The World's First Global Film Festival

The Match

Directed by: Pia Andell

Country: Finland

Time: 15:38

Synopsis: Two middle-aged women turn a friendly game of tennis into an intense competition but stand united at the end of the match when they discover one thing in common.

Women can be hard on each other, can't they?

Yes, but often it is indirect and therefore not so noticeable. The devil is in the details. Open aggression is rare because it is not allowed. For women I mean. One should stay calm. (Until one cannot.)

Tell us about the two actresses. Did they know each other previously?

Milka Ahlroth (blonde hair) is a well-known Finnish actress. She has done a lot of films. She also is an old friend. We have known each other since we were kids. I saw Nina (dark hair) play tennis once, and it was clear that she had played when younger. She is an excellent actress but recently done mostly theater work. Milka and Nina did not know one another previously but I thought they were a good match (haha). I wrote the short film with those two in mind. I knew they could carry the game and the close-ups.

Did you watch any tennis matches on TV for shooting tips? Do you play?

Did I watch tennis matches on TV? Yes, a lot! But not just because of the film. I played a lot as a junior and after a 20-year break, restarted, and then, when I hit 45, I started competing again. Some of the incidents in the film are based on my own experiences on the battlefield.

Take us through the editing process. What was the biggest challenge?

There are two kinds of people: those who play tennis and those who don't. The big challenge was to take both into consideration and to keep the film emotionally understandable, engaging, as well as logical, and moving forward following the game's rules. And it also needed to be surprising. Damn hard. Luckily, the editor had never played, so together we were a good match. (Haha,again). Still, the editing process was quite long.

Sport or the sporting life isn't a usual topic for a short film even though sports are widely popular. Why so do you think?

A narrative short film on sports is as rare as a centaur sighting, I suppose. Why is that? There is a natural onward movement in sports films --who will win?--and it also plays well as a metaphor of life. But to do sports well in front of a camera requires skills that cannot be acquired in a short time. The shooting of the film takes only a couple of days, but to be able to convince everybody of its authenticity, one has to practice the sport's skills for months. No short film budget allows that. Or for stunt doubles. If the actor fakes it, people will notice it. And when they notice it, their focus is no longer on the story. No matter how well one acts. Directors know this.