About the project

What made you go with this concept for FAIL?
My first thought was “Oh man, how can I talk about failure; isn’t that embarrassing? I don’t want to think about how I feel when I screw up, I always feel…just bad when it happens!” And I realized, the more I thought about it, that there is a stigma where “failure” is most often linked with something negative, bad, sad, etc. I remembered times that it really was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t get what I wanted at the time. I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that we are guided towards the lessons that we need to experience in our lives to become wiser and deeper. I came to the conclusion that I would expand and explore the gratitude one can feel from making a mistake and then turning it into something positive.

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You definitely get the award for farthest-away filmmaker. How did being in Greenland inspire your story?
It was a bit difficult, as I struggled with where to shoot and who, since I was staying in very small villages covered in snow, even in August and September.  The majority of the people didn’t speak English, so the idea of having actors or anything set up wasn’t really possible. Plus I felt like I was in a dream the whole time I was there, so failure was just the last thing on my mind. I felt nothing but bliss wandering around the mountains. I thought at one point, “Damn, everyone who’s doing this back home is going to have insanely better videos because they are in touch with reality. Mine will be terrible. I’M GOING TO FAIL AT MAKING A FAILURE VIDEO, GREAT, YOU IDIOT!” I wanted to bring in as much of Greenland as I could. So I used the beauty around me to express and symbolize the good feelings of self-realization and growth that comes from failure.

At one point in the film, a six-year-old boy says “To fail is to die.” Pretty deep for a six-year-old, as you point out. Where do you think that perspective came from?
I wish I knew why he said that, because that really shocked me and I was speechless when it came up! Greenlandic people live much simpler lives than we do. They don’t have as many distractions and the overwhelming external world of media, advertisements, things being shoved in your face all the time. So perhaps their way of thinking is much more straightforward and blunt, and that is where he got that impression: just being alive is to succeed, and therefore dying is failing.

Anything else you’d like to add?
This project really helped me think about failure in a new light. My notes from brainstorming are very important to me. I encourage everyone to explore this idea further to find more peace within yourself and the world around you.

About the FilmMaker

Visual Director, Writer, Traveler
IG: @hot.veins

About the Calendar

The result of an attempt in Germany to break the world record for largest number of people dressed as Smurfs: a miscount.