Elle Sofe 2 Foto Per Heimly

Dáiddadállu's founders create the first Sami musical in feature film format

News 18.11.20

Dáiddadállu's founder and artist partner, Elle Sofe Sara, receives funding from the Norwegian Film Institute for her debut feature film. The film is called "Árru" and today it became official that it has been awarded NOK 6 million through NFI's Nye veier scheme.

Filmmaker talent

Earlier this year, during the Tromsø International Film Festival, Elle Sofe was selected as one of five filmmaker talents on Talent Norway's and MERFILM's talent programme. Now, 10 months later, she and the production company MERFILM receive feature film support from the Norwegian Film Institute.

- This was completely unexpected, it's almost so I don't understand that it's true. I have worked with short films for a long time, and have never dared to dream of making a feature film because the competition is so great in the film world. I am really looking forward to this job because the film has an important story, and it is important that more Sami and Sami-language films are produced, says a moved Elle Sofe.

Will be the first Sami film musical

Elle Sofe lives in Kautokeino, and is a choreographer and film director. Video art, film, theater and dance are part of her work. Through her art, she often highlights political challenges and cultural peculiarities in Sami society. In familiar Elle Sofe style, the feature film will be a musical. She has previously directed five short films where dance, music and choreography have been central elements. In this feature film, she develops this style further and focuses on musicals.

- In the film, we follow a Sami woman, Kari, who protests against mining that is planned in her reindeer herding district. The film idea is still in its initial stages, so I can't say much more right now, smiles Elle Sofe.

You will now make the first Sami film musical. What do you think about it?

- It is very fun to make a musical. I like to tell stories through dance, music and acting. I have a dance and choreography background and education, so musicals are a very natural path for me.

New roads scheme

The sum of NOK 6 million is considered in the film world to be a low-budget feature film production. The grant from NFI comes through the Nye veier scheme, which will encourage directors and producers to innovate and artistic daring, and provide an opportunity to research and experiment within the various film formats.

- Now I work with script development and with finding artistic collaboration partners. There is a lot of work ahead, as I will also be creating a dance-joke performance for the Festivals in Northern Norway, which premieres in June 2021. I don't know when the film will be ready to be shown in cinemas, it will probably be in a few years, concludes Elle Couch.

Other films MERFILM has produced through the Nye veier scheme include "Disco" by Jorunn Myklebust Syversen, which was shortlisted as Norway's Oscar proposal.