In a suburban community in the north of London, a group of girl friends create their own set of rules to navigate their way into adulthood. When a new girl comes from Botswana, she has to decide whether to stay on her own path, or divert with the group.
In this coming-of-age narrative nonfictional experiences integrate with fictional storytelling. It speaks a message of empowerment in narrative form, and through power of filmmaking it enables the all-female cast to bring their own voices to the script.
Released this year as one of first GiF associated productions, we sat down with director Savanah Leaf to chat through the process of making FIN.
Where did an idea for this film come from, why FIN?
The script is a collaboration of experiences from the cast and my own young adulthood. It originally was about one of my past teammates, and then it morphed into a story that intertwined the lives of our leads. We wanted to tell our stories, with hopes to connect with other young adults on the basis of truthful emotions associated with adolescence.
You said the film was a process of collaboration with its core characters of four friends - what was the process like? How did you choose your main leads?
We found our leads through platforms online and through mutual friends. After casting the leads, I spent many sessions discussing the script with them. They challenged what I wrote, and brought their own personal experiences to the table to help bring depth to the narrative. Now it stands as a portrait of Lukwesa, a girl who is struggling to manage her life and the influences in it. Basically a reflection of each of us in different ways.
There is a moment of tenderness between the two characters in the film, did sexuality play an important part for you in the portrayal of adolescence?
Of course, I think that is all part of growing up and learning about yourself. There are so many hormones rolling around in those years, so you can't ignore them.
So what's next? Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am currently editing a film for a charity called Motion Poems. I am really excited about it and it should be released early in the new year.