Iceland has not made a lot of female buddy comedies; something that filmmaker Ólöf Birna Torfadóttir has been very aware of. She means to change that with her first feature-length film, ‘Klassa Drusla’ (‘Classy Tramp’).
“The idea came to me in 2015, the concept being how you wish you were versus how you actually are,” she tells us. “For example, you’re going to a party and you’re going to be smooth, hot and confident, but then when you get there you’re basically wallpaper. That’s how these two main characters of the film came about.”
Gals being pals
‘Klassa Drusla’ tells the story of Tanja, a young woman who’s tired of being lovesick and turns to her best friend, Karen, for help being a “classy tramp.” The two get a summer job in the countryside and end up having many hilarious misadventures.
“In ‘Klassa Drusla’ we have two very strong female leads. I can’t remember another Icelandic female buddy comedy, which is a shame cause women and their stories are so very often hilarious and relatable and I really felt that throughout the process of shooting,” Ólöf says. “There were a lot of women in the crew who worked with me on set and every one of them had a story that was similar to what we were shooting. And so that’s why I wanted to tell this story, I feel like people are ready and wanting more genres and different films in theatre.”
Taking the power back
The story draws from Ólöf’s personal life in many ways, as it has been split between living in the countryside—specifically, the Westfjörds and East Iceland—and Reykjavík. Although she likes to stay close to Reykjavík for work, Ólöf describes herself as “a farm girl through and through”.
In reference to the film title, it should be noted that the word “drusla” has two meanings: it can mean both “slut” and “tramp,” as in someone who wears shabby, worn-out clothes. Ólöf’s family didn’t have a lot of money, so she didn’t have the finest clothes growing up, prompting bullying from her peers.
“This word has always followed me and been said to me in a negative way as if that makes me less important than anyone else so I want to take the power back and own it,” she says. “I am who I am, I dress as I dress and it’s really none of anyone’s business. So that title comes with a little attitude, putting the word klassa (classy) in front of tramp or slut says it all.”
Ólöf has numerous irons in the fire, and is especially excited about the television projects she has in development, amongst them, “…a horror-comedy about a women’s sewing circle, a time travel/historical series about Icelandic women through time, and a teenage ghost drama.”
Klassa Drusla premieres on April 3rd at Smárabíó and Háskólabíó as well as Borgarbíó in Akureyri.
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