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#fourriverfriday – anne-marie bjerre koch, denmark

This week in our Four River Friday section, we bring you an interview with Anne-Marie Bjerre Koch. Her fiction film Between doves won the Yellow Flag Award last year. The Yellow Flag is awarded to filmmakers whose films speak out against violence as a social problem (in every sense of the term, from the physical to the verbal), especially among young people.

Six-year-old Maja's world crashes, when she opens up about her beloved Dad Morten, a single father, and describes the goodnight stories he tells her in kindergarten. When she is made to tell the counsellor about the stories, she is faced with a new and uncomfortable feeling: shame. When Maja gets to go home with Morten that day, her perception of her Dad has forever changed. Between Doves is a psychological drama that doesn't take a stand on Morten's crimes, but instead focuses on the events from Maja's point of view.

This incredibly impressive work is best described as a cross between a family drama and a horror film. When, frame by frame, symbol by symbol, it is revealed that a young girl might be the victim of sexual abuse by a parent, rescuing her from that situation immediately presents itself as the only possible solution. But the girl's powerlessness combined with the system's inability to help her bring this terrifically conceived and brilliantly made film to culmination a silent scream.

Find out more about what Anne-Marie does to find inspiration, how much the pandemic affected her work and what she thinks the yellow motive will represent FRFF this year! Follow the conversations with other young filmmakers every Friday in our Four River Friday section.

1. How did you fall in love with filmmaking?
I actually first started writing short stories. I've always loved telling stories, and music has been a huge part of my life as well. When I discovered I could use all the creative things I love in filmmaking to tell a story, I got captivated. I've been making movies since the age of 15, but have been telling stories far earlier than that. I hope to be able to tell stories for the rest of my life… Stories that make people wonder and put things into perspective.

2. Where do you find ideas and inspiration for your films?
I usually go for long walks in the forest and listen to music. I can travel far distances in this dream world, and normally I get all my ideas when I walk. That, or, just before sleeping – when you are in-between the living world and the world of dreams.

3. How did you like our last year's online edition of the Four River Film Festival?
I really enjoyed it even though it was online. Of course, it would have been nice to meet people in person and go to seminars and watch movies, but the online edition was a good alternative during the circumstances.

4. How do you manage with planning filmmaking during the pandemic? If you're making any new films, which stage of production are they now in?
It has, of course, been difficult to make films during the pandemic. However, I have spent much time on developing my newest project. We are currently getting started on post-production. We have been aware of the danger of having many people gathered. We followed our country's instructions and managed to get the film shot. Everything is just a bit more difficult during the pandemic.

5. Do you plan to join the FRFF this year as well and what do you expect from the festival in Karlovac?
I would love to. However, I think I might have reached the age limit. But if it is possible to go, I would love to.

6. Last year's festival theme was rubber ducks. What do you think, which yellow theme will FRFF have this year?
Uh, I don't know, really. Perhaps yellow old-timer cars?

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