Stuck growing up in Harrow surrounded by boring terraced houses Lumi is determined to be different. She goes to school dressed for a carnival, calls herself Star Baby, and is working on a totally original concept album that’s gonna prove once and for all that she is a one-of-a-kind. Lumi hatches a plan. She sneaks out of detention to go and see her favourite artist armed with a cassette of her album. She’s tailed by spoiled brat Tori who insists on coming with her, and ends up stuck in miles of traffic on the top deck of a bus. The two girls bicker about her album and have run-ins with the other passengers. Before long they arrive at the show. Lumi’s denied entry but finds the popstar’s manager around the side. This is her chance to pitch her totally original world-changing concept album! Except, maybe it’s not that original. It’s not even that good. But the manager reassures her. Nothing’s really original and that’s okay, something doesn’t have to be original for it to have meaning. He says he’ll give her another shot once she’s worked out who she is and stopped trying to be the opposite of everyone else.
This story was inspired by the book of Ecclesiastes, particularly the first chapter and the infamous line: “There is nothing new under the sun”. Every creative’s dream is to be truly original and groundbreaking. Having studied creative writing at university I was really uncomfortable with the lessons about story structure, archetypal characters and cultural myths. It jarred against my view of what creativity was and lit a fire under me to prove them wrong. This film is about that fire. There is also a deeper layer to it. I am English-Finnish, as is Lumi, and at highschool I refused to tell anybody my Finnish middle names because I was embarrassed by them. I wanted to reject the people that my parents were before me, reject boring suburban London life, and prove to everyone that I was original. Ecclesiastes on the surface chimes with my frustration at the world being repetitive, hard work, and thankless. But in reality the criticism at the heart of the book is of those who try to mark themselves out through the works of their hands. It is all meaningless and that’s okay, because in God you have a greater identity and purpose.