Icelandic world and European premieres at Karlovy Vary
Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s second feature, Paris of the North, will have its world premiere in competition for the Crystal Globe at the 49thKarlovy Vary International Film Festival, which is unspooling in the Czech Republic from 4-12 July.
Screening on 8 July, Sigurdsson’s follow-up to his award-winning Either Way (2011) is part of an Icelandic festival package that also includes Icelandic filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson’s Of Horses and Men, and UK directors Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton’s Björk: Biophilia Live.
Scripted by Huldar Breidfjörd, Paris of the North stars Björn Thors, Helgi Björnsson andNanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir in the portrayal of the story of Hugi, who has found shelter from life’s complexities in a small, isolated village. But his quiet life is interrupted when his father suddenly turns up. Sindri P Kjartansson and Thor Sigurjonsson produced for Kjartansson and Zik Zak Filmworks.
Of Horses and Men – Erlingsson’s country romance about the human streak in the horse and that of the horse in the human, which was released last summer – has so far toured more than 50 international film festivals and cashed in on 16 prizes. In the Czech spa city it will be presented in the Another View sidebar.
In 2011, Icelandic singer-songwriter (and actress) Björk launched her Biophilia project with performances, interactive applications, educational programmes and her eighth album. It was topped off by a concert at London’s Alexandra Palace, filmed by UK directors Strickland and Fenton, who also collaborated on the project. Also featuring an angelic Icelandic choir and Austrian percussionist Manu Delago, the result is on show as a Karlovy Vary gala.
Icelandic keyboard player and composer Kjartan Sveinsson – a co-founder of Icelandic rock group Sigur Rós – is among the members of the grand jury, chaired by Spanish producer Luis Miñarro. Sveinsson has scored several films, including titles by Rúnar Rúnarsson, and he co-produced Of Horses and Men.