Though this year’s Sundance Film Festival is going virtual-only for the second time in a row, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t plenty to be excited about. While buzzy, star-driven titles like Lena Dunham’s “Sharp Stick” and Phyllis Nagy’s “Call Jane” put women’s issues front and center, there are more than a few under-the-radar titles that also consider love and sexuality from a female viewpoint. Case in point: “Girl Picture,” the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic competition entry from Finnish director Alli Haapasalo.
The film, centered on the experiences of three young women coming of age and into love and sex, premieres January 24 as part of the Sundance lineup. Exclusive to IndieWire, watch the electric first trailer below.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö have each other’s backs, always. They want to live adventurous lives, loaded with experiences and passion. Emma, on the contrary, has given her whole life to figure skating. Nothing gets between her and success. But when the girls meet, life opens new paths, and they all rocket in new directions. While Mimmi and Emma experience the earth-moving effects of first love, Rönkkö is on a quest to find pleasure. Three Fridays is all it takes to turn their worlds upside down.”
Haapasalo previously directed the films “Love and Fury” and “Force of Habit.” The cast on this latest film includes Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino, Sonya Lindfors, Cécile Orblin, Oona Airola, and Mikko Kauppila. “Girl Picture” is written by Ilona Ahti and Daniela Hakulinen.
Per Sundance, “‘Girl Picture’ manifests its uninhibited characters’ youthful energy and smartly centers the chemistry between its three terrific leads. Within the film’s tender, funny exploration of the fears and confusions of discovering one’s identity and sexuality, a refreshingly positive portrait of the power of female friendship emerges. Writers Daniela Hakulinen and Ilona Ahti consistently present the film’s teen protagonists as complex individuals, while director Alli Haapasalo, rather than aestheticizing the girls’ femininity, vibrantly depicts their trials and tribulations through their own eyes.”
Other Finnish titles at the festival included the World Cinema Documentary competition title “The Mission,” and Midnight entry “Hatching.”