Directed by Jonas Bang
Filmed by Jason Idris Alami
Produced by Bolia & Heima Art Residency
Edited by Jonas Bang
Music by August Rosenbaum
At Bolia we renew, redefine and challenge ourselves at all times. We constantly seek new adventures and new creative constellations. Teaming up with all kinds of different creative players enables us to rethink and innovate on design ideas. In the newest edition to our creative collaborations, we’ve teamed up with Icelandic art residency Heima and Danish filmmaker Jonas Bang to create a motion picture portraying the town Seyðisfjörður in the beautiful and dramatic scenery of the East Fjords of Iceland. Through phone calls we get to know four women’s intimate, honest and touching stories. For this film Jonas Bang has been working closely with cinematographer Jason Idris Alami and the result is a uniquely candid look into the life at the end of the world. We asked Jonas Bang to tell us about his twelve-minute motion picture.
How did the idea for ‘Phone call to Seyðisfjörður’ come about?
We actually started out writing a full script for a fictional short film we wanted to film in Seyðisfjörður but after researching on the town we decided that it would be much more interesting not to script anything before going. We wanted to attempt to let our meeting with the place and the people guide what the film was going to be and not the other way around. >
We wanted to let our intuition guide us rather than our habitual ways and written rules about filmmaking and perception. The plan was no-plan which was both frightening and relieving. But that is how we entered the place and the film slowly emerged as a portrait of Seyðisfjörður.
Was it easy to access the world of the main characters in the film?
Everyone we talked to were very warm and open to sharing their stories with us. We had a lot of conversations which didn’t make it in the final cut of the film but every one of them felt special. People are really straight forward and kind in Seyðisfjörður.
What did you find most inspiring about Seyðisfjörður?
Two things come to mind that both relates to the culture of this particular little place. The first thing can be seen in small things like the fact that no one locks the doors to their houses and they often leave the keys in the car. I guess it is a kind of communal trust that I found very inspiring. >
The other thing has to do with the openness of the people here towards newcomers and new initiatives. The group of people behind both Heima and the LungA School seems to be able to do what they do as a result of being welcomed into the community. It is both places and people like this that makes it possible for the art to run so freely on these latitudes.
Were there any surprising issues you were faced with whilst filming?
Not many actually. The most surprising, and mostly amusing, issues had to do with sheeps and horses blocking the small mountain roads. And a swan that suddenly jumped in front of the car as we were driving down a mountain side late at night. It was close, but we managed to steer around it and it flew away over our heads
Did the town hold a particular significance to the film?
It definitely does. The film is all about Seyðisfjörður. Not about small town communities in generel because Seyðisfjörður is too special to be a place considered in general. It’s a love letter of somekind.
Heima Art Residency is an independent non-profit organisation founded in 2013. It was initiated to provide a space where emerging artists across a variety of disciplines can live and work in close proximity, sharing energies and ideas.
The space is a 350 square meters living and studio space. It's located in Seyðisfjörður - East Iceland, a thriving port that is home to just 700 people and yet manages to support an art school, a cinema, a theatre, a museum, two art festivals, a film festival, an art residency and the Dieter Roth Academy.
Bolia is proud to present a visual glimpse inside an art residency located between sheer mountain walls and open sea on the east coast of Iceland. French photographer Reanud Cambuzat recently spent time at HEIMA Art Residency documenting the life and work sorrounding the residency.
The house at the edge of the world
"Between sheer mountain walls and open sea, in the easternmost and most isolated part of Iceland, lies a house into which artists from all over the world can move to find calm and absorption. It is run by a group of idealists dreaming of a new world order - and a place where obligation and human contact add value to life and art."
Marie Monrad Graunbøl, OAK Magazine.