Writer and Director Lasse Noer talks about his short film ‘Knight of Fortune’ which has been shortlisted for an Academy Award

Shortlisted from a total of 187 short films, Knight of Fortune has made its mark, as it currently awaits the results of the final nominee list, to be announced on Tuesday 23rd January. One of 14 nominees currently in the ‘Live Action Short Film’ category, the film tackles a man’s struggle through the loss of his wife. Through comedic and solemn scenes, we follow a heartwarming tale of friendship growing between two men found through grief. Inspired by his own experience of loss, Lasse tells us more about how it feels to have made this year’s shortlist, working with an esteemed team of creatives that including Academy Award winning filmmaker Kim Magnusson and how he’s found the festival  circuit and the experience as a whole surrounding the film!

Hi Lasse, your film Knight of Fortune has made this year’s Academy Award shortlist in the ‘Live Action Short Film’ category. How are you feeling?

I’m so grateful to the Academy. It’s really a dream come true, and I would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved in the making of the film.

Knight of Fortune depicts a man struggling through the loss of his wife. Through comedic and solemn scenes, we follow a heartwarming tale of friendship growing between two men found through grief. What inspired you to explore this narrative further?

This film is very personal to me. It emerged from a time when I was dealing with the weight of personal losses. I was struck by a heavy feeling of guilt – what I should have said or didn’t say… what I could have done and didn’t do… Therefore the thematic core of the film aims to shatter some of taboos surrounding grief and underscore the significance of acknowledging and processing grief. It was important for me to create a film that encompasses the darkness of grief but also its warmth, love, and at times even humor.

You’ve written and directed the film, which is produced by Kim Magnusson and Christian Norlyk. Cinematography is by Lasse Ulvedal Tolbøll, editing by Simon Dræby and stars Leif Andrée, Dick Kaysø, Jesper Lohmann, Dorte Rømer and Jens Jørn Spottag amongst a larger team of creatives. How have you all worked together to realise the film?

I’ve always thought of filmmaking as a symphony, where each team member functions as a vital musician in creating a harmonious composition. The synergy of every player’s performance is paramount in reaching the best result. I’m so proud and grateful of each member of the team and everyone played an instrumental role in bringing this film to life. Working alongside these talented individuals has truly been a remarkable.

The film played at the 2023 Clermont-Ferrand international Short Festival. What was the feedback towards the film? How have you found the whole experience surrounding the film so far?

This whole festival ride has been one big adventure. Traveling to different festivals worldwide and witnessing how audiences everywhere react in cinemas has been nothing short of incredible. I’ll tell you about this one moment at Clermont Ferrand—after the screening, this young man walks up to me and goes, “Thank you. I didn’t know I could laugh and cry at the same time. Now, I’m gonna call my grandma and make sure she’s doing alright.” That’s the kind of response you can only hope for. And now, with the whole Academy Award shortlist consideration in the mix, I’m feeling seriously blessed. It’s like the cherry on top of an already wild journey.

What can viewers expect from the film?

The viewers can expect to be laughing and hopefully also touched.

What would you like for viewers to take away from the film?

My hope is that through this film, audiences will be reminded of the importance of standing by one another during loss and grief.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

To find out more about Knight of fortune, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop