What a journey

Oh Lord, do we have some catching up to do!

I didn’t mean to disappear from the blogosphere for this long, and I honestly don’t know how I can summarize these past few months in a single post — it’s been an adventure unlike any other.

Last time you heard from me was when I ran the home stretch of the fundraising campaign for my film “Holy Jail” (which, thanks to God’s grace and people’s generosity and their hard work is now in post-production with a premiere-date set for May 2019)! 

A lot of things have happened, and I’ve learned that living out of a suitcase for three months really isn’t that bad; not when you get to direct your biggest project yet, produce four films on three continents, meet new people, catch up with old ones, share a vision with devoted crew-members, receive an award from your hometown, learn how to do a backflip and spend lots of quality time with family and friends. 

I’ll tell you all about the film, the challenges and victories of the production and the lessons and revelations of the experience in another post.

But here’s just a quick ‘hello’ proving that I’m still alive and forever grateful for your support.

In the meantime, this is some of what I’ve been up to — in the form of photographic documentation.

***If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram this probably feels like a redundant post to you, so I won’t judge you if you stop reading. But feel free to continue 🙂 ***

In October, welcomed the talented and exceptionally hardworking cinematographer, Jall Cowasji, to Haugesund, Norway to begin prepping for the shoot of “Holy Jail”
Photo: Nikolas Hofmann.

Early morning-shoot outside the jail in Haugesund.
Photo: Zille Marie Bårdsen / Appex.

Here’s a behind the scenes video from the set, brought to you by TVH. English subtitles available if you hit one of the buttons down to the right, on the video itself.

 
Some more behind-the-scenes:
With Assistant Director, Karl M. Karlsen.
Photo: William Lyngholm.

2nd Assistant Director Aleksander N. Samsonsen, Sound Mixer Thor Vidar Hjelmervik, Production Assistant Cecilie Udstuen and Boom Operator Mustafa Battal.


Photo: Nora Bode.

Then, after lots fo work and long hours we finished shooting the film and climbed a playground-tower to celebrate! Holy Jail was blessed with the best cast and crew I could ever have asked for. Look at this lovely bunch!


Then I was supposed to be in Sioux Falls to guest speak at Cinema Falls’ Scandinavian Film Festival, but because of the film shoot I had to make a virtual appearance instead. Honored to show my film “Sisters” at the festival!

Video by Karl M. Karlsen.

Then I got the fantastic news that I had been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Culture Scholarship from my hometown. This lifted off a financial burden for the funding of Holy Jail, and I’m so grateful for the honor and support. But since I had already left for Florida to produce a film there, my dad stepped in and accepted the award on my behalf.


Photo: Grethe Nygaard.

Here’s a radio interview where I talk about the award, the film and my life in New York.
Thanks to host Egil Houeland at Radio 102 for making live radio interviews fun.

English subtitles are available if you hit one of the buttons down to the right, on the video itself.


I’ll write another post about my time in Florida, but all I can say is that I had a magical time there, helping my dear friend and director, Kai Torres, bring her vision to life with her movie “Pancakes.”

I also produced a Lebanese film directed by another dear friend, Nay Tabbara, that deserves a wonderful mention of its own later. 

But now that I’m back in New York, attending classes and editing “Holy Jail” I just want to tell you one more thing. (you may consider this a reward to those of you who actually read this long-ass post. Thank you).

Holy Jail the Movie has its own website!
Posters, screen shots and behind-the scenes material can be found right here:

www.holyjailmovie.com

Stay tuned for updates regarding premiere dates, screenings and more.



Huge thanks to everyone who made these past months possible. You know who you are.

Blessings,
Maria

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