The Tent

Norway

Synopsis

A dysfunctional family of four is going camping, and poor communications skills make it a struggle to co-operate when trying to put up a complicated tent. The kids are reacting badly to the increasingly uncomfortable tension, as an underlying conflict between the two parents is slowly forced to the surface - and a shocking secret is finally revealed.

Directors Statement

With this film, I wanted to take a closer look at how conflict avoidant behaviour can affect the dynamic within a family. I chose to do this by putting a family of four in an isolated and unfamiliar environment, where they were forced to solve a practical problem together - and within this frame explore how the surpressed tension can be visible through communication around something practical. Surpressing emotions is known as a typical Scandinavian way of relating to uncomfortable situations, and I wanted to look at both the humour and tradegy of this phenomenon, by creating a situation where the good intentions of covering up a conflict to protect the kids has the opposite effect.

Director's Biography

Rebecca Figenschau is a film director and screenwriter based in Oslo. She has written and directed several short films, and was selected as “one to follow” by EFP (the european film promotion), after screening her film ELEPHANT SKIN in the Future Frames program in Karlovy Vary, in 2015. She is currently developing a TV series and her first feature film. As a filmmaker, she is curious about the psychology of complicated relationship dynamics, and how they affect our worldview. She has also worked as a script / concept developer in various film companies, and as a mentor for young filmmakers.

Filmography:
2018 - THE OSLO MONOLOGUES, short
2016 - BLANK SQUARES, short
2015 - ELEPHANT SKIN, short
2013 - DAIM, short

Interview

How long did it take to make your short?
It took a year longer than expected! The final funding was given in early autumn, which crashed with the season of the year in the film. And when we were finally ready to shoot the film the next year, we were denied permission from the fire department in Oslo - there is some pyrotechnics in the film, and we had the hottest and driest summer in over a century in Norway. So we had to apply three times with the whole crew already on board, and by the third application, there finally came some rain and we got our permission.

Was it difficult to get financing?
We were very lucky to get financing for both development and production of the film, from the Norwegian Film Institute and Viken Filmcenter, which are both public sources. Although we had to apply twice to get the final funding from the Norwegian Film Institute, which delayed the process a bit because the film was seasonally bound and had to be shot on location outdoors during summer.

Which thoughts come to mind concerning a “European cinema community”?
I love the idea of a network that could stimulate the circulation of European films and encourage co-operation beyond borders. Any initiative that could strengthen the making and screening of European films would be fantastic.

If you owned a theatre for one night, which films would you screen?
I would screen a mix of short and feature films that has made me laugh, cry and think, and that has a nerve and a heartbeat, such as A SWEDISH LOVE STORY by Roy Anderson, GASMAN by Lynne Ramsey, VICTORIA by Sebastian Schipper, THE SEVENTH SEAL by Ingmar Bergman, TALK by Lukas Moodysson, ANNIE HALL by Woody Allen, FISH TANK by Andrea Arnold and BLUE VALENTINE by Derek Cianfrance.

What is your next project?
I am currently writing a feature film that is very close to my heart, about a child who gets her world flipped around when her mother suddenly goes from being an atheist to become deeply religious. The film looks at how the little girl tries to develop spiritual skills in order to stay connected to her mother
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Rebecca Figenschau

Written by: Rebecca Figenschau

Produced by: Frode Søbstad

Cinematography: Marte Vold

Editing: Mathilde Fridlund

Production Design: Catrine Gormsen

Costume Design: Catrine Gormsen

Hair & Make-up: Catrine Gormsen

Sound: Anna Nilsson

Main Cast: Sigurd Myhre (Bjørnar, the father), Christina Nikolaisen (Solveig, the mother), Erica Cook (daughter), Kim Magnus Vangen (son)

Nominations and Awards

  • Short Film Candidates 2019