I first came across this short film called ‘Far’ on Kickstarter which was being promoted by Louis Bodnia and Alexander Saphir. Here was some guys who were looking for donations to be able to produce and nurture a film which they passionately believed in. I liked the story line, I liked what the film was portraying and I was excited that it was put together by 3 very talented Nordic men.
I managed to catch a few words with one of the writers of ‘Far’, Louis Bodnia. Yes he is the son of the very famous Danish actor Kim Bodnia from The Bridge and other Nordic dramas, but I got the feeling that Louis and Alexander have forged careers in their own rights just because they ‘get it’. They get what people want, they get how to get the best out of a production team and they get how to carry on promoting and tweaking the film long after others would have finished.
Louis you co-wrote this film with your cousin Alexander Bodin Saphir, and it features your dad along side you. Was it important to you to work with family for better understanding of each others visions or did you all come up with the idea collectively?
One of the most useful things about working with family was in this case that we were living together as a family during the different phases of the project. Allowing us to better understand how we each felt and thought out the project. Once you’re on the same page it is much easier to take the story further. When we were shooting, the entire crew became part of the family, living together in the same house really focusing the direction of the film. Acting with my father just gave me a million tools to use as an actor; memories and emotions. Why not use that to make a fictional story more believable?
The story development was guided by a real memory and though the story took off and got it’s own life it still had some cathartic relief using old unprocessed emotions for something.
Tell me a bit about your background in the film industry which has allowed you to reach this point of co-writing and acting in one.
Well I’ve always been around film sets and theaters since I can remember and I think it was very natural for me to start making my own stuff.
I made web sketches with my friends when I went to Aurehøj Gymnasium where I studied music and English. Loads of zero-budget productions.
We also produced a pilot for a web-series in Danish called “Hane, Slange, Svin”.
Since then I have had the honor to work with Talya Klein, an amazing American theater director from NY, doing Shakespeare on a farm in Vermont last summer. https://www.facebook.com/bethehereandnow
I’ve acted in a number of short films for film students and applicants.
And recently I have worked as an improvisational pianist and performer also filmed and directed by my cousin Alexander.
Yourself, father and cousin are Nordic artists in your own rights, why did you make the decision to depict this story in English?
A funny thing I have noticed especially among young Danish men whom have incorporated the English language in such a degree that when they speak emotionally touchy stuff they switch to English perhaps to somehow distance themselves from it. I’ve done it myself almost subconsciously. Maybe it is our masculinity that makes it difficult to express feelings in our mother tongue. I also have a few friends who are born and raised in Denmark and speak perfectly well Danish however, we are conversing best in English. My father wanted to practice his English and I wanted to practice my acting and writing.
Your father has been included in the Nordic Noir phenomenon which is still growing in the English speaking countries, is Nordic Noir a genre which yourself and Alexander would consider exploring?
I would say that “Far” has a lot of Nordic Noir elements in it but seeing that it is an evolving genre that seems to have sprung from some Scandinavian way of thinking or style that I’m not actually particularly fond of, we might just end up expanding the genre instead of moving away from it.
2015 is important for your film with showings at various film festivals. Are there any festivals in particular which you are eager to attend?
We don’t know at the moment other than we hope it will find it’s way to be seen at the film festivals.
What are your plans for 2015 with regards to new projects?
I am doing some voice acting for animation this year so far.
I also hope to get a part in the Danish writer Rasmus Heisterberg’s new movie but I don’t know for sure yet. Obviously Alexander, myself and my father will stay in touch to see how we’ll take it to another level.
Keep your eyes out for ‘Far’ at the film festivals, in other arenas and media because this is certainly one to watch.
Tags: bodnia, danish, film, interview
Sarah is a 36 years old British mum to 4 daughters, a blogger on IG @the_wormcatcher, a freelance writer for various online magazines and has just finished her debut crime fiction novel 'A Presence of Absence' which is a mix of Nordic noir and brit crime. So watch this space!
Completely in love with all Nordic genres from literary to film, design to food and music to clothes (for Kids) Sarah loves researching and writing about Nordic talents.
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