Composer Atli Örvarsson Receives BAFTA Award

Composer Atli Örvarsson

Composer Atli Örvarsson was granted a BAFTA award Sunday night for his music for the television programme Silo. This was Atli’s first BAFTA nomination, RÚV reports.

A “dream job”

The show stars Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, known for her roles in the Dune and Mission:Impossible franchises of films. Silo is streaming on AppleTV+.

In his acceptance speech, Atli called his work on the project a “dream job”. He thanked director Morten Tyldum, who approached him for the collaboration. Atli added that Tyldum had realised that the project needed someone who had grown up with the dark and claustrophobic winters of Northwest Iceland.

From Iceland to Hollywood

Atli worked on the project in London and recorded it in the U.K. and in Akureyri in the north of Iceland. Atli lives and works in Akureyri. He was a member of pop band Sálin hans Jóns míns before moving into the film and television industry. He’s composed and orchestrated music for films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Angels & Demons and the Superman instalment Man of Steel.

Other nominees in the category of “Best Original Music Fiction” were Adiescar Chase for Heartstopper, Blair Mowat for Nolly and Natalie Holt for Loki.

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.”

 

 

Star Trek: Discovery Features Iceland’s Otherworldly Landscapes

Star Trek: Discovery

Iceland was a prominent filming location for the third season of CBS TV show Star Trek: Discovery. The season’s first episode begins with a crash landing on Hverfjall mountain in the country’s north. The producers chose Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes to portray the planet Hima in the year 3188. Vísir reported first.

Goðafoss waterfall, Kleivarvatn lake, and the Blue Lagoon are also pictured in the series’ third season. Shooting in Iceland took place last year and the production took advantage of the Icelandic state’s payback program, which reimburses 25% of the cost of TV and film production incurred in Iceland as an incentive to encourage both local and international filming.

“[W]e jumped to the future, and so we wanted a place that looked very different,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman told TrekCore of the filming location. “I’ve wanted to shoot in Iceland for a really long time, so we looked at a bunch of different options and Iceland turned out to be doable – so we did it!”

Star Trek: Discovery is not the first series to use Iceland to depict other planets. Interstellar (2014) used Iceland’s Svínafellsjökull glacier and other locations to depict two different planets. Star Wars films have also cast Iceland in the role of another planet, including Star Wars: Episode VII and Star Wars: Rogue One.

Watch the Star Trek: Discovery third season opening scene on Hverfjall.