HEARTSTONE wins at the Warsaw Film Festival

The 32nd edition of the Warsaw Film Festival has come to a close, but not without giving some prizes to the best in European and world cinema.

One of the big winners of the night was Heartstone, the Icelandic film that’s been captivating festival crowds around the world. Directed by Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson, Heartstone is set in a remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it’s time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

Gudmundsson picked up the award for Best Director, and the film also won the Ecumenical Jury Award as well as a special mention for the Jury Award.

Heartstone wasn’t the only Nordic film that won at Warsaw; the new Swedish film The Giant, directed by Johannes Nyholm, won the Free Spirit Award. In The Giant, Rikard is an autistic and severely deformed man who was separated from his mother at birth. Thirty years later he is convinced that he will get her back if only he wins the Scandinavian Championship of pétanque. He tries to do the impossible. His fragile physique and a harsh judging environment are not going to stop him. Plus there is a 200 foot giant on his side.

We’ve interviewed Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson and Johannes Nyholm about their films in our new issue of Cinema Scandinavia, which is available to order here.

Here are the trailers for Heartstone and The Giant:




Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.

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