Ferrell’s Eurovision Film Prompts Mayor’s Endearing Statement

Filming of the upcoming Netflix comedy Eurovision is currently underway in Húsavík in North Iceland. The film – which is directed by David Dobkin, and written by Andrew Steele and Will Ferrell – stars Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Demi Lovato, and Will Ferrell himself. The film follows Icelanders Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, who are chosen to represent their nation at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Prior to the filming, Kristján Þór Magnússon, Mayor of Húsavík, released a statement on the municipality of Norðurþing’s website, detailing the extent of the preparations and warning of possible disturbances to life in town. With reference to “the principles” of filmmaking, Magnússon’s statement – which is alternately endearing and inspirational – asks citizens to respect the crew’s privacy on set:

“… The excitement in the run-up to the project’s filming has mounted over the past few weeks, and it is understandable that many are equal parts thrilled and curious about the film. Everyone involved in the film’s production is exceedingly grateful to the positive outlook the inhabitants of Húsavík have adopted toward it.

During the production of a large-scale film project such as this, it is important that we adhere to the rules applicable on and around the set. The production company, the actors, and other affiliated parties expect much of us. On behalf of the municipality, I would like to request that we demonstrate our trustworthiness to our fine guests; that we respect the privacy of the film’s staff and actors; and that we demonstrate our capability of taking on additional projects, by not violating the principles of the film-making business. Those principles are, in their most basic form, the following:

  • Absolutely no photographs are to be taken of the actors or other on-set paraphernalia and published on social media.
  • No drones are to be operated over or around the set during filming.
  • The temporarily closing of roads during production is to be met with patience and understanding.

A crew of approximately 250 people will arrive in Húsavík to film between Friday, October 11th, and Monday, October 14th. During that time, a certain perturbation of town-life is unavoidable.

Finally, I hope we enjoy this fun project together, and may it go down, through our collevtive efforts, as one of the most fantastic events in the history of Húsavík. Let us receive the crew with open arms, let us respect their privacy, and let us throw a real Eurovision party come next spring!

On behalf of Norðurþing,

Kristján Þór Magnússon”

The full statement is accessible here (in Icelandic).

Men’s Football Team Takes on France in Crucial Match

Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson

The Men’s National Football Team will compete against France tonight in a crucial match for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers. France will be hoping to overtake group-leader Turkey (the two teams are level on points although Turkey has conceded fewer goals). Meanwhile, Iceland is also challenging for the top two places (Iceland is three points behind Turkey and France). The top two teams in each group qualify.

Iceland and France have gone head-to-head a total of 14 times. Les Bleus have been victorious ten times, with four matches resulting in a draw (France leads 41-12 on aggregate). During the two teams’ first match in 1957, during the World Cup qualifiers, France embarrassed Iceland with an 8-0 rout.

In March, the two teams faced off in Paris for their first match in the qualifiers. France beat Iceland 4-0.

Both teams will play without their team captains: Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson (Al-Arabi) and French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) have both been ruled out with injuries. Iceland will also have to do without Hörður Björgvin Magnússon (CSKA Moscow), while Les Bleus will be without Paul Pogba (Manchester United) and Kylian Mbappé (PSG).

As RÚV reports, however, France will field a strong team. Antoine Grizemann (Barcelona); Raphael Varane (Real Madrid); N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud (Chelsea); Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernández, Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich) are all expected to play.

Italian Gianluca Rocchi will officiate.

The match – which is long since sold out – will begin at 18:45 at Laugardalsvöllur stadium in Reykjavík tonight.

Iceland qualified for the UEFA European Championship for the first time in 2016. The team advanced through the group stages and secured a 2-1 victory against England in the round of 16. The lost 2-5 against France in the quarter-finals.

Parliament Passes Two Bills Following FATF Report

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1570786457436{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Two laws were enacted in parliament Wednesday to ensure further compliance with the recommendations of the FATF (The Financial Action Task Force, an independent inter-governmental body promoting policies to protect the global financial system) concerning anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures.

The
first of the two bills stipulates that organisations that are established for the purposes of distributing funds in the public’s interest and that operate across borders must be registered with the tax authorities (Directorate of Internal Revenue). Without the legislation, there is a risk that such organisations could be operated to launder money or finance terrorism. A sense of urgency accompanied the bill‘s adoption, RÚV reports. The bill was submitted on Monday, parliamentary debates were held late Tuesday, and the bill was enacted before dinner on Wednesday. Owing to this urgency, there was no time for further review, as is the custom, nor to inform the more than 200 organisations that now must register their operations.

The other law empowers parliament to sell assets that have been confiscated or frozen during a criminal investigation. On certain conditions, such actions may be taken before a ruling is reached in court. The bill was submitted last month but was not debated in parliament until Tuesday, before being passed into law Wednesday. Two members of parliament‘s opposition parties criticised the hasty enactment of these bills, without other governmental representatives having the opportunity to comment.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) submitted its report last year. In response, parliament adopted the European Union’s anti-money laundering directive, while other aspects of the FATF‘s recommendations were not addressed. In a follow-up report, the FATF encourages parliament to take further action. In the event that the authorities do not meet the FATF‘s recommendations, Iceland may be listed as an “non-compliant” nation, according to RÚV. This will allow other nations to make stringent demands on the Icelandic government and companies within the Icelandic financial sector. Whether or not Iceland will be placed on said list will be determined on and around the middle of October. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]