Exclusive: The auteur-driven Join Motion Pictures is preparing Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s next film and a documentary about composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

After the strong reception of Hlynur Pálmason's A White, White Day at Cannes' Critics Week, Join Motion Pictures co-founders, producer Anton Máni Svansson and writer/director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson are preparing a handful of feature films and documentary projects.

  • Chicken Boy by Guðmundsson will be the director's follow-up to his multi-awarded debut film Heartstone, nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize and winner of nine Edda awards in 2017. Guðmundsson who has been working on the script for the last three years, told nordicfilmandtvnews.com that the story is inspired by his own teen years in Iceland. “Through the portrait of a boy who takes a bully victim into his group of violent misfits, the film shows how a hostile friendship can still be something you can feel safe with and rely on, as long as you follow your instincts. It brings up the questions, what is true friendship? Can an unhealthy friendship still be good? Finally, how can you find your own path?”

    As with his coming of age drama Heartstone, Guðmundsson will rely mostly on non-professional actors for the main roles. "The film will be very demanding for the young cast, both physically and emotionally," said the director who anticipates a long period of rehearsals and preparation. 

    Anton Máni Svansson said the film will be a continuation of their collaboration with Lise Orheim Stender, Jesper Morthorst (Motor), Danish production partners of Heartstone, as well as with cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovlen. Filming is scheduled to start in the summer 2020. 
  • Also on Join Motion Pictures slate is the documentary 1,2,3 Forever: Jóhann Jóhannsson from a trio of artists, closely connected to the late Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, Oscar-nominated for Sicario and The Theory of Everything. Orri Jónsson is a musician/composer (Noi Albino), photographer and director (Amma Lo-Fi); Kira Kira is a musician/director (Amma Lo-Fi), part of Jóhansson’s music collective Kitchen Motors, and Davíð Hörgdal Stefánsson is a writer and a poet.

    The docu-biopic will focus on Jóhannsson's musical journey, his integrity as an artist and how his heart and soul were reflected in his life. The film in early financing stage will be made with the full consent and participation of Jóhannsson's family, his closest friends and collaborators from the late 1980s until his death in February 2018.  
  • Other projects include Pálmason's next film, a period piece about a young ambitious priest imbued with God, set to go into production later next year.  
  • Finally Join Motion Pictures is working with rising talent Ugla Hauksdóttir, a graduate from Columbia University in New York, who directed two episodes of the crime series Trapped Season 2. Hauksdóttir is finishing with Join Motion Pictures the short film Sealskin, which will serve as pilot for her directorial debut. It’s the story of five-year-old Sol who lives in an isolated house by the sea with her father, a struggling composer. When she senses that her father is burdened by sorrow, she finds solace in an old Icelandic folk tale.