I’m sorry, an Icelandic short film about abuse in a lesbian relationship, recently just won platinum in the LGBTQ+ category at the Independent Shorts Awards and was chosen the October winner of Best Short Drama at Changin Face International Film Festival. The film has also been accepted into two film festivals, Northern Wave International Film Festival and Dunedin International Film Festival in Florida. GayIceland spoke to Ingunn Mía Blöndal, who came up with the idea for the film and is one of its leads.
Your film, I‘m sorry, has been chosen to be at two film festivals. Are you not in seventh heaven?
“I didn‘t expect anything, so every yes is a wonderful surprise.”
Where did the idea for the film come from?
“As an abuse survivor myself, I wanted to shed a light on what goes on behind closed doors. For instance, I was molested by a female at age 8 and several men at a later stage in life. People believe me when I talk about the males, but seem absolutely stunned when I tell them about my female abuser. I‘ve even been told that women are physically unable to molest another female.
I realised this was a story that needed to be told. Abuse in queer relationships is a taboo in our society, and it infuriates me. I also needed to talk about female abusers. Because people need to know that abuse is not a gendered thing. It can happen in any relationship. It‘s about power. It‘s about breaking the other person and controlling them. It‘s evil. It‘s never your fault. You‘re not alone.” And that is why did Ingunn felt it was important to tell this story.
“I was molested by a female at age 8 and several men at a later stage in life. People believe me when I talk about the males, but seem absolutely stunned when I tell them about my female abuser.”
What was the process for making the film?
“First I spoke to Lovísa Lára, a good friend of mine who finished The Icelandic Film School (Kvikmyndaskóli Íslands) before me. I told her about my idea and she jumped at the chance to write it and direct it. There were a few rewrites and in the meantime we found more actors and made plans, such as gathering a good crew, location scouting, sponsorships and more.”
Was it hard for you to do the abuse scenes in the film?
“Yes and no. I had a wonderful costar, Hildur Magnúsdóttir, who had a very challenging role as the abuser. We did a lot of prepwork and while shooting the abuse scenes, Lovísa made the great decision to have a skeleton crew (very few people on set) and talked us through every bit. It was very emotional for everyone on set, and after shooting a particular scene, Hildur and I both broke down and hugged each other.
The crew was also very professional and respectful, for which I am very grateful.”
How did you prepare for the challenging scenes in the film?
“I used what I‘d been taught in school, my notes from Lovísa and we had a special language during shooting. She knows me very well and she could utter a single word and I‘d be ready for a shoot.”
”It was very emotional for everyone on set, and after shooting a particular scene, Hildur and I both broke down and hugged each other.”
Talking about the film festivals that I’m sorry will be shown at, Ingunn says that Dunedin International Film Festival is a very exciting festival in it’s first year. It aims to bring awareness to the growing arts and cultural community of Dunedin, Florida. There the film will be screened in the LGBTQ category. “Northern Wave, which will take place at Rif, Snæfellsnes 26-28 of October, however is a visionary festival that celebrates artistic and ground breaking films by filmmakers who dare to take risks. It’s in its 11th year,” she says.
When you got these invitations, did it make you think: “well, I´ve done that, now I can rest“ – or was the feeling that you knew you had to make more films”?
“I definitely want to make more films! Lovísa and I are working on a few things, but it‘s still work in progress.”
Will you be attending these two named film festivals?
“Lovísa and I will be attending Northern wave with our husbands.”