Interview with Filmmaker Anna Fredrikke Bjerke (THE WAY THINGS END)

THE WAY THINGS END played to rave reviews at the January 2020 LGBT Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Anna Fredrikke Bjerke: In many ways, I felt like I had to make this film. The idea sprouted from wanting to explore why growing apart is so painful and our emotional response to getting let down by a friend. I had been aching to write and direct my own work for some time, and found an opportunity in Mediefabrikken’s female director initiative, which aim is to get more women behind the camera.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I started developing the script in January of 2018 and we shot the short in May that same year. It was developed as part of the female director initiative, which sponsored the production equipment and introduced me to the film’s cinematographer, Catharina Wandrup, whose support has been invaluable. I spent the summer in post-production with our editor Elise Olavsen at Storyline Studios in Oslo and completed the film in August 2018.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Intense and beautiful.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Beside the little fires that had to be put out throughout production, the making of The Way Things End went very smoothly. I was very fortunate to have friends who donated their time to this project and to receive some funding from Viken Ung, which really helped in completing the film.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was glad to see that the film sparked something in the minds of the audience and that the language wasn’t a barrier. I think the reason for why The Way Things End resonates with people is because it’s a universal story that speaks to the way we think about our own friendships.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I wanted to tell the story of two friends who are coming to terms with the painful truth that a shift in perspective can sometimes end a friendship. It was something that I had recently experienced, and I was irking to explore how two friends who’ve grown apart or intentionally break away affect our emotions deeply on film.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola and Frances Ha by Noah Baumbach.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think it’s a great tool for discovering new festivals, such as the LGBT Toronto Film Festival.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Probably Modern Love by David Bowie.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I recently wrote and directed my fourth film Everyone Else, which is a short about a group of adolescents who are experiencing the growing pains of coming into their own. It was made with the support from The Norwegian Film Institute and will premiere in the 2020 festival circuit. I am also writing my first narrative feature, and in development with several short form projects.

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