Turn Me On, Dammit!

Turn Me On, Dammit!

Alma (Helene Bergsholm, right) and Sara (Malin Bjorhovde, center) give their routine gesture to the sign that marks the entrance to the small town they loathe, as Sara's sister Ingrid (Beate Stofring, left) looks on, in a scene from TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!, a film by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen. Photo courtesy of New Yorker Films.

Turn Me On, Dammit!

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Turn Me On, Dammit! (2011/2012)

Also Known As: Turn Me On, Damnit!

Opened: 03/30/2012 Limited

Lincoln Center03/30/2012 - 04/05/20127 days
Angelika/NYC03/30/2012 - 04/26/201228 days
Kendall Square...04/27/2012 - 05/03/20127 days
Cinema Village...04/27/2012 - 05/03/20127 days
NoHo 706/29/2012 - 07/05/20127 days
Playhouse 706/29/2012 - 07/05/20127 days
Monica 4-Plex06/29/2012 - 07/05/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Facebook

Genre: Norwegian Comedy

Rated: Unrated


TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! tells a story that is rarely if ever explored in films: the unbridled sexual appetite of a teenage girl. Certainly this subject has never been approached in such a candid and wryly comic way.

15-year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody she lays eyes on. Alma and her best friend Sara (Malin Bjorhovde) live in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands of Norway called Skoddeheimen, a place they loathe so much that every time their school bus passes the sign that names it, they routinely flip it off. After Alma has a stimulating yet awkward encounter with Artur, she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends, who ostracize her at school, until even Sara can't be seen with her. At home, Alma's single mother is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her daughter's extravagant phone sex bills and wears earplugs to muffle Alma's round-the-clock acts of self-gratification. Throughout, the complexities of Alma's burgeoning sexuality and loneliness are compassionately rendered by director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen with a frankness that always rings true, as does Helene Bergsholm's quietly moving performance as Alma.

TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! has been recognized all over the world as a film that strikes a chord with young people, but it has also been received appreciatively by those who are old enough to remember that adolescence is a survivable malady. The film signals the arrival of a new film talent in Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose previous movies exhibit the same brand of humanism, sweetness, and offbeat humor so much on display in this film.

Select Accolades

  • Best Screenplay -- Tribeca Film Festival
  • Best Debut Film -- Rome Film Festival

About the Cast

Helene Bergsholm (Alma) grew up in Forde, a small town in the western part of Norway. She was a 17-year-old high school student, with no previous interest in acting when she accompanied a friend to the first audition for TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!, with no plans of auditioning herself. Bergsholm turned 18 during the shoot, and is now nineteen. After shooting the film, Bergsholm played a role in her first high school play. She has since graduated and is currently studying film and photography in Stavanger, one of Norway's largest cities. With two of her fellow students, she starred in the short film "Aurora," which she also co-edited. After her one-year course, she plans to move to Oslo. Despite all the acclaim she has received for acting in TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! Bergsholm is not set upon continuing a career as an actress, although she is interested in a career involving media, film and creativity. At this point Bergsholm's goal is to become an Art Director, and she hopes to live abroad someday, in New York City or Stockholm.

Malin Bjorhovde (Sara) comes from Nordfjordeid, a tiny village in western Norway. It was while attending high school here that she auditioned for the film, although her principal motivation was to get out of going to a dull history lesson. Like Bergsholm, she took part in her first high school play after working on the film. Since making the film she has graduated and is now living in Drammen, close to Oslo, where she studies art history and graphic design, but is considering changing her focus to creative writing, an interest inspired by her involvement in the film. The role of Sara is her first foray into acting for film but she is open to another one, if an interesting enough opportunity were to arise.

Henriette Steenstrup (Alma's Mother) is a well-known Norwegian theatre and TV actress/comedienne. In the autumn of 2009 she joined the cast of "Thursday Night from Nydalen," the Norwegian version of "Saturday Night Live." Steenstrup is employed and part of the ensemble at the National Theatre in Oslo, where her credits include the title role in "Pippi Longstocking" and Hilda Wangel in "Master Builder." She first became known in Norway through a national television program for children called "Kykelikokos." In 2008, Steenstrup developed and played the lead role in a series for Norwegian television called "A Good Number Two," set in the world of the National Theatre. Her film credits include ELLING, THE PROFESSOR AND THE STORY OF THE ORIGAMI GIRL (lead role), TROUBLE (lead role), COMRADE PEDERSEN, MARS & VENUS, EAST END ANGELS, and I TRAVEL ALONE.

