Beautiful Beings, which had its world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival – 2022, is an attempt to portray how the youth of today relate to the world. It is a gritty story on the positives and limits of friendship.
Anton Máni Svansson, the producer of this Icelandic movie, conveyed this while interacting with the media and festival delegates at the Table Talk session organised by PIB (Press Information Bureau) on the sidelines of IFFI 53.
Beautiful Beings, which had its Indian premiere at the 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, these boys, who are left to their own devices, 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 that it also says how one should set and respect each other’s boundaries in any relationship.”
Elaborating upon the dreamlike visions the protagonist had in the movie and how they play a key role in the flow of events, Anton had this to say, “The dreaming or seeing things before they happen 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 dreams to their advantage, Anton added.
Detailing the rigorous process they underwent to make their dream a reality, Anton recalled the hardships they had to endure, including the most challenging aspect of selecting the child actors.
“In Iceland, we don’t have many child actors, so we opted for 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 in acting, intimacy and 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 we would raise a sports team.”
Thanking IFFI 53 for providing the opportunity to showcase their dream project, Anton expressed happiness that the festival provided him with a platform to directly interact with cinema lovers and gauge their reactions.