Presentation sheet

Presentation (ENG)


Sofia's birthday

A birthday in a freezing cemetery with a surprising gift. A story inspired by Japanese Haiku.


Sofia's Birthday is the story of two young widowers who in a silent, snow-covered cemetery, visiting the grave of their respective spouses, meet and fall in love. A silent meeting between two human beings from distant, foreign realities - she a northerner, he a southerner - but united by Death and the will for Life.

The Haiku from which the work is inspired is:

"In the fields of snow
verdissimo il verde
delle erbe nuove"
"In the fields of snow
greenest is the green
of the new grass"
Dans les champs de neige
très vert le vert
de l'herbe neuve

KONISHI RAIZAN (1653-1716)


Sofia's Birthday is a work inspired by Japanese Haiku poems.

The subject grew out of a theatrical study conducted by Annika Strøhm on Haiku. The study centers on an attempt to return to the viewer, through the staging of small stories without text, the intangible essence that gleams from these very short poems of only three lines. The theatrical study is still a work in progress and, at the moment, has been presented in a few small Italian theater festivals.

Norway was chosen because of the collaborative production interests that bind the two main partners and because we wanted a set that was simple and as close to nature as possible. Southern European cemeteries, so full of symbols and always isolated between walls that divide them from reality, were less suited to the dialogue we wanted to establish between death and nature. Oslo's cemetery, Vår Frelsers Gravlund (Our Savior's Cemetery), is located within a park in the heart of the city, and people pass through it daily for their commute.

Sofia's Birthday is a simple story in which silence and nature play a key role. It chronicles the end of a winter and the beginning of a love. There are no words between the two protagonists; their bodies tell us the pain into which they have sunk. Their daily rituals tell us how far they have drifted from the joy of life. The sense of death that permeates the place of action is answered by Nature with its sounds, its calls, its raw sweetness.

The protagonists cannot resist this primal call and as if overwhelmed they surrender to their senses.

Human nature, destined to surrender to the ineluctable change of events, waits in hiding for the inevitable change brought about by this encounter, while Nature placidly observes the unfolding of events. It is to this human inability to control fate to which we owe the constant rebirth of the seasons of nature and life.

The ending emphasizes that wonderful human possibility of overcoming pain, guilt and thus giving new and unexpected meaning to life. The hope that blossoms when we now feel dead. A birthday, a new birth in which the most precious gift is the return to Life.


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Video trailer

Participations and awards

The short film was teminated of December 2010:

(September 2011 data)

BEST SHORT FILM PRIZE Genova Film Festival (Objective Liguria)

BEST SHORT FILM AWARD at FuoridelComune Festival (Ba)

BEST ACTRESS AWARD at PiemonteMovieFestival

BEST SOUND AWARD at Wordless Film Festival (Ba)

Presented at the BiF&est Festival in Bari "Sez. Cinema and Puglia" - Presented out of competition at the festival "Schermi Irregolari 2011″ (Fi) and at the European Film Festival - Puglia Show (Le), Trani Film Festival, PalagianoinCorto (Ta). In competition at Skepto Film Festival (Ca), Foggia Film Festival, International Short Film Festival Detmold (Ger), Acquedolci Independent Film Festival-AIFF (Me), David Donatello, Lago Film Festival, Siff - Salento International Film Festival (Le), Pentedattilo Film Festival (Rc).

Entered in the ShortFilm Corner 2011 - Cannes and the Marché du Court Métrage - Clermont-Ferrand 2012 (Fra)

Featured in the 2011 Anica catalog


Annika Strøhm, Saba Salvemini, Luca Franco
Annika Strøhm
Saba Salvemini
Annika Strøhm
Annika Strøhm, Saba Salvemini, Luca Franco
Luca Franco
Luca Franco
Filippo Quaglia
Serena Maffioli
Areté Ensemble
TIE FILM Productions
Zerottanta Productions
Areté Ensemble
TIE FILM Productions


The cast of the short film is Italian-Norwegian.

The short film was made on a minimal budget. At the production stage, the work was entirely self-financed.

Sofia's Birthday was shot in the Christmas period at the turn of 2009 and 2010. On the coldest day: it was shot at -20°.

The spot chosen is Oslo's historic cemetery - Vår Frelsers Gravlund - where many of the men who played and changed the face of Norway are buried, including Henrik Ibsen, Edward Munch, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, among others.

The short film was shot entirely with a Canon 7D.