The rest of the young cast members come from small villages in Western Norway, and were all younger than Bergsholm and Bjorhovde during the shooting. Matias Myren, who plays Artur, was 16 and is from Ikjefjord, Beate Stofring, who plays Sara's twin sister Ingrid, was 16 and is from Jolster, and Lars Nordtveit Listau, who plays Sara's boyfriend Kjartan, was 16 and is from Forde, the same town as Helene Bergsholm. Stofring is the only young member of the cast who had previously studied acting and is in a drama class in high school. TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! is her first professional acting role.

About the Filmmakers

Born in Baerum, Norway in 1975, Jannicke Systad Jacobsen (Writer/Director) has spent most of her career working as a documentary filmmaker. For her debut fiction film, TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!, she received the Award for Best Screenplay at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and was named by Variety as one of "Ten European Directors to Watch" at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. She also received the Independent Distribution Award for the best debut film in the Extra Section at the 2011 International Rome Film Festival.

Jannicke Systad Jacobsen studied film directing at FAMU, the Czech Republic's national film school, and at the London International Film School. She also studied Theatre Science and Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. While Systad Jacobsen studied mainly fiction filmmaking and her first short after graduation, WHEELS (1999), was a narrative film, she has spent over twelve years as a documentary filmmaker. Her documentaries have been non-traditional, very personal, and marked by a dry sense of humor and a political interest. Her first short documentary, A LITTLE RED DOT (2001), is an absurdist fable about what happened when the postal service between Taiwan and China was resumed after almost forty years of interrupted communication. As the Chinese would not accept a Taiwanese flag on the stamps, it was hidden as a tiny red dot next to a lighthouse. Her second short, THE STAMP AND THE LIGHTHOUSE (2002), is a personal and philosophical essay on the changes happening in Norway as post offices and lighthouses were closed due to budget reductions. WAR ON PARANOIA (2003) is another personal film, in this case Systad Jacobsen's reaction to the military build-up around the American embassy in Oslo in the aftermath of 9/11.

Her TV special, "Sandmann -- The Story of a Socialist Superman" (2005), is a whimsical look at the rise and fall of East German socialism through the adventures of Sandmann, a beloved puppet character on East German TV. "Sandmann" was nominated for the Norwegian national TV prize for Best Documentary. The six-minute short THE CLOWN CHILDREN (2005) tells the story of a day in the life of two destitute boys who put on makeup and costumes and perform for spare change on the streets of Guatemala City. THE CLOWN CHILDREN was shown at more than seventy international film festivals and received a Special Mention as Best Documentary at the Berlin Interfilm Festival and was runner-up for the Adult's Jury Award for Best Documentary Film at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, among other prizes. "The Pizza Fairy Tale" (2007) was part of a TV cinema verite style documentary series, "Those Who Built the Country," made as an homage to Norwegian factory workers. The film is a droll observation of workers in a frozen pizza factory in a remote village and their dedication to increasing production of their bestselling Pizza Grandiosa.

The documentary feature, SCENES FROM A FRIENDSHIP (2009), is about the strange, yet special friendship between two Norwegian childhood buddies in their early thirties: musician/photographer Erlend Mikael Saeverud and singer/songwriter Alexander Stenerud. While the film documents real people and has no script, it makes use of narrative techniques, and displays the dry sense of humor found in her earlier films. This film was compared to the work of Roy Andersson and Jim Jarmusch when it was released theatrically in Norway. Systad Jacobsen wrote the script for TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! while she was shooting SCENES FROM A FRIENDSHIP, and she credits it as being a major influence.

Systad Jacobsen also wrote and illustrated a comic book, "Viva Cliche," released in 2006, and has published both essays and columns in print. In November 2011, Jannicke Systad Jacobsen was awarded a grant for talented directors by the Norwegian Film Institute to develop her second feature, THE REMNANTS OF PONTUS HALMSTROM, a tragicomic love story about what a person leaves behind when he dies and those who have to deal with it.

Born in Solheimsadalen, Norway in 1977, Olaug Nilssen (Novel) is a novelist, playwright, essayist, and critic who writes in nynorsk. Since her debut with the novel Innestengt i udyr ("Within Beasts," 1998), she has written several acclaimed books in various genres, distinguishing herself as a distinct and important voice in Norwegian literature. Her novel Fa meg pa, for faen ("Turn Me On, Dammit!" 2005) received wide acclaim and media notoriety, and received several awards. She adapted it into a play which was performed at the Norwegian Theatre, in a highly praised production directed by Marit Moum Aune. Her other books include Vi har sa korte armar ("Our Arms Are So Short," novel, 2002), Ronnys rumpe ("Ron's Butt," children's book, 2004), Hybrideleg sjolvgransking ("Hybrid Self-Examination," essay, 2005), Skyfri himmel ("Clear Skies," play with music by the Swedish rock band The Cardigans, Rogaland Theatre, 2006), and Nesten frelst av Sigvart Dagsland ("Almost Saved by Sigvart Dagsland," non-fiction, 2009). Nilssen studied literature at the University of Bergen and writing at the Writing Academy in Bergen, which she has headed since 2008. Nilssen was recently selected as a member of the Norwegian Arts Council.

