A film by Christy Garland

Cheer Up takes us into the teenage lives of a team of cheerleaders from the Arctic Circle in Finland, who always seem to place last. They struggle to improve, and try their best to look perfect doing it, but really, teenage life can be tough for these girls. For Patricia, Aino and Miia, finding out who they are, where they belong and what family means is much more important than any trophy.

Cheer Up 1

Cheer Up is a universal story about teenagers. The film embraces the inner conflicts these young women face at such an important turning point in their lives – when relating to family, finding your own way, and fitting in with the crowd is not so easy. Win or lose, cheerleading for them is a second family (like dance, football and other hobbies) and an opportunity to learn about life, it’s pitfalls and success, sorrows and joy.


Born in 1968 in Canada, director Christy’s award-winning documentary The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song (Canada/Denmark) was qualified as “unclassifiable…echoing the work of Bresson and the Dardennes” and garnered rave reviews by Film Threat “the most poignant true story ever told”, The National Post “heart shattering” and Now Magazine “cinematic gold.”

Cheer Up is her third feature documentary. Before moving to documentary, she directed several award-winning dramatic and comedy shorts, while working in the film industry as an assistant director. She is currently shooting What Walaa Wants, in the West Bank, with Danish producers Final Cut for Real.

Original language: Finnish, English
Produced by: Napafilms & Murmur Film Canada


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