciting way. We filmed many scenes in a row, and the recordings could last up to 15 minutes. We worked in an inspiring way.

What was your first reaction when you found out about Oscar qualification? Who all would you thank for this film?

First of all I was very grateful and happy that the SIFF jury gave the film the Grand jury prize. I appreciate that alot! Of course, it was very fun with the Oscar qualification. I do miss seeing movies with everyday-struggle been put into the light, and are very happy when that happens.  If we would get a Oscar nomination, I think I my reaction would be humble, but also filled with laughter. Even though that would be fantastic it would also have a down side. I must find a dress that is pretty enough to wear on the red carpet! I prefer pants before dresses and I do not have a talent, walking in high heels. :)

Most of all, I would like to thank the scriptwriter Thorkild Schrumpf, who wrote the script together with me. And the main actor Marit A. Andreassen, which gives me a lot of inspiration.

What other American or International filmmakers you like? And why?

I have no favorites. But I really liked Maren Ade's movie "Toni Erdmann". It has a perfect mix of comedy and drama. It's sad, vulnerable and fun at the same time.

Women and Wine has been selected at festivals such as The Norwegian Short Film Festival, Aspen Short Fest, Go Short International Short Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival. The film won the Best Narrative Short Film Jury Prize at Seattle International Film Festival and The Writers Guild of Norway?s Award for Best Screenplay at The Norwegian Short Film Festival.