My residency at the Kunstnarhuset Messen offered me a sanctuary from daily responsibilities and the opportunity to focus intensely on my script “Rita”. The fjords provided me with the grand silence of nature giving me the necessary sense of peace to pursue an intensive project. I am grateful to Messen for teaching me about one’s relationship to nature and its intuitive manifestation in my work.

After my residency in Messen, I acquired the interest from two Canadian producers and two investors, one from Canada, the other from Belgium. Together they will contribute to the budget of my feature film. The concentrated time I had to work on my script in Messen, therefore, was seminal in bringing my film career to the next level.

The debut feature of any filmmaker represents the first substantive offering to world of cinema. It is the first point of contact with commercial sector and with international audiences and critics. With this scope, comes pressure and requires hours of writing, re-writing and birthing new thoughts as they arise. Messen gave me the unique possibility to give birth to this script in tranquillity and silence.

Living in the Hardanger gave me the chance to travel locally and to Bergen and Oslo, after my residency. This enabled me to come into contact with Norwegians for the first time in my life, understand their relationship to art and culture, while making inspiring friends across Scandinavia. This was an absolutely lovely addition to my artistic retreat.

Rita_poster_noomi Particular to my stay at Messen was meeting artists from mainland China. There is a strong Chinese philosophical stream in my feature script and this gave me the chance first hand to cross-check my references and understand Chinese artists in all their geo-political complexity. Through this exchange came close international friendships that may lead to future collaborations. This collision of cultures could not have happened at a better time for myself and my script “Rita”.


Carla B. Guttmann (Canada, lives and works in Berlin) stayed in Messen twice, in 2011 and in 2012