New Icelandic films presented at the Stockfish Film Festival

Seven new Icelandic films have been presented at Iceland’s Stockfish Film Festival, ScreenDaily reports. Among the titles are works from Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Grimar Jonsson and Hlynur Palmason.

ScreenDaily provided an overview of the seven projects, and here it is:

First is from director Isold Uggadottir is And Breathe Normally. This is her feature debut and follows two very different women from different countries – a border patrol officer at an airport and a migrant. Set in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, the story follows the women whose lives intersect briefly while they are trapped in unforeseen circumstances. And Breathe Normally is currently in post-production and is produced by Zik Zak Filmworks.

Under the Tree is a highly anticipated film from director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson (Paris of the North). The film is a family drama with some darkly comedic elements and follows two families who become involved in a bitter dispute over a tree, which one family thinks is beautiful but blocks the sun in their neighbours garden.

Next is The Far Traveller: A Female Viking Explorer, directed by Anna Dis Olafsdottir & Johann Sigfusson. This is a documentary for television that tells the story of Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, a female Viking Explorer who lived 980-1050. She travelled eight times across the Atlantic and walked to Rome when she was in her 60s. The documentary aims to explore Viking women’s culture and will be released late 2018.

A comedy/drama mini-series titled Life After Death is coming from director Vera Sölvadóttir. The series will follow a local pop star who refuses to participate in the Eurovision finals because of his mother’s funeral. The black comedy will air on RUV over the Easter period.

The feature film Mikhel is due for release this autumn. Directed by Ari Alexander Ergis Magnusson and produced by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Leifur B. Dagfinsson, Kristinn Þórðarson and Magnusson, the film is inspired by a true story from 2004. It follows two immigrants to Iceland who run into trouble for smuggling drugs. The film has been in the works for nearly a decade, but had to go on hold following the 2008 financial crash.

The Swan (pictured) is a film from Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir that is adapted by the classic novel by Gudbergur Bergsson. The film follows a nine-year-old girl who is sent to a relative’s farm for the summer to ‘work and mature’. Instead, she gets entangled in a drama she doesn’t really understand as she develops a relationship with a farmhand who is much older. The film was shot in the north of Iceland and is nearing completion.

Last but not least is Winter Brothers from Hlynur Palmason. The film is about two brothers, their routines and their rituals. We follow them with a focus on the younger brother, Emil, and the whole film is about Emil’s want and needs to be desired and loved. The film was shot in Denmark.


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.