Icelandic Film Quake Gets International Theatrical Release

Icelandic writer-director Tinna Hrafnsdóttir’s film Quake will have a theatrical release in North America, Sweden, and the UK, Variety reports. The psychological drama is Tinna’s first feature-length film as a director; as an actor, she takes a supporting role in Quake, but has previously had starring roles in the popular TV series The Valhalla Murders and The Minister.

“Quake” follows Saga (Anita Briem), a single mother in her late thirties, who has a grand mal seizure while walking in a public park with her six-year-old son. The event results in her total memory loss and afraid of being declared an unfit mother, Saga attempts to conceal her precarious state of mind while also dealing with suddenly surfacing memories of her childhood, which she’s long repressed. The film is an adaptation of the Icelandic Literary Prize-nominated novel Stjóri skjálfi by Auður Jónsdóttir, which was recently published by Dottir Press in the US under the title Quake (translated by Meg Matich).

The film, which premiered in Iceland in March and was well-received at the Santa Barbara film festival the same month, sold to Juno Films in North America and the UK and Njuta Films in Sweden. Both companies are planning for a late 2022 release. Quake will also be presented at the upcoming Cannes Marché du Film.

Two Additional Film Studios to Rise in Reykjavík

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Reykjavík Studios Purchases a 4,000 square metre building in the Gufunes district of Reykjavík yesterday in which the company plans to build two state-of-the-art film studios, RÚV reports. Director Baltasar Kormákur says that when renovations are completed, it will be possible to film blockbusters like Harry Potter in Iceland. The project is expected to cost around ISK 1 billion, [$7.7 million; €7 million], and Baltasar hopes it will be completed by the end of the year.

Baltasar’s production company Reykjavík Studios has made a name for itself with many successful television series and films, including Trapped and Katla. The company already has a studio next door to the purchased building, where this year’s Söngvakeppnin competition was filmed. That studio is one of the largest in Europe, and too big for certain projects, according to Baltasar, which is why the new building will be split into two smaller film studios. “There will be a sound-proof wall between them, and there will be two smaller studios that will be more useful for the Icelandic film industry than [our other studio].”

The new studios could also house concerts and events, Baltasar says, but there is much work to be done before that will be possible. “I’m hoping I can put it to use this year,” Baltasar stated. “We are ready to go all-in into construction.”

The studio’s success depends on the government fulfilling its promises regarding reimbursement of film production costs. The current government policy provides a 25% reimbursement of all filming production costs incurred in Iceland, both for local and international production companies.