After 13 million people watch the trailer, Las Palmas finally reaches TV
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
22/12/2011 - "You've probably heard that teenage drinking ages have been reduced, but this is ridiculuos," said US comedian and talkshow host Jay Leno, when he saw the trailer for Swedish director Johannes Nyholm's short Las Palmas on YouTube.
He wasn't the only one: more than 13 million people have clicked to watch the 81-second clip from the 13-minute movie, making it the site's third most viewed movie trailer last year, in competition with all Hollywood blockbusters. Swedish public broadcaster SVT1 has now programmed the film to be shown twice on January 1.
Las Palmas follows a middle-aged lady on a holiday in the sun, visiting a bar where she tries to have a good time and make new friends. The casting, though, is unusual: the lead is played by a one-year-old girl - the director's daughter - the other roles by marionette puppets. And the baby trashes the bar.
"I was on father's leave, and thought I would make an unpretentious documentary of a day in the life of my little daughter. I was fascinated by her energy - I could sit there, speechless, just watching her. I wanted to show her when she was eating, sleeping, moving around," Nyholm explained.
Las Palmas was launched at Sweden's Göteborg International Film Festival, where it received the Startsladdan prize of €90,000 cash and services, adding the Audience Award. It has since screened at numerous international showcases, including Cannes, and collected honours in Hamburg and Winterthur.
In other words: "This is what happens when a wife leaves her husband home alone with her daughter for too long a time," concluded US writer Ryan Dunn. A filmmaker of shorts since 2004, so far with seven titles to his credit, Nyholm and his production company has most recently finished Dead End.