Making Space

Ninna Pálmadóttir film director

Scene: A grey, Icelandic country road on a grey, Icelandic day. A middle-aged, bearded farmer drives a middle-aged, dusty jeep down the turn-off leading to his farm. After a short distance, the gravel road submerges into a lagoon half a metre deep. The farmer drives on without a second thought. He only stops when he […]

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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.

 

 

 

Icelandic Animated Short Nominated for Oscar

sara gunnarsdóttir

Icelandic director Sara Gunnarsdóttir’s animated short, “My Year of Dicks,” was nominated for an Academy Award under the category Best Animated Short Film.

The nominations were announced at a ceremony last night, January 24, where the title of the film was occasion for some humour. 

The animated short is based on the comedic memoirs of Pamela Ribon, and centres around an American teenager’s coming of age.

Also nominated for best short film were The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse; The Flying Sailor; Ice Merchants; and An Ostrich Told me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe it.

The final selection will be announced at the Academy Awards ceremony, hosted this March in Los Angeles.

The Northman Premieres in London

the northman film

The Northman, a film written by Icelandic author Sjón and Robert Eggers, premiered in London yesterday. A “Viking revenge movie,” the film also features a few Icelanders, including a brief appearance by Björk. The premiere was well-received, with one critic calling the film “spectacular” and “visually stunning.”

A star-studded cast graces the action-filled epic, including Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, and Alexander Skarsgård as Prince Amleth, the central character. Icelanders Ingvar E. Sigurðsson and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson also make an appearance in the film.

Björk in The Northman
A screenshot from the official trailer of The Northman / YouTube. Icelandic musician Björk in the role of a seer.

The film follows the life of Prince Amleth, who goes on a quest to avenge his father’s murder. The killer is none other than the prince’s uncle, who also kidnaps the boy’s mother. The script is based on the same Scandinavian folk tale that inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The Northman premieres in Iceland on April 14.

Lamb Shortlisted for the Oscars

Lamb, a movie by Icelandic director and screenwriter Valdimar Jóhansson, has been shortlisted for the 2022 Academy Awards. The movie was selected as Iceland’s entry for the Best International Feature Film last October. Fifteen movies from fifteen different countries are on the shortlist, which was unveiled yesterday.

Lamb is a supernatural drama about an Icelandic farm couple, María (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), that takes a human-sheep hybrid into their care after witnessing one of their sheep giving birth to the creature.

The movie, which premiered last July, has received international acclaim and has already won some noteworthy awards. It was one of six movies that were awarded by the Un Certain regard jury at the Cannes festival in 2021, receiving the Prize of Originality. It was awarded best film at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia earlier this year, and the best actress award at the same festival went to Noomi Rapace.

The movie is a co-production between three countries: Iceland, Sweden and Poland. The screenplay was jointly written by director Jóhannsson and Icelandic poet and writer Sjón.

The nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards will be announced in early February 2022.

Lamb to Be Iceland’s 2022 Oscar Submission

lamb dýrið noomi rapace

The Icelandic Film and TV Academy has chosen Lamb to be Iceland’s submission to the 2022 Academy Awards, or Oscars, RÚV reports. Lamb (titled Dýrið in Icelandic) has already snagged two nominations and one award at Cannes and is already the highest-grossing Icelandic film to be screened in the United States.

The film is directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, who wrote the script alongside Icelandic author Sjón. Lamb stars Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason, who play María and Ingvar, a childless couple in the Icelandic countryside who discover a mysterious newborn on their farm. While at first, “the unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy,” it ultimately destroys them.

The jury of the Icelandic Film and TV Academy praised the film’s strong imagery and originality. “From the first moment, the viewer is captured and hypnotizes through a mysterious and exciting adventure,” the jury wrote. Their statement called the film a “careful study of human nature, sorrow, and loss.”

Lamb is currently showing in Icelandic theatres.

