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The Best of Intentions
Emil T. Jonsson
2014, 14m, horror, mystery, thriller
A vengeful father suspects that his mentally disabled daughter has been the victim of sexual abuse and confronts the caregiver he believes to be guilty. In exacting revenge he forgets about his daughters life threatening condition. A dramatic thriller resting on moral dilemmas.
6 questions with The Best of Intentions director, Emil T. Jonsson at the half-way mark.
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
1Hey Emil! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that made you want to make this film? I love suspense stories! When I first read this unproduced radio play my heart started beating fast, this dark interrogation drama really moved me; It felt like a dreamlike descent into one man’s own madness. But it took me a long time to understand that it was me who was supposed to produce and direct it. I had to work up the courage to take it on. And I’m happy I did!
2This film was based off a story by Bjorn Bostrom. What was it about his story that made you want to adapt it? Did you two also work together on the screenplay? Well, the universal theme of this story revolves around the conditions of love and revenge. Are our actions rooted in egoism or altruism? Both of the main characters in this film are faced with a similar question: Are they performing their actions based on someone else’s need or are they only satisfying their own personal desire, with the best of intentions?
I loved the challenging aspect of us trying to play with whom you side with.. and to make people think. I also wanted the film to take you on a sort of free fall - a dark subconscious journey - similar to the experience I had when I first read the play.
The challenge was always to take something that was clearly written to be heard and not seen, and to transform it to a cinematic experience. The short format (14 minutes) made the plot even more condensed and we had to somehow motivate it with “dream logic”. And yes, me and Björn Boström teamed up for the adaptation, with this common goal in mind.
3You've acted in may films (including this one) but this is your first time directing something. What made you decide to try writing and directing? I've always had a directors eye even when I was acting in stuff. Looking at the scenes from all possible angles and not just from my own characters point of view. I had also directed a few theatre productions and knew I liked being in control of the bigger picture. So the itch was there. With this film I started looking for a director, as I just wanted to act in it, but I couldn't find anybody with a similarly strong vision and so the choice fell on me.
4What was the biggest challenge making this film? Adapting a text based 45-minute play into a working short film. And also taking on the dual roles of acting and directing. It was a challenge to stay strong and focused as the director while also having to also play a flustered character on film. You need a lot of mental energy to juggle both roles.
5This is a pretty dark film. What is it that attracts you to dark subject matter? My own personal theme with this film has to do with feelings of oppression and “wanting to get out”. I wanted to channel some residue feelings of my own childhood into this work, in the look and the style of the film. So it was kind of therapeutic. But I also grew up on horror films and series like the Twilight Zone and I love to challenge the audience in my work.
6What's next? Me and Björn have just started working on a feature film version of The Best of Intentions. We believe we can make a great film, with lots of twists and turns, for a humble amount of money. We are also working on a trilogy of twisted challenging shorts in the same vain as The Best of Intentions. Any backers out there?
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time. The film is about the evolution of a couple's relationship, and was shot in three different countries over the course of a decade.
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