Do you dare enter the forest? a small boy is asked in Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen's debut film. His older friend tells him there's a mysterious creature in the woods that comes out at night to kill sheep belonging to local farmers: a cruel werewolf that, during a full moon, also wouldn't mind the taste of children. Owing to a family tragedy, Aslak doesn't know where to turn for help. When his beloved dog disappears, he decides to cross a border that is invisible to everyone but him. The filmmaker-educated at the Łódź Film School-has no interest whatsoever in literalism, nor does he try make viewers squirm in their seats. With the help of precise cinematography-the work of his brother-and music by none other than Zbigniew Preisner, he gradually builds an atmosphere of impending danger, and reality, as filtered through the terrified eyes of the young boy, takes on a whole new dimension in the film. In the end, truth is, as Ursula Le Guin once wrote, a question of imagination. Sometimes, you just have to dare to enter the forest.
Born in 1982, Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen is a Norwegian director and screenwriter. He graduated from the Łódź Film School. His film Darek received an Amanda award for the Best Short Film at the Haugesund Festival. His 2011 flm Everything Will be OK, which was screened in Rotterdam and Gothenburg. Valley of Shadows, screened at the Toronto Festival, is his first full-length feature film.
2009 Darek (short)
2010 Odmęt / Scream (short)
2011 Everything Will Be Ok (short)
2017 Dolina cieni / Valley of Shadows