Archive for the ‘In the shadows of Apartheid’ Category

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The Impossible River Journey – screenings

September 21, 2010
Helge and Joseph

Helge Hjelland wants to cross South Africa by an inflammable canoe.

The Impossible River Journey

Premiere in Oslo the 21th of May and in Bergen on the 8th of June.

Screening at Film Festivals:

10-12 September – screening at FJELLFILMFESTIVALEN (already sold out).

8-10 October – The film is nominated to the IV Ahmed Attia’s Award for the Dialogue of Cultures at Medimed in Sitges, Spain.

20-27 October – Screening at Bergen International Film Festival.

6-13 November – in competition for the main WT Award at WT Festivalen.

Director and Producer will be present at Nordic Panorama (september), MEDIMED (october) and at Bergen International Film Festival.

Check Pilot:

The adventurer Helge Hjelland has set out to cross the african continent by canoe.

Along his journey Helge picks up Joseph, an illegal refugee from South Sudan without any identity papers. Together they become partners in a journey through a South Africa – still struggling to get out of its shadow from apartheid.

In this expedition Helge will need all his social skills to navigate between the poor refugees whom escaped from white landlords in Lesotho, and the dominating white population in the Orange Free State.

It is a film about the diverse meetings through the African continent. A portrait of the best and worst in human kind. And it is also a refugee story, set in a country still struggling with its heritage from apartheid.

Geography: Far up in the Drakensberg Mountains is the source of the longest river in South Africa, the powerful Orange River, which stretches through the desert and into the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Towards the east the Tugela River tumbles down the worlds second largest waterfall, the Tugela Falls, towards the crocodiles in the tropic forests underneath and into the Indian Ocean.

Together the two rivers divide the African continent with its spectacular beauty. But the rivers do not only offer a varied nature. They also run through the varied and complex heritage and culture of South Africa.

The documentary series made it to the TV2 news in this clip (sorry only in Norwegian).

The documentary film will be screened at TV2 in Norway and DR in Denmark. It had it’s premiere just in time for the World Cup in Football in South Africa.

Title: The Impossible River Journey / Den umulige reisen (Norwegian)
Type: Documentary mini-series.
Producer & Director: Arild Mehn-Andersen
D.O.P: Helge Hjelland
Editor: Torkel Gjørv
Screenplay: Arild Mehn-Andersen
Composer: Eugene Guribye
Animations: New Man’s Land – Joel Toledo & Daniel Moreno
Color Grading & Mastering: Frø Film og Media – Paulo Chavarría
Sound: Pål Terje Nygård
Promotion and media: Monica Larsson
Production leader TV 2 AS: Vebjørn Hagen
Financed by: West Norwegian Film Centre, South Norwegian Film Centre, TV 2 AS, AMEHN production.
Production company: AMEHN production

Country of origin: Norway
Length: 2 * 46 min.

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Screening at Farao Islands 18 and 25 July

July 20, 2010

Helge Hjelland on his way to Shetland Islands in 2004.

Our new documentary film with Helge Hjelland has got another title in yet another language.

We are already familiar with the original title; Den umulige reisen. There is also the english title; The Impossible River Journey. And of course the danish title; Den umulige flodrejsen.

Now our film is being screened at the Farao Islands – far out in the North sea. Here the film is called; Tann torføra ferðin.

First episode was screened on the 18th of july at 19:00. Second and last episode is being screened on the 25th of July at 19:00.

Hope our friends at Farao Island enjoy our show. Reminds us of an early adventure by Helge Hjelland, when he crossed the North Sea in a small inflatable boat to the Shetland Islands in 2004.

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TV 2 teaser for our brand new series

May 20, 2010

This is how it looks when TV 2 teases it’s viewers before the screening of our documentary series on the 23th and 30th of May 2010 at 20:00.

The Impossible River Journey documentary series will be screened at TV2 on sunday afternoons, prime time.

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The frequence of crickets

May 16, 2010

Several crickets lining up, the crossing lines are the s-sounds we try to keep.

Here we want to share one of the obstacles faced by our sound engineer in the post production of our documentary series.

Namely, the sound of crickets. Many crickets. And sometimes, very many crickets. And, as in this example from the kalahari desert, abnormally many crickets….

But the arcitecture of the sound by these creatures are fascinating. Here you can see how we zoomed into the sound waves with one of the many tools used by Pål Terje Nygård in his sound studio.

We could single out each and every cricket around Helge Hjelland along his journey. Every line in the photo represent a single cricket. And this is only a tiny portion of the amount of crickets we had to deal with.

The black lines is the empty space left after we cut out one of the most annoying frequences. Unfortunately, it turned out this also cut away the s-sound of the dialogue. Leaving u wi a voie wiout and ound. (Meaning, leaving us with a voice without the s and th-sound.)

Therefor we had to zoom even further into the frequency, and instead of deleting it altogether, we had to whipe away just a portion of it.

This left us with a less annoying sound, without too many compromises in the quality of speech.

The frequency specter in this photo is from the Kalahari desert.

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Sound and vision

May 11, 2010

Paulo Chavarría makes images shine.

The Impossible River Journey is made possible with several long time cooperation partners. Right now, each and every frame of the film; The Impossible River Journey, is carefully color graded and balanced by the talented Paulo Chavarria.

Pål T. Nygård in his sound studio with Helge Hjellad.

At the same time, every sound and composition you’ll hear is balanced and cleaned up by the sound wizard Pål T. Nygård in his studio in Bergen.

Both Paulo and Pål are part of the extended family of AMEHN production, and has been working on both the animated short film; The Fable Of The Leaf, directed and animated by Paulo himself, and mixed into a dolby surround, three language version in Pål’s studio.

They both made their impact on the making of the first documentary film with Helge Hjelland as well, The Cruellest Journey.

We are certainly approaching the premiere at Filmens Hus in Oslo.

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The X-factor…

May 6, 2010

We are grateful to have the brilliant Banjo Mosele on our team.


Finally the music clearance got through. After months of waiting, we finally got clearance to use a song from the South African composer Sibongile Khumalo in our documentary series.

Because of the delayed clearance, we had to look for alternatives, and received several tips from known and unknown. They were all pointing towards the brilliant musician Banjo Mosele form Botswana – and now living in Norway. Luckily, he arrived Norway from Botswana on the day we contacted him.

We met, and he saw an offline version of our film and would be happy to contribute with any of his songs. Not only that, but he also knew the language spoken around Lesotho – and could help us translate the dialogue we could not understand.

This was of course an unknown factor for us in the editing. But we were lucky with our chosen lines. It turned out the translations enriched the material even further.

Thank you Banjo. And thank you Sibongile. And thank you Barabass for sending us in the right direction. And thank you Malika Makouf Rasmussen for the same.

Also thank you Rebeca and Sheridan at Sony in Norway and South Africa. And thank you Jonas, Hampus and Christoffer at Sonyatv in Sweden.

We are grateful for your help.

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Title is ready!

April 28, 2010
Helge Hjelland confronting his first big obstacle, the 950 meter Tugela Falls.

Helge Hjelland confronting his first big obstacle, the 950 meter Tugela Falls.

The title was obvious when we heard it…

When you consider the name of our last film with Helge Hjelland; “The Cruellest Journey“, it was obvious we needed a follow up along that trail.

This time, our film shall be called: “The Impossible River Journey”. Or, as we say in norwegian: “Den umulige reisen”.

There certainly are several reasons why this trip should have been impossible.

After several days of brainstorming, with several suggestions arriving from both South Africa, Denmark and Norway, we immediately felt the title was right when the suggestion came from the artistic director at West Norwegian Film Centre. She reminded us of how great the previous title was, and suggested: “The impossible journey”.

But since that title was already taken, we now own the river variety.

“The Impossible River Journey” / “Den umulige reisen” (c) 2010 AMEHN production.

Film certainly is a cooperative effort. Thanks!

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