An animated series from a screenwriter of Disney directed by an Icelander
The animated series My Year of Dicks (2022) will be premiered in Stockfish. It is written by the bestselling author Pamela Ribon who is among the screenwriters of several big Disney films including Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet. The series is directed by the an Icelandic director Sara Gunnarsdóttir. Pamela and Sara will be available for Q&A after the premier and there will also be an opportunity see Pamela at Stockfish’s industry days in a Panel on Modern Scriptwriting.
In addition to writing films and TV-shows. Pamela is also a bestselling author of both comic books and novels. My Year of Dicks is about a fifteen-year-old girl in the outskirts of Houston that is trying to lose her virginity. The series is an adaptation of Pamela’s memoir from 2017 called Notes to Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public.
How it all started
“I knew I wanted to work with Sara the second I saw her animation”, Pamela says. The director of the series is the Icelandic artist and director Sara Gunnarsdóttir. Sara has directed animated films and music videos as well as creating original artwork for both films and Tv-shows, including Marielle Heller’s film Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) and the HBO documentary The Case Against Adnan Sayed (2019).
Sara was born and raised in Reykjavík, Iceland. She has a BFA degree from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and a MFA degree in Experimental Animations from CalArts, California, her final project, the documentary short “The Pirate of Love” being nominated for the Student Academy Awards. Her work has been showcased at MOMA New Directors/New Films in New York, AFI Fest in Los Angeles and Telluride Festival in Colorado.
Sara says she has been working with the world of teenage girls throughout her career. Her debut short “Sugarcube” (2009) for example, handles a girl’s first heartbreak and growing up. About the turbulence of teenage girlhood, she says: „I believe most women look back on their teenage years and see the situations they put themselves in in a very different light as adults. I believe most of us feel that we survived being a teenage girl. “We surfaced on the other side of adolescence, some unharmed, others not.” She says that Pamela‘s description of love and sex of a teenager in Notes To Boys are both relatable and sincere.
Sara’s vision regarding animation has always been focused on people’s emotions and she describes how Pamela’s writing opened a door to a teenage consciousness on a personal level. Animation allows us to submerge into the character’s perspective and put us, quite literally, in its shoes, she says. In designing the series, she furthermore focused on creating a world that simultaneously reflects the feeling of looking back on teenage years and to be there in the moment. She emphasizes on a natural tone in the animation which she says creates a space for contrast between how the viewer sees the events as well as the character’s inner reaction to them.
Out of body experience
Pamela says that Sara has a unique sensitivity regarding viewpoints and a special talent for making moments both nostalgic and timeless at the same time. The series includes footage, voices, images and people from her entire life span, she says and describes seeing it all come together as an out of body experience.
Pamela emphasizes on the personal in her work. In addition to publishing her memoir she also has the popular blog pamie.com where she has for example published the viral essays “How I Might Have Become the Newest Urban Legend” and “Barbie Fucks it Up Again”. As has been mentioned before My Year of Dicks is about Pam, a fifteen-year-old girl in Houston in the 90s that has a goal of losing her virginity.
She is stuck between real life and fantasy while trying to explore different types of boys, toths, skaters, indie movie snobs and more, without getting grounded by her parents. Pamela says that in the past, when she first started telling these personal stories she often got asked why she didn’t burn the pages she had written that revealed such naked feelings. She admits that it has taken a long time for her to let her guard down completely: “As I told the ones who asked me back then why I didn’t burn every single page — Why should we keep pretending we didn’t barely get out of all that alive? This film is made for everyone who thought those days would never end.”
Pamela and Sara will be available for Q&A
Pamela Ribon will be a guest at this year’s Stockfish. In an addition to premiering My Year of Dicks and doing a Q&A afterwards with Sara, she will also be a speaker at a panel on Modern day Scriptwriting which is one of our industry days event at Selfoss.