Since she was a teenager Danish filmmaker Annika Berg has been making movies. She graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2015 and received critical acclaim for her graduation film, “Sia.” “Sia” also won best short film at Denmark’s Robert Awards in 2017. “Team Hurricane” is Berg’s first feature film. She is currently working on her next project.
“Team Hurricane” will premiere at the 2017 Venice International Film Critics’ Week on September 6.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
Ab: Basically, it’s a love letter to my teenager within — and a reminder to myself, as well as every other former and present teen, to love and nurture the energy and vulnerability that’s so prominent at that age.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
Ab: That I, myself, in my own private space, wasn’t really that okay with my former self. The teen inside that I had been trying to suffocate, and it was causing me problems in life, love, and happiness.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
Ab: I wouldn’t really want them to think that much. I would probably like for them to feel more acceptances towards themselves and others. And also just to be inspired. I think it’s one of the most important duties in every human’s life — to inspire others, and to contribute with energy and ideas.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
Ab: As always: Not crossing the boundaries of these beautiful and brave girls, whilst maintaining the intensity regarding themes that would make the film honest and truly relevant to other teens.
And also just constantly being around so many amazing and energetic people. I’m a lone wolf by nature. I’m most comfortable in the woods in the company of my dog.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
Ab: The film was mostly government-funded as a part of a new visionary and ultra low-budget program that the Danish Film Fund launched a couple of years back. The program is intended to give young filmmakers a chance to make their first feature early on in their career, and I’m extremely grateful for that!
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week?
Ab: For a festival with such a distinguished history and love of the arts to acknowledge this crazy teen universe and give it its stamp of approval means the world to me. Especially because of all the insanely hardworking people who have put their hearts and souls into this project. It warms my heart tremendously that this old fine-ass institution acknowledges current teen culture as fine art. I think stuff like that matters to teens.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Ab: Worst advice: Oh lord, there’s so many, but probably to tone it down. Be less whatever. I get that a lot. Especially from my mom. Lol. But no, for real, it’s really bad advice. Don’t ever turn it down. Turn it up to the max!
Best advice: My baby sister who told me to get a dog.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
Ab: Don’t take any bullshit from anybody. Hold your head up high. Try to focus on all the opportunities instead of all the limitations. Be the role model and helping hand you yourself could have benefited from early on in your career — or in life, for that matter!
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
Ab: Probably, the short film “Swimmer” by Lynne Ramsay. It speaks to my soul. The rhythm and confidence of the piece gives me goosebumps. It reminds me of “Taris, roi de l’eau” by Jean Vigo, which is a good thing!
W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.
Ab: I don’t really have that many general thoughts regarding the subject. I’m just trying to kick in some doors and empower other females as much as I possibly can, and I’m extremely optimistic regarding that mission!
Venice Film Fest 2017 Women Directors: Meet Annika Berg — “Team Hurricane” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.