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MFA Film

Anna Maria jóakimsdóttir-Hutri

Who stands up for Alvar (18 min)

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Minna a single mother to a twelve year old daughter and works as an assistant nurse in a home service environment. She performs her duties with empathy and dedication for the ones she is helping but pressured by unit managers that needs to keep the budget, the more she tries to be helpful the more her benevolence is used. 

On top of this, she is faced with the dilemma of also dealing with the terminally ill and lonely but grumpy neighbour who refuses all forms of municipal help even though he clearly cannot take care of himself. How can Minna sustain her empathic core for her fellow human being and care for the elderlies with compassion despite the infernal cut downs of budgets and can she stay present for her elite practicing ice skating daughter at the same time? Driven into an ever-increasing work spiral one day she realises she’s had enough.

Director’s words:
This project has been developed as a part of research into moral dilemmas amongst social care workers in Sweden conducted by the Linné University. Through the collaboration with me as director and screenwriter, the idea is that an interesting synergy of artistically reflecting on the research material will result in a new understanding of the situation for those working in the elderly care and the elderly in the field, through cinematic storytelling. The goal is to reach new target groups for elderly care through dramedy and to highlight the values ​​that are the foundation of our society in a new way through dramatic storytelling. It is a collaboration between scientific research and artistic research – a synergy that can give a much deeper picture of the people in the field than the media coverage that is done and which often covers only a small part or only focuses on the problems or the poor conditions.

The film will create identification and insight into the complex network of moral decisions that must be made daily by staff in elderly care. With an increasing need for elderly care, there is also a greater perspective of our shared values ​​in society where we take care of the people who built the welfare state. Both the elderly and staff in the field see their work and their existence as something valuable. Therefore, one can sometimes feel that the one-sided description of the scarce working conditions and the disparaging image we have of the elderly as a burden on society needs to be given a different angle – a new story. In memory of Carin Mannheimer as one of the artists who also worked with these subjects, this project floats in her spirit of the desire to depict the human noble values ​​found in the field.

My topic is about elderly care. It’s not immediately a subject you think dramedy is suitable for, but that’s precisely why I’d like to work with it to see how this synergy can create a completely new engagement for a wider audience. In the same way that the crime genre has created a lift and interest in the police’s activities, I want to test whether this synergy can create a lift for elderly care.

”Who stands up for Alvar” is already been recognised as an achievement invited to the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film `Festival 2024. Anna Maria is also chosen by the European Film Promotion to represent the upcoming European Film Directors 2024. 

“Since 2003 Anna Maria works as a film and theatre director and scriptwriter in film,TV and stages in Finland. She’s directed commercials for Also Starring, movies for Helsinki-filmi Oy, children’s drama for the Finnish National eBroadcasting Company YLE and both classical and non-traditional plays for the stage.

Her films have been founded by national Nordic funds such as the Finnish Film Foundation, Swedish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Film Institute. Her TV dramas have been co-produced by YLE and the Swedish Broadcasting Company SVT.

Anna Maria has a MA in Theatre and Dramaturgy from The Art University in Helsinki and a second MA in New Media as well as a BA in Art Photography from the Aalto University. She was born in Reykjavik to her Icelandic father and Danish mother. She grew up in Sweden’s west coast and in –97 she moved to Finland to study art.Today she lives in Sweden, but can easily work in all Nordic countries.”