Undercurrent tells the story of a young woman who is hired as crew member on a fishing vessel, where a tight knit group of men is already in place. Slowly it is revealed that her job was only vacant due to a tragic incident, and her being on board is not going down well with the crew. With conflict happening within the group, as well as with nature, the crew has to stick together and face their destiny in a sea voyage that takes an unexpected turn. 

Jury motivation: We are on a rusty boat in the middle of the ocean. The storm is closing in and the crew is becoming hot-tempered. Undercurrent’s characters are all portrayed with clear brushstrokes, not least the boat and the sea, which determines the course of events. Director Árni Ólafur interprets the story and its characters admirably, as they find themselves helpless in extreme circumstances. The atmosphere of huis clos becomes heavier as the danger intensifies. The camera work is powerful as Undercurrent takes us out to sea, onto the shuddering cold deck and into the claustrophobic cabin with such insight and realism that we almost taste the salt in our mouths. At the end of the journey, we return home, safe and sound – almost.

National jury: Sif Gunnarsdottir, Kristin Johannesdóttir & Hilmar Oddsson