In the Icelandic musical adventure “12 Hours for Destruction” writer-director Nanna Kristen Magnasti enjoys the story of a school band fighting youth to preserve their dance.
As part of this week’s Nordic selection of Finnish film affairs in Helsinki, the film is an ambitious project produced by one of Iceland’s leading actors, The Icelandic Film Company / Kisi Productions, in 1991 by Julius Kemp and Ingvar Thordson.
With critical success at the festival and a strong representation for the film to a wider audience, the company seems fit to create bizarre projects.
Kemp said the idea originated in his mind a few years ago, when, while serving as a parent, he met Icelandic punk musician, rocker, TV host and children’s book author Gunnar Lours Hazelmarsson (aka Dr. Gunny).
Hjálmarsson composed a record album for children in 1998, an amazing project for one of the leading figures in the Icelandic underground music scene since the 1980s, but it was a hit. Hjálmarsson was a member of the band Bless, where Björk did backing vocals on an album early in his career. He is one of the leading figures in the Icelandic debate on disco vs. punk, a topic that has been explored in major national cultural sites.
Kemp found himself unexpectedly fascinated – what he said when watching a production intended for children is very rare. She knew that teenagers would work on the story screen to fight the bad guys to save their school dance.
But instead, he chose to bring in Magnusattir, whom he said, “said yes in five minutes.”
Although the director jokes that his dedication to the film’s exuberant story is “a little sticky,” it’s clear that Magnuster knows what he’s doing.
In addition to being a famous Icelandic actor (“Heartstone,” “Paris of the North”), he owns Magnusadti’s Cubs Productions and has studied film and television screenplays at The Vancouver Film School.
As he narrates the “12 Hours” story, this is the way the 11-year-old Hannah and the rest of her childhood band in the summer of 1980 “aimed to bring the perpetrators to justice when the last school dance was threatened with destruction”. “
Fearless kids will soon find themselves in trouble, of course, when steaks grow and their quest “good vs evil and disco vs punk holes.” It “conquers all through love and unity.”
Filming with a young actor was not the only challenge, Kemp said, as he was told last year, “this is not a good time for children’s films.” But the makers found ways to ensure Covid protection protocols when shooting in the studio and in the fresh air.
In the end, the actors thoroughly enjoyed their musical expedition and conducted impressive choreography – although Kemp insisted that children may be free to interpret certain dances that are not on the lockstep. She and superior colors and 1980s-style clothing and sets create interesting visuals, she adds.
Kemp and Magnusdatir, who, along with Kemp, Thordson, Marcus Celine and Jukka Hale, are the producers of the .3 3.3 million film, are looking to sell the film at the Finnish Film Affair as agents for distribution, distribution and festival.
It is one of the five headlines at the art event, which runs alongside the Helsinki International Film Festival. For the second year in a row, the Finnish film affair highlights the emerging talents of neighboring Nordic countries through the fiction of first- or second-time feature directors. The projects are competing for the Best Nordic Project award, with a 3,000 euro package from Konstsamfundet, a Finnish association supporting the culture of the country’s Swedish-speaking minority, to use in the winner’s international marketing.
Admitting his lifelong love of adventure and music, which began in childhood, Magnusadder said he was thrilled to be able to take on two forms in “12 Hours of Destruction.”
“I’m so excited and proud that my first feature will be for a family audience and in the genre of music,” he said.
And while the film sits comfortably in the young audience sector, it goes far beyond predictions, avoiding stories of the most common crisis. The director says the protagonists here do not fight drug addiction, adolescent sex or “divorced parents”. Rather, Magnúsdóttir said, “I want to show the kids today’s opportunities.”