Icelandic Short Film Nominated for Oscar

yes people short animated film

Icelandic animated short film Yes People (Já-fólkið), directed by Gísli Darri Halldórsson, has been nominated for a 2021 Oscar award for Best Animated Short Film. The film follows the lives of several different individuals who, according to the trailer description, face “the everyday battle – such as work, school and dishwashing. As the day progresses, their relationships are tested and ultimately their capacity to cope.” RÚV reported first.

Yes People has already been awarded at film festivals across Europe, including Spain’s Weird International Animation Festival, where it won Best European Short Film, and the Uppsala Short Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.

The film’s script only contains a single word: , or “yes.” Gísli has stated that his inspiration for the film was how intonation and expression affect the meaning of words. “I was thinking about languages and how we have dictionaries where words are explained but we also have another layer of language where you have intonation and expression and you can say the same word but if you change the intonation it can have the opposite meaning. I found that really fascinating.”

The 2021 Academy Awards will be presented on April 26, 2021.

Icelandic Sheep and Cattle Farmers Receive ISK 970 Million in Pandemic Support

sheep farm Sauðfjárbúið að Hesti í Borgarfirði Hestur Kindur Kind Sauðfé Sauðfjárbúið að Hesti í Borgarfirði Hestur Kindur Kind Sauðfé

Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, has completed the allocation of ISK 970 million ($7.5 million/€6.3 million) in funding to sheep and cattle farmers to meet the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure is part of a 12-point action plan in response to the effect of the pandemic on Icelandic agriculture. Social and travel restrictions have hit Iceland’s sheep and cattle farmers hard, leading to drops in both demand and prices for their products.

Tourism Halt Led to Drop in Demand

“It is undisputed that Icelandic farmers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways, including in light of the fact that two million tourists didn’t come to Iceland this year. Thus the demand for food products has decreased while at the same time imports have increased according to tariff quotas. It’s domestic food production that takes that hit,” Kristján Þór wrote last December shortly after he proposed the initiative. He pointed out that prices for meat and wool had fallen and waitlists at slaughterhouses had gotten longer. Meat production is particularly vulnerable to rapid market changes as it can take a year to ramp down production. Thus, lamb and beef reserves in Iceland have grown considerably as demand has fallen locally and internationally.

Most Funding to Sheep Farmers

The funds have now been approved and allocated: 75% will go to sheep farmers while the remaining 25% will go to cattle farmers. The funding to sheep farmers will be allocated via an additional mutton quality control surcharge as well as for wool production and through a special action plan on sheep breeding. Cattle farmers will be given an additional payment for each calf that was slaughtered in 2020, some 11,000 animals.

The funding is part of a broader action plan to support the local agricultural industry in responding to the challenges of the pandemic. Other measures include freezing tariff hikes, changes to tariff quotas, efforts to increase farmers’ opportunities for home production on the farm, and the creation of a new agricultural policy for Iceland.

COVID-19 in Iceland: Vaccination Schedule Pushed Back by One Month

Delays in the distribution of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine mean that it will take Iceland four weeks longer to vaccinate 50% of the population than previously assumed. Icelandic health authorities have thus updated their COVID-19 vaccination calendar, which projects that around 50% of the total population will have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of July, rather than the end of June as originally planned. Use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been suspended in Iceland while the European Medicines Agency investigates whether several reports of blood clots among those who have received the vaccine are causally linked to the drug.

Delays in Vaccine Delivery to Europe

Iceland is acquiring COVID-19 vaccines through the European Commission, which has signed contracts with six vaccine manufacturers. AstraZeneca is one of three manufacturers whose COVID-19 vaccine has been granted a conditional marketing licence in Europe. While the company initially promised it would deliver 150 million doses to European nations in the second quarter, it has since become clear that it will only deliver 70 million. As a result, Iceland will receive fewer doses from the manufacturer than expected in the second quarter, pushing back its vaccination schedule by around four weeks.

In Iceland, 9.27% of the population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine (34,171) while just under 3.5% (12,888) have been fully vaccinated. It was originally estimated that 45,000 people would have been vaccinated in Iceland by the end of March, but that figure has been updated to 43,000. The newest distribution schedules indicate that 60,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Iceland in April from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, enough to vaccinate around 30,000 people. Iceland is also expected to begin receiving vaccines from a fourth manufacturer, Janssen, in the second quarter.

Use of AstraZeneca Suspended Temporarily

Last Thursday, Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason announced the country would temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine while European and Iceland authorities reviewed whether reports of blood clots were causally linked to the vaccine. This has delayed the vaccination of hospital staff scheduled for last Friday as well as today.

Preliminary results from the EMA’s investigations indicate there is no indication the AstraZeneca vaccine caused the blood clots and the vaccine’s benefits still outweigh the risks. According to the EMA, the number of reported blood clots also does not exceed what can be expected in a normal season for the number of people who have been vaccinated. As of last Wednesday, 30 cases of blood clots had been reported in Europe following the vaccination of approximately 5 million people in the EEA with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The National University Hospital published a notice stating that the institution had not received AstraZeneca vaccines from the batch that may be connected to the blood clot incidents.

Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir Wins Second Grammy Award

Hildur Guðnadóttir grammy award

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir added a Grammy to the plethora of awards she has received for her original music in the film Joker last night. She accepted the award virtually from her home in Berlin. Hildur won in the same category last year for her soundtrack for the HBO series Chernobyl. The two scores have earned her a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Oscar, Emmy and several other awards over the past year.

When asked how she would celebrate the win, Hildur responded: “It’s getting kind of late over here so I’m going to celebrate by tucking my son into bed and going to sleep myself,” Hildur laughed. “And maybe getting myself a little bit of bite of tiramisu since my dog ate my bowl that I left on the table when I popped out of the room.”

She gave some words of advice to aspiring film composers as well. “Really listen to what it is that you personally have to say and follow that, and follow through with that, even though it might take a little bit longer to go down that route, people are going to hear you in the end if you stay true to that.”

Iceland Review interviewed Hildur about the making of Joker and Chernobyl.