International Cinematography Guild Emerging Cinematographers Award Honoree 2013
VanNessa Manlunas was born in Guam, and her family moved to a small town in Nevada when she was still a child and then to a tiny Alaskan island. She finally ended up in another small town in Southern California, and although she never attended a traditional film school, she describes all the movies she’s watched as inspiration.
“The notion of moviemaking was so wildly different and too exciting not to try,” she recounts. “That sense of adventure has always been there [in my life], and it translates into my filmmaking. Every new project is a new challenge and adventure that’s a constant source of motivation and excitement.”
King of Norway – loosely based on the true relationship between writer/director Sylvia Sether and her father – is about a young girl whose father’s accident leaves him unable to create new memories. As an adult, she learns that he’s dying, and she finds her way back to him only to discover that love is impossible to forget.
“In the grander scope,” explains Manlunas, “this story touches on the undeniable human connection we share and the effect we can have on each other’s lives. I knew we had to shoot this on film, as 16 mm was the right call for the story’s realism.’
“We wanted that hint of vibrance to match the rich performances,” adds Manlunas, who shot on Kodak 500T 7230, “and with enough texture to make the overall feel more vulnerable and ‘lived in’ from the beginning, since we’re only in the lives of these characters for a short, tough period of time.”