• Golden Globe Awards

Little Wing (Finland)

A little girl's search for her father is the premise of the Finnish drama Little Wing.  The coming-of-age story follows 12-year-old Varpu (Linnea Skog) who one night steals a car and drives to the other side of the country because she wants to find the father she has never met.  The story is quite personal to the film’s screentwriter and director Selma Vilhunen:  “I grew up with my single mother.  My dad was mentally disabled and he committed suicide when I was a baby.  With the movie I was able to encounter my father through fiction. I feel like I have been preparing for this movie all my life.”Even though the story draws on Vilhunen’s own experiences, the plot is wholly fictional.  Varpu is raised by an immature single mother (Paula Vesala) who refuses to grow up; she cries when she can’t pass her driver’s test, clambers into her daughter’s bed when she feels sad, and complains about her life rather than asking Varpu about hers.  “The story examines different kinds of weaknesses and how people deal with those,” Vilhunen explains.The movie deals with real life issues like bullying, poverty, mental illness, and dysfunctional families. Over all it brings daughter and mother closer to each other. “Even though the story is close to my heart I didn’t have time to fall into a rabbit hole because shooting the film kept me busy.” But there was one moment that made her teary. “The scene where Varpu and her mother visit Varpu’s biological father was very emotional to me.”Little Wing is Vilhunen’s first fiction feature as a director.  The movie won the “Alice Nella Città” prize at the Rome Film Festival this year.  “Luckily I have had so many great and talented people around me that making the feature length movie was a positive surprise for me.  I have also gotten a lot of positive and very personal feedback around the world.  The daughter-mother relationship has touched many people and they have been sharing their stories with me. That, is the ultimate reward for me.”Previously, in 2014, her short film Do I Have To Take Care Of Everything? got an Academy Award nomination. That film also dealt with family matters in a humorous way.