Beautiful Beings is an attempt to portray how youth of today relate to the world. It is a hard hitting tale which in a subtle way explores the joys and boundaries of friendship. Anton Máni Svansson, Producer of this Icelandic movie conveyed these while interacting with the media and festival delegates at the ‘Table talk’ session organised by PIB on the side-lines of the IFFI 53.
Beautiful Beings, which had its Indian premier at 53rd International Film Festival of India in Goa is featured under the ‘Cinema of the World’ segment of the festival.
Through our film which is based on real situations and stories, we are striving to say that happiness comes from contributing to others, without always thinking about the outcome, said Anton. “My director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson came up with this idea to make a film on such a delicate subject where violence also plays a critical role, based on his own life experiences,” he added.
Beautiful Beings chronicles the journey of Addi, a boy raised by a clairvoyant mother, who decides to adopt a bullied loner into his gang of outsiders. In their journey to know themselves who are left to their own devices, the boys explore aggression and violence but also learn about loyalty and love.
“The conflict between having some bad friends rather than having none at all, and the human instinct to form bonds of mutual care plays a key role in this movie. Even if they indulge in violence, there is fear and from that stems the bout of loyalty and love.” said Anton adding, “It also says how to set and respect each other’s boundaries in any relationship.”
Elaborating upon the dreamlike visions the protagonist had in the movie and how it plays a key role in the flow of events, Anton had this to say. “The dreaming or seeing things before that happens is quite usual in our land. The character has strong gut feelings and our attempt was to make the world know how imperative it is to listen to one’s own heart.” Most people are so stuck in reality that they fail to utilise the dreams to their advantage, Anton added.
Detailing the rigorous process they underwent to make their dream a reality, Anton detailed the hardships they had to endure from the most challenging aspect of selecting the child actors. “In Iceland, we don’t have many child actors, so we opted open casting. It was a long process,” he said adding that once the selection process was finished, the children were subjected to training for months. “We gave them coaching on acting, intimacy, fighting. We tried to ensure to have the required stamina to endure all the work pressure since we planned shooting for 10 long hours per day. We raised them like how we raise a sports team.”
Thanking IFFI 53 for giving the opportunity to showcase their dream project, Anton expressed happiness that the festival provided him a platform to directly interact with cine lovers and gauge their reactions.
‘Beautiful Beings’ had its world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival – 2022
About the movie:
Direction & Screenplay: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
Producer: Anton Máni Svansson
DoP: Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
Editor: Andri Steinn Guðjónsson & Anders Skov
Birgir Dagur Bjarkason, Áskell Einar Pálmason, Viktor Benóný Benediktsson, Aníta Briem, Ísgerður Gunnarsdóttir, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Addi, a boy raised by a clairvoyant mother, decides to adopt a bullied misfit into his gang of outsiders. Left to their own devices, the boys explore aggression and violence but also learn about loyalty and love. As their behaviour escalates towards life-threatening situations, Addi begins to experience a series of dreamlike visions. Can his newfound intuition guide him and his friends back to a safer path, or will they dive irrevocably into further violence?
Director’s Bio: Gudmundur Arnar graduated in Fine Art and studied screenwriting. His films have been showcased and awarded in numerous festivals. Among these accolades are Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and a nomination for the European Film Awards. His debut feature ‘Heartstone’ premiered at Venice and won over 50 awards worldwide.
Sales Agent: New Europe Film Sales
Country | Year | Language | Duration:
Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Czech Republic| 2022 | Icelandic | 123 Mins | Colour