Driving Mum Nominated for Nordic Council Film Prize

Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson

The film Driving Mum has been nominated for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize. The winner of the prize will be announced on Tuesday, October 31, at the Nordic Council meeting in Oslo.

Winner unveiled on October 31

The Nordic Council Film Prize, established in 2002 and administered by the Nordic Council, honours outstanding full-length feature films rooted in Nordic culture. Films released between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, are eligible, with each of the five Nordic countries nominating one cinema-released, artistically significant film.

The prize, which totals 300,000 Danish kroner ($44,000 / €40,000), is divided equally among the winning film’s screenwriter, director, and producer. The winner will be unveiled on October 31 at the Nordic Council meeting in Oslo.

In a first, a Greenlandic film, Alanngutt Killinganni, directed by Malik Kleist, has been nominated, marking a historic moment for the awards.

A dark, surreal comedy set in the ‘80s

This year’s Icelandic nomination is Hilmar Oddsson’s Driving Mum, a dark, surreal comedy set in 1980. The plot follows Jón, who, after his mother’s death, embarks on a final journey to Eyrarbakki with her remains and the family dog, Bresnef, to fulfil her burial wishes.

The film boasts performances from Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson, Kristbjörg Kjeld, Hera Hilmarsdóttir, and Tómas Lemarquis, and is produced by Hlín Jóhannesdóttir and co-produced by Marianne Ostra.

Past Icelandic winners include Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannsson; Of Horses and Men and Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson, and Virgin Mountain by Dagur Kári.

For a list of all the nominees, click here.

Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson Wins Best Actor in BIF & ST Awards

Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson

Icelandic actor Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson has won best lead actor in the 2023 Bari International Film & TV Festival (BIF & ST) for his role in the 2022 film Driving Mum (Á ferð með mömmu), directed by Hilmar Oddson.

The award ceremony took place April 1 at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari.

In his winning performance, Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson portrays Jón, whose mother has recently passed away. The film, a black comedy, documents a road trip across Iceland with Jón, his dog, and his deceased mother.

In his acceptance speech, Þröstur thanked his colleague Kristbjörg Kjeld, director and writer Hilmar Oddson, and also producer Hlín Jóhannesdóttir for their cooperation. The dog Dreki, notable for his numerous appearances in Icelandic film, also received special thanks.

This is the third international award Driving Mum has received. Other prizes include the Grand Prix and Best Original Score at the 26th annual Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF).

With the award, Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson joins the rank of such past recipients as Max von Sydow, Helen Mirren, and Roberto Benigni.