Verbúðin Wins Big at Göteborg Film Festival

Icelandic TV series Verbúðin (English title: Blackport) won the 2022 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize at the Göteborg Film Festival this week, RÚV reports. The award is given for “outstanding writing of a Nordic drama series” and is accompanied by a prize of NOK 200,000 [ISK 2.85 million; $22,824]. This year’s nominees included Countrymen (Norway; written by Izer Aliu, Anne Bjørnstad), Transport (Finland; written by Auli Mantila), The Shift (Denmark; written by Lone Scherfig), and Vi i villa (Sweden; written by Tove Eriksen Hillblom).

Set in the Westfjords in the 1980s, the story follows a married couple, Harpa and Grimur, as they build a small fishing empire along with their childhood friends. But with the introduction of a new quota system in the country, where the fishing grounds are privatised, the struggle for power results in a feud of jealousy, greed and betrayal.

Hailed as the buzziest TV series to come out of Iceland since Trapped, Verbúðin has indeed already garnered a great deal of international interest, despite the fact that it has not yet been widely broadcast for the international public. Vesturport produced the show for RÚV in Iceland and Arte France, and has production backing from the UK’s Turbine Studios, the Nordic 12 TV Alliance and the Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Prior to its success at Göteborg, it won the Series Mania Award at the Berlinale Co-Pro Series pitching event in 2018 and was also a hit at the Spanish Serielizados TV festival last fall.

Verbúðin has also been extremely popular with audiences at home—80% audience approval according to some figures. But the positive foreign reception of this particularly Icelandic story has been particularly surprising for the creators, says Mikael Torfason, who co-wrote the script with two members of the Vesturport theatre and film company who also star in the series: Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir (The Vallhalla Murders, Trapped), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Trapped, The Witcher), and Gísli Örn Garðarsson (Ragnarok, Prisoners). “This is maybe not something you’d expect. The most popular material has usually been crime dramas.”



Trapped Season Three Premieres in Iceland

There’s something for both local and international viewers in the third series of popular Icelandic TV show Trapped, which premiered in Iceland last night. Familiar faces from Iceland’s music and media scenes will impress Icelanders with their handling of minor roles while beautiful landscape shots will charm Icelandophiles abroad, the guests of a new RÚV podcast on the series argued. Ólafur Darri Ólafsson stars as usual in the role of Detective Andri, this time investigating a murder committed on the property of a religious cult in North Iceland.

The creators of Trapped began working on the third season of the show as early as December 2018. Filming finally began in Siglufjörður, North Iceland in September of last year. Shooting was subject to COVID safety protocols: cast and crew had their temperature taken daily when arriving on set, and a COVID safety supervisor was on set at all times to make sure distancing and mask-wearing regulations were followed.

Eurovision and hip-hop stars feature

Among the musicians featured in the show is former Eurovision singer turned yoga teacher Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir, who is convincing as a meditation guide at the cult. Rock DJ Andrea Jónsdóttir, well-known to locals in Iceland, appears in a bar scene, while hip-hop artist Flóni also appears in the show.

It remains to be seen whether the show’s third series will enjoy as much success as the first two.

Trapped Season 3: Filming Begins in North Iceland

Ófærð (Trapped)

Filming of the third season of Icelandic crime drama Trapped (Ófærð) is scheduled to begin shortly in Siglufjörður, North Iceland, reports. Between 60 and 80 people will be working on the shoot, which is to take place between September 24 and October 9. Both season one and two of the popular show were filmed in part in Siglufjörður.

All cast and crew will be staying at hotels and guesthouses in the town of 1,174. One scene will be filmed at the Siglufjörður swimming pool, which will be closed to the public for the duration of filming. The gym and sports facilities at the same location will remain open.

Iceland’s largely successful response to COVID-19 has made it possible for many large-scale film projects to go ahead as planned this year. Regulations have been put in place, however, to minimise the risk of transmission. Presently, production companies in Iceland must apply for a special filming permit that allows actors to be exempted from distancing rules. A COVID safety supervisor must be on set at all times, and makeup and costuming staff are required to wear masks, as is the film crew in spaces where distancing cannot be maintained. Cast and crew will all have their temperature taken daily when arriving on set.

