Holy shit! I just got an Honorable Mention from the jury but I'm on the bus home! Ah, well.
Again, thank you for the comments.
You really got what I tried to do by focusing so much on the training, the steps of the program. I wanted to show how systematically one has to learn to lodge another person to the floor, and how technical these training sessions are, leaving little room for, or encouragement of, reflections around the use of restraint. A big chunk of the people working in these institutions in Norway are students who work part time, and this sort of work really requires every inch of your attention. As I wanted to show, these situations will almost certainly make the participants reflect around what they're doing, but there's still no official forum for reflection. It just has to be accepted. And this program is just one of many different ways to engage with the "users" (also something of a misnomer), that are rarely said to be what they often are: a program specific to the given institution, and not something set in stone and official. Hopefully a tad of this is in the film through negation - by ethics never being brought up, hopefully they importance comes through in their absence.
Which also applies to the violence, as you say. It's THERE, but it's not, because the participants are just learning this as if it was a martial arts program (which it in all practicality is, only one that must and will be used). Hopefully, the violence of the lack of violence comes through. I'm glad it did for you!
We shot it on a Sony EX-1 with a 35mm adapter. Just got myself a 7D though and have an upcoming short shot on it. Have made a slew of shorts that are all incomplete at some level (and with plenty of "silence and useless dialogue"). This is the first I've entered into any competition, and the one I'm most pleased with both technically and performance-wise. Pleased enough to finish it