Marianne Bakke (Cinematographer ) previously teamed with Jannicke Systad Jacobsen on "The Pizza Fairy Tale" (2007), part of a cinema verite style documentary TV series, "Those Who Built the Country," for Norwegian television. A native of Vaga in central Norway, Bakke attended The Norwegian Film School in Lillehammer and has since shot commercials, music videos, documentaries, and narrative shorts. Some of her short films have won her awards at international festivals, among others: Best Short Film at BAFTA/LA and the Audience Award at Milan Film Festival for "Bald Guy," and Best Documentary Short at River Run International Film Festival for "Board Control." TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! is Bakke's first feature length film.

Brede Hovland (Producer) graduated with a degree in producing from Columbia College Chicago in 1999 and during a five year period in Los Angeles worked for Spyglass Entertainment, Touchstone/Walt Disney Pictures and Motion Blur. He has produced and been involved in projects like AGENT CODY BANKS (2003), COLD FEET (2006), THE MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE (2008), NORTH (2009), BUZZ ALDRIN (2011), as well as numerous documentaries and short films. Hovland is currently in production on his next feature film, Hanne Myren's fiction debut JEALOUSY.

Sigve Endresen (Producer) has been working with filmmaking in one way or another since 1975, starting out as an assistant and then directing his first short film in 1978. In 1983 he founded the production company Motlys, which has since become an integral part of the Norwegian film scene. Endresen himself directed the award-winning documentaries FOR YOUR LIFE (1989), BIG BOYS DON'T CRY (1995), LIVING AMONGST LIONS (1998) and WEIGHTLESS (2002). He has also worked as a producer with some of Norway's biggest directors on films like Nils Gaup's MISERY HARBOUR (1999), Marius Holst's DRAGONFLIES (2001) and Gunnar Vikene's FALLING SKY (2002). His latest productions include Rune Denstad Langlo's 99% HONEST (2007) and NORTH (2009), and Jan Troell's EVERLASTING MOMENTS (2009).

Motlys (Production Company) established 1983 in Oslo, is one of the most successful and respected Scandinavian film production companies. It is run by its founder Sigve Endresen, together with younger producers Yngve Saether and Brede Hovland. Motlys began as a maker of prestigious documentaries, most notably FOR YOUR LIFE, BIG BOYS DON'T CRY, LEGACY OF THE TUNDRA, LIVING AMONGST LIONS, and FROZEN HEART. They have produced over 25 documentaries and over fifty short films, but in recent years they have been more involved with feature film production. In addition to TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!, Motlys released two feature films in 2011: Stian Kristiansen's I TRAVEL ALONE and Joachim Trier's OSLO, AUGUST 31ST. Motlys also produced NORTH, directed by Rune Denstad Langlo, COMRADE PEDERSEN, directed by Hans Petter Moland (Best Director, 2006 Montreal International Film Festival), Marius Holst's DRAGONFLY, and Nils Gaup's MISERY HARBOUR (1999). Motlys co-produced the latest Jan Troell film, EVERLASTING MOMENTS (2008) which was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

For over forty-five years, New Yorker Films has been America's leading source for the films that matter on the cutting edge of world cinema. The company was founded in 1965 by Daniel Talbot as an outgrowth of his legendary movie house, the New Yorker Theater. Unable to obtain several crucial foreign titles, Talbot imported them himself. Early acquisitions such as Bernardo Bertolucci's BEFORE THE REVOLUTION, Godard's LES CARABINIERS, and Ousmane Sembene's BLACK GIRL established a company that would go on to distribute films by such legendary directors as Eric Rohmer, Luis Bunuel, Jacques Rivette, Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Nagisa Oshima, Jean-Pierre Melville, Robert Bresson, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Tomas Gutierrez Alea, The Dardennes, Abbas Kiarostami, Claire Denis, Carlos Diegues, Jia Zhang-ke, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Hong Sang-soo. With Jannicke Systad Jacobsen's TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!, New Yorker continues its vital tradition of presenting the works of new directors. Additional titles to be released by New Yorker Films in 2012 include Fabio Barreto's LULA, SON OF BRAZIL, Jessica Sanders' MARCH OF THE LIVING, Bruno Dumont's HORS SATAN, and reissues of Rivette's CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING and Euzhan Palcy's SUGAR CANE ALLEY on new 35mm prints.