FILM BUSINESS talk to double Academy Award Winner Kim Magnusson and Director Nicolaj Kopernikus about their Oscar Worthy Short Film STENOFONEN

Starring Jesper Christensen (Casino Royale), Louis Næss- Schmidt (The Chestnut Man) Lars Ranthe (Another Round) Caspar Phillipson (Mission Impossible), Joachim Fjelstrup (Ride Upon the Storm) and Patrica Shumman (Ride Upon the Storm)

STENOFONEN is based on the director Nicolaj Kopernikus’ father´s story and mostly takes place in the 1950´s when the father was just 12 years old. Kopernikus’ son Louis Næss- Schmidt plays the lead role in this very personal story. This beautiful film has been produced by double Academy Winner Kim Magnusson and has qualified to be considered for a 2022 Academy Award.


Jørn is trying to get his father’s attention and love. He loves music. This is where he finds joy and happiness, but his father fails to see his talent. As an old man Jørn discovers that music can set him free from his past.

You have an amazing track record and received 2 Academy Awards, some people don’t receive one in a lifetime. What makes an award winning film? 

The short answer is at great story. Furthermore, it is important that the film and the characters unfolds some kind of emotions that captivate the audience and makes them sympathize or identify with the character´s mission.  Kim Magnusson

How long did it take to shoot this film?

It took about 4-5 days to shoot the film. That is the amount of time it usually takes to shoot a short film of this length. Kim Magnusson

Where there are scenes that where difficult to shoot?

The most difficult scene to shoot was the one where Joern is walking in the ocean. It was a very windy day which made all the scenes in the water a bit challenging. The original idea was that Joern where supposed to dive under water, but that was not possible that day and we had to rethink the whole scene. In the end everything worked out and the scene ended up looking great.  Kim Magnusson

Your beautiful film is based on a personal family story and is very much a family affair, what does it mean to you to tell this story?

It has always been important to me to give my father the spotlight he deserved and to show the world that he was a musically talented human being, and he didn’t need to be hidden away.  It has made my father’s story even more important and a huge bonus that my own son had said yes to play my dad as a 12-year-old boy.  In that way it became a bigger father and son story, and a kind of emotional babushka doll, and a generation portrait, where I could give my father the spotlight he deserved and bring it closer to my heart using my own son as my father. Nicolaj Kopernikus

What would you like audiences to take from this film

I want the audiences to experience the main character Joern being a free human being in the end and that it is his own decision to set himself free in the end of the movie. We control our own lives to a certain extent, and it is only when we detach ourselves from the inner demons, that we set the child free in ourselves and become creative and playing human beings. Nicolaj Kopernikus

Do you have a recording of the original BBC interview the stones were played on?

Yes, I have the original radio recording on an old cassette tape, and I have the original cover of the newspaper Hello Hello with my father. Finally, I have one stone left and the black stone he plays with. It was the original material and my father’s one experience that was so unique to me, that it gave me the idea to the movie. The music that comes out of the radio in the movie is the original music from 1949 and my father is in fact in that way in the movie somehow. Nicolaj Kopernikus

What was it like working with family on this film?

I had a very nice experience working with my son. when we drove to work in the car our relationship was a father son relationship, but on the set, we could switch to having a working relationship, where he was extremely professional and challenged me, told me his opinion about the script and the lines. I am very grateful that he, despite being only 12 years old, bothered to take my project and film seriously and went into the work so professional and dedicated. Nicolaj Kopernikus

What’s next for you? 

I am working on a Sci Fi tv series, which we will record in the spring and summer and have both the role as director and I will play one of the characters in the show. It’s a story about two children who lose their father and mother and discover that things are not as they think they are.  Nicolaj Kopernikus

Regina Mahmoud

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