Icelandic-based producer Thórhannesdóttir has an impressive line-up of six feature projects for her outfit Duo Productions, and Spellbound Productions, co-owned by Oscar-nominated Fridrik Thór Fridriksson.

Kill the Poet (Drepum skáldið) is among the most ambitious projects ever for the director of Children of Nature and Thórhannesdóttir. The €4m period film is produced with Icelandic born Los-Angeles-based producer Margret Raven (Othar Raven Pictures & TV) with support from the Icelandic Film Centre.

Set between New York and Reykjavik, the biopic is based on a script by TV personality and writer Jón Othar, founder of Iceland’s Channel 2 (Stöð 2). The story based on true-events focuses on Iceland’s great modern poet Steinn Steinarr and his love affair during WW2 with female painter Louisa Matthíasdóttir. “It’s a Romeo and Juliet romantic drama as Louisa who came from one of Reykjavik’s richest families, was sent to New York to study art, while the very poor Steinn Steinarr was blacklisted by Communist witch-hunts in Iceland and prevented from travelling to New York,” explains Thórhannesdóttir.

Next to Thor Kristjansson (Black’s Game, Dracula Untold) and Anita Briem (The Tudors) who will play the title roles are the legendary Christopher Plummer (2012 Oscar winner for Beginners), Victor Garber (Titanic, Will & Grace). Raven, Fridriksson and Thórhannesdóttir hope to close the financing in Cannes. Filming is expected to start towards the end of the year.

Thórhannesdóttir’ s other major international project is End of Sentence, feature debut by the established Icelandic-born, London-based producer Elfar Adalsteins (Berserk Films).

“Elfar has directed the multi-awarded short film Sailcloth starring John Hurt. We’ve been long-time friends and production collaborators, and he’s finally making his first feature,” says Thórhannesdóttir. The drama based on a script by Beautiful Boy’s Michael Armbruster, follows a widower who embarks on a journey to Ireland with his ex-con son to scatter his wife’s ashes. The journey becomes more than the father and the son had bargained for.

In the starring roles are John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Sarah Bolger (Once Upon a Time, Into the Badlands). The UK/US/Irish/Icelandic co-production is produced by Berserk Films, with Sighvatsson Films, Samson Films and Duo Productions. Rocket Science handles world sales.

Meanwhile Thórhannesdóttir’s majority Icelandic feature project Recurrence (Una) by Marteinn Thórsson (XL) is currently in pre-production. The supernatural thriller based on a script by Thórsson and Óttar M. Nordfjörd (The Valhalla Murders) centres on Una (22), whose son disappeared a year ago and is presumed dead. After a suicide attempt, a sinister creature appears and Una starts to live a parallel story that happened a hundred years ago, a story of rape, violence and murder, linked to another Una.

“The film will mark Thorsson’s return to genre-filmmaking and be in the vein of his earlier film One Point Zero which competed at Sundance [2004] and was subsequently sold to more than 40 territories. He will also gather some of the talent who worked with him on One Point Zero such as Udo Kier”, says the producer. 
 The €2.8m project is co-produced by Sweden’s Anagram and France’s Frozen Frogs, with support from the Icelandic Film Centre. The Yellow Affair will handle international sales; Sena the domestic release.

Two Icelandic projects are in advanced development.

  • Loss (Urna) directed by Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon (Mihkel) is an existential drama based on a novella by author Gudbergur Bergsson. An old man comes home with the ashes of his dead wife in an urn. The film is a haunting meditation on mortality and life's cycle. It will be produced with Egil Ødegaard (The Sea).

  • For Eternity by Helena Magneudóttir is a drama about Aurora - an abusive but loving mother, suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The film takes place in a day in the life of a family gathered to celebrate two birthdays. The day takes an unexpected course and the festivities soon turn into a nightmare. “The director will be working closely with a choreographer and a cinematographer making the camera and the characters dance partners,” says Thórhannesdóttir, who mentions Maya Deren’s ‘choreo-cinema’ work as inspiration.

Thórhannesdóttir is also producer of the drama Alma by Kristín Jóhannesdóttir (As in Heaven). The long-awaited Icelandic film backed by Nordisk Film & TV Fond is scheduled to open domestically this fall. The drama centres on Alma, imprisoned in a forensic psychiatric unit for murdering her boyfriend, a crime she can’t remember. When she discovers the boyfriend is still alive, Alma decides to escape. In the title role is newcomer Snæfriður Ingvarsdóttir. Alma was the last feature film for French star actress Emmanuelle Riva (Amour).