When I was young, I dreamed about the apocalypse almost every night. One dream in particular stuck with me: It was the apocalypse, and everyone was trying to board a train to Finland because it was the only safe place left on earth. Someone announced that the only way to board the train was to produce a letter or some kind of proof that you had family in Finland who wanted you to come to them. I resigned myself to dying, since I did not have any family in Finland, but then I got a letter from someone saying he was my real dad and to come to Finland and be with him. I held on to this dream for a long time – in my mind, there was a dad in Finland who loves me, and who would come collect me when the world ended.
Now on Kickstarter is Letters to Finland, a short film by Singaporean filmmaker Sya le Roux.
A Yale-NUS graduate, le Roux first wrote the short film for her capstone. Not only would it go on to be realised, but it also won her the Yale-NUS Literary Award for scriptwriting. With Letters to Finland, le Roux seeks to lend a a more personal and affectionate lens to the apocalypse, and to explore loneliness – not just the loneliness of being alone in an empty world, but also the loneliness of trauma and failed human connection. She also hopes to express a more true depiction of sexual violence survivors than represented on screen today. The film is currently in post-production and will even have a work-in-progress version screened online on the 29th of July, at 8PM (+8 GMT).
In Letters to Finland, the world ends quietly. People vanish suddenly and without trace, including Ellie’s sexually abusive father. Now alone in a seemingly empty world, Ellie befriends inanimate objects and makes phone calls to imaginary friends to soothe her loneliness. She writes identical letters addressed to a “dad” in Finland asking him to come meet her at her flat, and leaves them at train stations. A man knocks on her door, but he is not the man she is looking for. Ellie ends the day somehow lonelier than she started it.
The campaign will close on the 31st of July at 7.30PM (+8 GMT). Back Letters to Finland on Kickstarter now and fuel a new generation fo Singaporean filmmakers who dare to dream!