From Iceland — Icelanders' Creativity Finally Validated With Glittery Awards

Icelanders’ Creativity Finally Validated With Glittery Awards

Published September 23, 2015

Ciarán Daly
Photo by
Johanna Persson

This year’s Nordisk Panorama short & documentary film festival, placed a special focus on the creative work of Icelandic artists. With the spotlight on directors such as the excellent Ísold Uggadóttir, the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, as well as a range of prominent short filmmakers, it’s safe to say that Iceland may now actually have a claim to possessing something resembling a national cinema. Reykjavíkurdætur showed up to dazzle and disorient all the other Nordic film industry bigwigs with glittery strap-ons and the gospel according to Jonni Djamm (hint: it starts with F and ends with eminism, apparently). Samaris came to play a spooky set. There was even a photo of Landmannalaugar in the festival catalogue, just to finally prove how far we’ve all come in terms of Being Noticed.

Of course, no film festival would be complete without a decadent closing ceremony of mid-dinner industry back-slapping – and Nordisk Panorama was no exception. The Icelandic contingent did pretty well, gaining six nominations, and with the animator, Einar Baldvin, taking home the Norskie (?) – and a sweet 7,000 Euros – for Best Nordic Short Film with ‘The Pride of Strathmoor’

The jury’s reasoning for awarding the film is as follows:

This film is a visually stunning depiction of horror. The portrait, not even hundred years old, evokes a sense of present relevance and timelessness. It visualizes an inner fear built on prejudice, which provides human mind with reasons to kill.

The film literally grabbed us by the core. It is a profound piece of very skilfully implemented work, that manages to create a dense emotional landscape – vibrant, atmospheric and very scary. Watching the film becomes an unsettling, almost physical experience. The sound design supports the powerful images, making this distorted, expressionistic nightmare complete.

Plus, it would feel kind of like a slap in the face to put the focus on Icelandic directors and then not give them any awards.

Other winners included:

  • Best Nordic Documentary: Camilla Nielsson’s Democrats (Honorary mention: Tora Mårtens’ Martha and Niki)

  • Best New Nordic Voice: Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel’s Bird Hearts (Honorary mention: Ane Hjort Guttu’s This Place Is Every Place)

  • NP Audience Award: Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence

View the full list of awards here.

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