On a cold night in March 1984, a few miles off the south coast of Iceland, a fishing boat sank along with all of its men. Miraculously, one of its crew members survived. After six hours of battling the ocean for his life, the exhausted young titan, washes ashore, only to find himself in a deadly lava field.

Jury motivation: Based on a true story of both deep tragedy and great individual heroism, The Deep vigorously explores both the human spirit and body. The cinematography remains captivating throughout, imbuing The Deep with harrowing but beautiful images of land, sea and the deep below. And in the role of the main protagonist Ólafur Darri Ólafsson gives a strikingly visceral and emotive performance, all the while supported by a strong cast, pulling the audience into his character’s traumatic experience. Director Baltasar Kormákur’s work transmits an intense struggle between man and nature. His dynamic style is reinforced by a bird’s eye view showing the frailty and smallness of the human being as it is wrecked by the merciless forces of nature, adding a mythic dimension to this story of an extraordinary survival.

National jury: Kristín Jóhannesdóttir, Björn Ægir Nordfjörd, Hilmar Oddsson