Icelandic Film “Lamb” Double-Nominated in Cannes

lamb dýrið noomi rapace

An Icelandic supernatural drama directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, Lamb (Dýrið), received its world premiere yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The film has been nominated for the festival’s Golden Camera Award as well as the Un Certain Regard Award. It is Valdimar’s first feature film as a director and he told RÚV it is a dream and an honour that the film was chosen for the festival.

Lamb follows a childless couple, María and Ingvar, as they “discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them,” according to the film’s plot summary on IMDb. Along with directing, Valdimar wrote the script for the film in collaboration with Icelandic author Sjón.

Learned to deliver a lamb for the role

The film stars Swede Noomi Rapace and Icelander Hilmir Snær Guðnason in the leading roles. Noomi lived in Iceland as a child but this is her first role in Icelandic. The actress revealed that she learned to deliver a lamb for the role. “I was taught by an Icelandic farmer but he went quite fast,” Noomi stated in an interview with France24. “I got a knock, he was like, ‘There’s a lamb coming!’ And I had to run down to the farmhouse and basically put my hands inside of the sheep and pull out a baby lamb.” She called the experience “amazing. I saw life begin and how this amazing, beautiful creature stood up for the first time and started drinking after two or three minutes.”

“We’re just finding our footing after this wonderful reception that the film received,” stated Sara Nassim, one of the film’s producers, after the premiere. “There was a full house and a standing ovation at the end of the screening. We hope people liked the film. All of the responses so far have been very good, there’s been a lot of talk about the film.”

Lamb’s Icelandic premiere is expected this fall.

https://youtu.be/GOQ8QWk1icc

Húsavík, Iceland Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Oscars Ceremony

Húsavík Oscar

Residents of Húsavík have literally painted the town red for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, which features a musical performance filmed in the North Iceland locale. A girls’ choir from the town will take part in the ceremony in a performance of the Oscar-nominated ballad Húsavík, featured in the Will Ferrel film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The other four nominated songs will be performed from the roof terrace of Los Angeles’ yet-to-open Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Húsavík residents have made the most of the nomination, painting a red carpet on the main street and launching a campaign called “An Óskar for Húsavík,” where they implore the world to help the ballad win an Academy Award. The campaign is part of town residents’ efforts to open a temporary Eurovision museum, in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union and Iceland’s national broadcaster RÚV.

The song Húsavík – My Home Town can be heard in its entirety below.

Agnes Joy is Iceland’s 2021 Oscar Submission

Agnes Joy Icelandic film

Feature film Agnes Joy will be Iceland’s submission to the 2021 Oscar Awards. The film recently received nine nominations at Iceland’s Edda Awards for film and theatre and won in six categories, including Best Film, Best Script, and Best Actress in a Leading Role. Nordic Drama reported first.

Agnes Joy follows the middle-aged Rannveig (Katla Margrét Þorgeirsdóttir), who is bored by her suburban life. When a well-known actor moves in next door, both Rannveig and her rebellious daughter Agnes (Donna Cruz) become interested in him. The film also features performances from Þorsteinn Bachmann, who plays Rannveig’s husband, and rapper Kristinn Óli Haraldsson (known as Króli).

Read More: Agnes Joy Premieres in South Korea

The 93rd Academy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021. A shortlist of ten foreign films will be announced by the Academy on February 9 and the final five nominees will be revealed on March 15, 2021.

 

Icelandic Film Premieres in South Korea

Agnes Joy film

Icelandic film Agnes Joy received its world premiere in South Korea at the Busan International Film Festival last Saturday. The film will be premiered in Iceland on October 17. RÚV reported first.

Agnes Joy follows the middle-aged Rannveig (Katla Margrét Þorgeirsdóttir), who is bored by her suburban life. When a well-known actor moves in next door, both Rannveig and her rebellious daughter Agnes (Donna Cruz) become interested in him. The film also features performances from Þorsteinn Bachmann, who plays Rannveig’s husband, and rapper Kristinn Óli Haraldsson (known as Króli).

Rannveig and Donna were both present at the premiere, where they gave out autographs and posed for selfies after the screening. Icelandic film A White, White Day will also be screened at the festival.

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