The long-standing Nordic short & doc film festival, Nordisk Panorama, has a special focus on Icelandic films this year. Serving as a hub for the Nordics as well as a film contest, the festival has promoted independent short films and documentaries from the Nordic countries for 26 years now.
We reached out to Iceland’s programme director, Janus Bragi Jakobsson, who says that in addition to six films competing in three categories, there are numerous Iceland centric events. This includes a retrospective where older short and doc films are screened, showing the Icelandic community’s achievements; an Icelandic party with all-female rap group Reykjavíkurdætur and electronica band Samaris; Björk’s ‘Biophilia’ project, which will have ongoing seminars throughout the festival for children; an artist talk with Kitty Von-Sometime of The Weird Girls Project; a Masterclass with composer Jóhann Jóhannsson; and a special event with director Ísold Uggadóttir. “It’s safe to say Iceland will have a noticeable presence at the festival,” he says.
Although he wasn’t responsible for picking the competing Icelandic films, Janus says he’s very proud of all them, in particular how five out of six are directed by women, which he feels resonates well with the ongoing debate on womens’ role in the Icelandic film industry. In preparing the programme, Janus spent a lot of time watching Icelandic short films and documentaries and says there were a couple of elements that they had in common.
“We focus a lot on the past and lost time, to the point of being nostalgic in both our choice of subject and how we approach it,” he says. “Our films also often tell the story of people outside of traditional society and their battles with elements larger than themselves.”
The festival is held in Malmö, Sweden, September 18-23. 42 films compete in three categories. The Icelandic films nominated are:
Best Nordic documentary:
‘I Want To Be Weird’ by Brynja Dögg Friðriksdóttir, and ‘Kitchen Sink Revolution’ by Halla Kristín Einarsdóttir.
Best Nordic short film:
‘You and Me’ by Ása Hjörleifsdóttir, and ‘The Pride of Strathmoor’ by Einar Baldvin.
Best new Nordic voice:
‘Zelos’ by Thoranna Sigurdardottir, and ‘Playing With Balls’ Nanna Kristín Einarsdóttir.