The Trapped team has been working on the show’s third season since as early as December 2018.

Avalanche Survivor Speaks: “the Snow Was Like Concrete”

Flateyri avalanche

Alma Sóley Ericsdóttir Wolf, a fourteen-year-old resident of Flateyri in the Westfjords, became trapped in her home after a massive avalanche fell on the town Tuesday. In an interview with RÚV yesterday, Alma Sóley related her experience to reporter Sigríður Dögg Auðunsdóttir.

Like Concrete

“I heard rumbling for about two seconds and then the glass shattered, and I was buried in snow,” Alma Sóley said, describing the avalanche that descended upon her home in Flateyri, just before midnight on Tuesday, January 14. She was trapped inside her room for half an hour as snow flooded in through the window.

“It was like concrete. I felt as if I had been cast in a mould. I could only move about two centimetres. I could clench my fist and move my head a little, but I couldn’t try to break free or change position,” Alma Sóley said in an interview with Sigríður Dögg Auðunsdóttir, who spoke with Alma and her mother, Anna Sigríður Sigurðardóttir, in Ísafjörður yesterday.

Despite everything, Alma was convinced that someone would come to her rescue, worrying more about the fate of her family than about herself. She believes that she lost consciousness during the ordeal and is unable to recall the moment that rescuers found her. “I believe I passed out, although I had been conscious for about five or six minutes. I thought of my mother and my siblings because I thought that they were trapped in the snow, too. I hoped that they were okay. I expected someone to find me.”

Clung to Conviction

Alma’s mother, Anna Sigríður, was likewise convinced that her daughter would be rescued. “In reality, I was surprisingly unworried; I clung to some kind of conviction. I think maybe that the shock hasn’t manifested itself yet. We examined the house, and I’m quite certain that when I realise where I stood, for example, and where the avalanche fell, that I’ll begin to register the shock fully. At the same time, I’m extremely grateful for being alive and that everything turned out okay, given the circumstances.”

Alma and Anna expressed their gratitude for the aid of rescue volunteers. Alma looks forward to returning to school in Flateyri. “The rescue teams are digging up everything that they can salvage. And then I’d like to return to school.”

Below are a few photos of the aftermath of the avalanche, among them Alma Sóley’s house, courtesy of Lísa Kristjánsdóttir.

[media-credit name=”Lísa Kristjánsdóttir” align=”alignnone” width=”1024″]Avalanche[/media-credit]

[media-credit name=”Lísa Kristjánsdóttir” align=”alignnone” width=”1024″]Flateyri after avalanche[/media-credit]

[media-credit name=”Lísa Kristjánsdóttir” align=”alignnone” width=”1024″]Flateyri Avalanche[/media-credit]

What Is the Current Status of Trapped: Season Three?

Ófærð (Trapped)

The first season of the TV series Trapped, created by Baltasar Kormákur and produced by RVK Studios, was broadcast in Iceland in December 2015. The most expensive TV series in Icelandic history, Trapped follows detective Andri Ólafsson (portrayed by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) as he works to solve the murder of a former townsman whose mutilated corpse is recovered by fishermen in a remote Icelandic town.

Following the success of the first season – broadcasting rights were purchased by networks across the world, including the BBC, and the series received favourable reviews – season two of Trapped premiered in Iceland in early 2019, with many recurring characters from season one.

While RVK Studios has announced that season three has been in the works since late 2018, the company has offered few updates; recently, however, Iceland Review spoke to a representative from RVK Studios who was willing to offer a few points regarding the much-anticipated third season:

1. The general storyline has already been mapped out.
2. Writers are currently working to finish the script.
3. RVK Studios hopes to start production later this year or the next (although nothing has been officially confirmed).
4. The company is determined to go ahead with the project and release season three in the near future.

Trapped Again

Ólafur Darri is a charming, affable man – it really is no wonder how well he takes to the large screen. He oozes warmth as soon as he enters the coffeehouse, his contagious smile giving life to the room. Even though he is one of Iceland’s most successful actors, Ólafur remains humble in his approach to his roles as well as life. In the midst of shooting the second season of Trapped, Ólafur takes a look back on a career which has spanned countless roles. Having conquered the Icelandic acting scene already, Ólafur is just getting started though.

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