The Nordics is heavily represented in Berlin and Iceland in particular will be making a big splash with four productions and copros showcased, from some of the nation’s most established names.
Heartstone’s Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson will be launching his anticipated sophomore film Beautiful Beings (Berdreymi) at the Berlinale’s Panorama described as ‘a traditional audience favourite, screening edgy and daring cinema’.
The film tells the story of Addi, a boy raised by a clairvoyant mother, who decides to adopt a bullied misfit into his gang of outsiders. Left to their own devices, the boys explore aggression and violence but also learn about loyalty and love. As their behaviour escalates towards life-threatening situations, Addi begins to experience a series of dreamlike visions.
Guðmundsson told nordicfilmandtvnews.com that the story was 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? How can you find your own path?”
The film is produced by Anton Máni Svansson of Iceland’s Join Motion Pictures, in co-production with Motor Productions (Denmark), Hobab and Film i Väst (Sweden), Bastide Films (The Netherlands) and Negativ (Czech Republic), with support among others from the Icelandic Film Centre, RÚV, Iceland's Ministry of Industries and Innovation, DR, Scanbox, the Danish Film Institute, Danish Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Sena will handle the domestic release. New Europe Film Sales acts as sales agent.
Guðmundsson’s breakthrough movie Heartstone won over 50 international awards and was nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2017.
Join Motion Pictures is also attending Berlin with the short film Nest by multi-awarded Hlynur Pálmason (A White, White Day, Winter Boys), world premiering at the Berlinale Special.
Produced by Denmark's Snowglobe with Join Motion Pictures, the short film centres on siblings, building a tree house together over the course of a year. As we follow them through their struggles and moments of joy, we experience the beauty and brutality of the seasons.
Berlinale Icelandic entries announced earlier include Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s vehicle Against the Ice, produced by RVK Studios for Netflix, in collaboration with the star of Game of Thrones. The survival film selected as a Berlinale Special Gala is due to premiere on the US streamer March 2.
Iceland’s fascinating black sand beaches will be displayed in the crime series Black Sands by Baldvin Z, screening as an international premiere at the Berlinale Series. As announced earlier, the TV show produced by Glassriver launched domestically on Channel 2 on Christmas day.
Meanwhile several Icelandic talents (including episodic director David Óskar Ólafsson and Oscar-nominated editor Valdís Óskarsdóttir) are associated to the Danish/Faroese crime show TROM, slated for the Berlinale Series Market.
The first ever original Faroese TV drama was adapted by Torfinnur Jákupsson and Donna Sharpe from Jógvan Isaksen’s best-selling novel. (read our interview with Jákupsson: CLICK HERE.
The anticipated Nordic noir starring Ulrich Thomsen is produced by Denmark’s REinvent Studios in co-production with Kyk Pictures, True North and ZDF/Arte. Viaplay will launch it in selected territories.
Two other Nordic shows will be showcased at the Berlinale Series Market Select: