Thank you all for making this year extra special
4/13/2022We would like to thank everyone who attended the festival this year. We are so thankful for the amazing attendance in the new and better Shortfish competition which sold out more then once. It is clear there is plenty of interest to go around for short films here Iceland. We'd also like to thank everyone who helped creating the magical atmosphere we got to experience at our industry days in Selfoss where many new friendships where born. We can't wait to welcome you to our 9th edition of Stockfish Festival in March next year. Until then, enjoy the photo selection below from this year. See you next time!
Shortfish Awards 2022!
4/3/2022The Shortfish competition was expanded this year to acknowledge a broader group of filmmakers and projects. Thanks to Síminn and KUKL the Award is the most generous in the history of Icelandic short film competitions. The four award-winning projects will be shown together on Síminn television in a special Shortfish awards program. The cash award is subject to participation in either linear program and or on the rental for 12th months. A ground breaking record of 100 eligible submissions where received this year so it's safe to say that every competitor is already a winner. Yet there can only be one champion in each category and we are extremely thankful for the challenging work of our amazing juries. Anton Máni producer received the award on behalf of Nest. Fiction The winner of the fiction category is The Nest by Hlynur Pálmason. Nest receives the generous award of 1000 000 kr in rental equipment from KUKL and cash price of 1000 000 kr from Síminn. The fiction jurie: David Bonneville, Benedikt Erlingsson og Pamela Ribon. Jury's statement: “There are some films that demand you are a part of the action in order to feel its emotional impact. Others ask you to be a quiet observer, a witness to forward momentum of life. This film chose the latter, keeping us locked in the view of one small stage for a family’s private journey. For its beautiful storytelling rooted in patience and love, the fiction jury has chosen Nest – Director – Hlynur Pálmason” Special mention goes to Hex for Exceptional Vision by Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir. Jury's statement:“The jury would like to single out a film whose bold vision and driving narrative create an unforgettable cinematic experience, announcing a director who must be given every opportunity to shine brighter and bigger, in any genre she picks next. Honorable Mention and a Special Jury Prize for Exceptional Vision goes to HEX – Director – Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir.” Snæfríður's mother accepted the award on her behalf Artistic Music Video Winner is Vesturbæjar-beach by Snæfríður Sól Gunnarsdóttir and the award is 250 000 kr worth of equipment from KUKL rental and 250 000 kr cash price from Síminn. Jury: Árni Sveinsson, Ugla Hauksdóttir and Þóra Hilmarsdóttir Jury's statement:“Vesturbæjar-beach is a funny and insightful look at the tropical paradise of Reykjavík’s westside. The story is simple and executed with humor, and sincere playfulness, with lots of surprises along the way. It perfectly captures the optimism and positivity it takes to live on our chilly island. The work of the filmmakers is a great example of what can be done when good ideas are executed with little means and the visual approach takes you on a journey that is a joy to experience from beginning to end.” Documentary Winner: Brávallagata 12 by Birna Ketilsdóttir and the award is 500.000 kr in equipment from KUKL and 500.000 kr cash price from Síminn. Jury's Statement:“A brave experiment where the simple single-shot setup reveals family secrets and dynamics to the audience. It both freezes time and acknowledges space rarely revisited when the director places them in front of the old family home. The concise form gives a glimpse of what was and what did not become. Honest and true portrait.” Special mention goes to Step by Guðný Lind Þorsteinsdóttir. Jury's Statement:“A well-shot and formed documentary that goes beyond the surface. A beautiful portrait of a dancer contrasted with some of the dance business's dark secrets. The brutal honesty exposes emotion and offers a solution, a way of survival without a whining tone or sentiment.” Eydís Eir Brynju- Björnsdóttir Experimental Winner CHRYSALS by Eydís Eir Brynju- Björnsdóttir and the award is 250.000 kr price in rental equipment from KUKL and 250.000 kr cash price from Síminn. Jury: Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Sigurður Guðjónsson og Vera Sölvadóttir. Jury's Statement:“Although experimental films explore non-narrative forms this particular film takes you on an orchestrated visual journey. The film is overflowing with beautiful imagery and colors, and a perfectly fitting set- and sound design. The personal voice-over narration gives the audience just enough to follow the intimate thoughts of the main character, gracefully accompanied by music. The editing and elements of mise-en-scene makes this an interesting film to watch.”
A Peak Into The Backstage Of The News
3/24/2022“My film brings the viewer to the backstage of the news” Ukrainian director Maryna Er Gorbach says in an interview with „Cineuropa“ about her film Klondike (2022), which is the opening film at Stockfish this year. The film is about a Ukrainian family that lives on the borders of Russia and Ukraine in the start of the Russo-Ukraine war that began in 2014 and is, in many ways, a precursor of the terrible war currently raging in Ukraine. Excitement that became fear In the film we follow the expecting parents, Irka and Tolik that live in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine near the Russian boarder, which was and is a disputed territory in regard to the war. The anticipation of their first child’s birth suddenly turns into extreme fear as the vicinal crash of flight “MH17” elevates the tension surrounding their village. The looming wreckage of the downed airliner and an incoming parade of mourners emphasize the surreal trauma that they endure. Irka refuses to be evacuated even as the village gets captured by armed forces. She tries to make peace between Tolik and her brother, that suspects the couple of betraying Ukraine, by asking them to repair their bombed house. The complex effect of war “MH17” refers to the Malaysian plane that was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on the 17th of July in 2014 when it was shot down while flying over the eastern part of Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members died in the crash which is the deadliest airliner shootdown incident to date. Investigation on the crash concluded that the plane had been shot down by pro-Russian separatists. A few months before the terrorist attack on the plane, a war between Russia and Ukraine had broken out in clashes over the Crimea and Donbas regions. Following Russia’s major military build-up around Ukraine‘s boarders in late 2021 the conflict escalated sharply when Russia began the current invasion on the 24th of February 2022. In Klondike we see how innocent and everyday people are affected by the war that started in 2014 in many and complex ways. Tolik’s separationists friends expect him to join them while Irka’s brother suspects them of betraying Ukraine. In addition to the complex trauma they endure, they are therefore also caught up within the tension of the conflict. Hence, it is nowhere near easy for the expectant parents to navigate this new war-torn reality. Q&A with Oksana Cherkashyna The leading actress of the movie, the Ukrainian Oksana Cherkashyna will be present at the opening and will also answer questions at a Q&A afterwards. She is born in 1988 and has acted both in theatre and films. She graduated from Kharkiv National University of Arts in 2010 and currently works for the Kyiv Theatre. In films she is best known for the role in Natalie Vorozhbyt’s film, “Bad Roads” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and where she won Kinokolo Award for Best actress in 2020. A film that reflects what the people are going through Among a jury’s award at the Berlianle festival Klondike has also received a directing award at the Sundance festival. The film’s director, Maryna Er Gorbach is an award winning director known for the films Omar and Us (2019), Love Me (2013) and Black Dogs Barking (2009). She graduated from the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Poland and has been a member of the European Film Academy since 2017. In a Q&A after the premiere at Sundance, Gorbach said she drew a lot of inspiration from her own life. She furthermore says that the film „is an artistic piece that reflects what people in the Ukraine are going through, especially the children and the babies who are living there“. The French film critic Elena Lazic writes in „Cineuropea“ that Klondike is both a „matter-of-fact and angry matter-of-fact and angry film about a war seen from the inside, as it muscles its way into a region and its people in bewildering, violent increments, and the equally fierce and shocking forces of life and resistance.“ The film provides a rich inside into the lives of everyday people that, like frightening number of people right this moment, are being effected by a horrible war. For those of us who are following the constant news coverage from a distant the film is, moreover, a valuable opportunity to, as Gorbach puts it, take a peak backstage of the news.
Stockfish Industry Days in Selfoss 25. - 27. March
3/23/2022Networking is a crucial part of the Stockfish Industry Days. By creating a space for people in the industry to exchange their ideas and visions, we are not only providing important support to the Iceland Film Industry but also building strong and long lasting relationships with people in the international film industry. All Industry guests get wristbands on arrival that gives special prices at Risið and other Stockfish-designed venues in Selfoss. Great offers for guests who want to stay nights at Hotel South Coast! / / Works In Progress Works in progress has been a regular part of Stockfish's industry days. Works in Progress gives filmmakers who are not ready for screenings a unique opportunity to present their work to foreign press and other industry professionals who attend the festival at any given time. More here. Federica Sainte-Rose Federica Sainte-Rose Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Federica Sainte-Rose is an Agent in the Media Finance department Creative Artists which is a leading entertainment and sports agency. Sainte-Rose works in the Los Angeles office and specializes in feature film financing and sales. More here. Kleber Mendonca og Emilie Lesclaux Masterclass - Kleber Mendonca Filho & Emilie Lesclaux Mendonça and Lesclaux are among the most respected filmmakers in Latin America. Their films have achieved great international acclaim and received hundreds of accolades, including at Cannes Film Festival, where Mendonça has also served on juries. In this masterclass, they will discuss filmmaking at home and abroad, from the perspective of the filmmaker and the producer. More here. Pamela RibonSara GunnarsdóttirRagnar Bragason New Media - Opportunities And Challenges Today’s ways to tell a story to an audience has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. The platforms are endless in addition to what once was a written story or a film. Today we have platforms like youtube, TikTok, and computer games which is safe to say has changed the scriptwriting landscape completely and offers endless possibilities in telling a story. More here. Anika Kruse GREEN Film & Sustainability INSPIRATIONAL VISIT with Birgit Heidsiek (online) Birgit Heidsiek visits us online from Green Film Shooting, the European Center for Sustainability in the Media Sector. The visit is followed by a PANEL with Anika Kruse, Anna Maía Karlsdóttir (IFC), Sigríður Rósa Bjarnadóttir and more TBA on Green Film & Sustainability in Icelandic film productions. More info here. Still from the award winning film Lamb. VFX Talk - Insight into the VFX in Lamb The team behind LAMB is the first one in Icelandic cinema history to receive an international award in their category. They talk about the road that led them to win the European Visual Effects award at EFA. More here. Industry Mixer There will be an Industry Mixer at 19:00 clock, Friday & Saturday at Landsbankahúsið. Get To Gether Come and join us for an after drinks at Risið, at 21:00, Friday & Saturday. Other Venues: Bíóhúsið Selfossi Sýningatímar , Hotel South CoastNew Homepage Mjólkurbúið - Mathöll Risið Vínbar - heimasíða
Widening the frame of history
3/16/2022The documentaries Writing With Fire (2021) and Framing Agnes (2022) will be screened at the festival this year telling stories of marginalized people from different parts of the world. Both films aim to examine and redefine power structures and histories within different communities through the documentary form, one being about a journalist that belongs to the oppressed group of Dalit women in India and the other about the history and stories of trans women in the United States. An old and ingrained class system in India “India is a deeply complex country”, the director-producer duo of Writing With Fire, Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh say. In over 3000 years the social hierarchical system called the casta-system has divided Indian society into four distinct groups of people. Despite being banned by official laws it is strictly practiced in many parts of India sticking to people’s identities through an invisible but binding system that people are born into. Dalits are a section of Indian society who are considered so inferior and “dirty” that they are not given a place in the system and still today endure violence and brutal oppression. In the last six years India has furthermore moved from being a country of democracy to more right-wing authoritarianism. Writing With Fire is set in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populated state which is also known for corruption, brutal oppression of minorities and violence against women. In the film we follow the only Indian newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed only with their smartphones the chief reporter Meera and her reporters break down tradition and redefine what it means to be powerful within a male-dominated industry where independent and uncensored media is on the wane. A directing-couple that focuses on social justice Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Gosh are a married couple and an awarded director- and production team that focuses on producing films that have the power to create social change. In 2009 they founded Black Ticket Films, a production company that is invested in non-fiction storytelling and social justice. The film is nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, already having won 17 international awards, including seven awards for the best documentary and two awards at the Sundance festival in 2021, Writing With Fire is their first feature length documentary. In 2012 Rintu and Sushmit were awarded the President’s Medal, the highest honor given to filmmakers in India. Their films have furthermore been used as advocacy tools for social imports in various universities. Trans people should be the storytellers of their own stories “Representation of trans and gender nonconforming communities has changed dramatically in the last decade”, director Chase Joynt says. His film Framing Agnes world premiered at the Sundance festival in 2022 winning two awards. It is a film born out of the idea that “trans people should remain leaders of the trans movement, and narrators of trans stories''. The film’s production team is consequently made up of various people of the LGBTQ+ community including an impressive line-up of trans actors including Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, Jen Richards and Max Wolf Valerio. The value of imperfect histories Testing the limits of the form Framing Agnes is an acted documentary about the pioneer Agnes, a trans woman that took part in Harold Garfinkel’s gender health research at UCLA in the 1960s, seeking gender affirming surgery. Her story was long considered to be unique, that is until case files about other patients seeking similar care were found inside a rusty filing cabinet in 2017. The film therefore aims to put Agnes’s story in a different context, that is not as an isolated case but as a part of a larger communal story. “There’s extraordinary value in imperfect histories. They help us recognize where we are now and imagine new possibilities for our future”, Joynt says. Among other things the film sheds light on how representation of trans people in the media has changed over time but also how „the concerns of an era are read onto the bodies of some of the most marginalized in society without their consent.“ To convey this Joynt uses various recording techniques ranging from the Super 8 to recording inspired by the talk show studio camera. A critical perspective on power and truth-telling Talk-show interviews in the 1950s marked a turning point in the televised history of trans people. This history is, however, colored by dubious and sometimes even violent intentions at the expense of trans people. Nevertheless, it is one of the few venues where the life of trans people has been well documented, Framing Agnes’s screenwriter, Morgan M Page, says. According to her, the film aims to demonstrate this documentation as well as linking it to linking this complex and imperfect story to the contemporary lives of trans people. In a similar way to Writing With Fire, Framing Agnes offers a critical perspective on power and truth-telling. The aim of both films is to widen the frames of which stories and histories of these two groups are told. It is consequently clear that viewers have an intriguing and mind-expanding viewing ahead of them at Stockfish this year.
The films selected for Shortfish 2022!
3/16/2022The goal of the Shortfish competition is to draw attention to aspiring Icelandic filmmakers and provide funding for future projects. The winner in each category will receive a cash prize sponsored by Síminn as well as a deposit for equipment rental at Kukl. In addition Síminn will have a special Shortfish award screening, where all 4 award winning films will be shown, both in linear program and on Síminn TV for the next 12 months. There is a significant change to Shortfish in 2022 with the aim to acknowledge a broader group of filmmakers and projects. Shortfish now has four competition categories divided into fiction, documentary, experimental, and artistic music video projects. Iceland is clearly booming with talented filmmakers, close to 100 projects were submitted into the competition which is a record number! Juries for the Shortfish 2022 are: Documentary - Anni Ólafsdóttir, Emanuele Gerosa and Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir Experimental - Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Sigurður Guðjónsson and Vera Sölvadóttir Artistic Music Video - Árni Sveinsson, Ugla Hauksdóttir and Þóra Hilmarsdóttir Fiction - David Bonneville, Benedikt Erlingsson and Pamela Ribon The following 20 films will be competing in Shortfish this year: Documentary Brávallagata 12 - Director - Birna Ketilsdóttir Schram Flight of the Puffin - Director - Rakel Dawn Hanson From Pasture Into Hands - Director - Thurý Bára Birgisdóttir Grand Hótel Nýlundabúðin Puffin Hótel - Director - Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir, Rán Flygenring Step - Director - Guðný Lind Þorsteinsdóttir Experimental CHRYSALIS - Director - Eydís Eir Brynju-Björnsdóttir Corpus - Director - Klāvs Liepiņš Scene From a White Wedding - Director - Birna Ketilsdóttir Schram Var - Director - Anna María Richardsdóttir, Áki Frostason Worth - Director - Helga Katrínardóttir Fiction Days Without - Director - Ívar Erik Yeoman Free Men - Director - Óskar Kristinn Vignisson HEX - Director - Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir Lúser - Director - Nikulás Tumi Hlynsson Nest - Director - Hlynur Pálmason Artistic Music Video Birnir - Spurningar (feat.Páll Óskar) - Director - Magnús Leifsson I'm just lying right? - Director - Annalísa Hermannsdóttir Rottur - Director - Snæfríður Sól Gunnarsdóttir Sin Fang - Soy Un Animal - Director - Magnús Leifsson Vesturbæjar Beach - Director - Snæfríður Sól Gunnarsdóttir We sincerely congratulate all participants!
Midnight Madness - A Babysitter and a Life-Size Board Game
3/12/2022This year we have two Midnight Madness screenings to choose from, both equally exciting films with a fresh take on the classical thriller theme so why not see both! These are the films: Babysitter, a horror-inspired comedy and Murder Party, a comedy-thriller that features a life-size boardgame and an eccentric set of characters. Babysitter In Monia Chokri’s horror-inspired comedy, Babysitter, Middle-aged Cédric is suspended from work after drunkenly kissing a female reporter on live TV. Stuck at home with his girlfriend, Nadine, and their crying baby, Cédric teams up with his brother to co-author a book apologizing for their past misogyny. Enter Amy: a mysterious and provocative young babysitter who, like a Mary Poppins of the libido, forces the trio to confront their sexual anxieties while turning their lives upside down. Actress/director Monia Chokri Since graduating from the Conservatoire d’art dramatique in 2005, Monia Chokri has appeared in more than a dozen plays on the stage. On television, she was seen in ‘Les rescapés’ and ‘Nouvelle adresse’. Revealed on the big screen by Xavier Dolan’s ‘Heartbeats’ she also starred recently in Robin Aubert’s ‘Les Affamés’. Her first feature as a director, ‘A Brother’s Love’ won the Un Certain Regard jury’s Coup de Coeur at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. Babysitter is her second feature, where she appears alongside Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Patrick Hivon. Like her first feature, Babysitter is shot on film. ‘A Brother’s Love’ was shot on 16mm, but Babysitter on 35mm. “For me there’s nothing like the grain of film. It’s a matter of perspective and taste.” It adds to the mysterious and vintage look of the picture. Chokri wanted to pay tribute to the horror genre, which has long developed a peculiar perspective on women. “Horror movies of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s have always portrayed women in the same fashion – they’re almost always the source of evil and terror.” Adapted from a play The film is an adaptation of Catherine Léger‘s play with the same name. Chokri said she was aware that Léger was looking for a writing partner to bring her projects to the screen. Before meeting her, Chokri went to see her play. She thought “it dealt so aptly with the muted, grumbling anger and frustration that would, a few years later, be referred to as the #metoo movement. Catherine illustrated the general anxiety that men and women experience today, as they redefine their respective roles, both socially and privately.” Of Catherine, Chokri also said that her “sense of humor is scathing – she spares no one, but she always has a sharp eye.” She also liked how the characters say things to each other that they don’t mean. “In real life… you tend to tone down what’s actually on your mind… it creates layers that make the characters richer and more fleshed-out.” She also points to how the characters aren’t either good or bad. They all struggle with their own neuroses and obsessions. “It’s close to real life, and even though I gave the film a fable feel, the characters are relatable.” Murder Party Nicolas Pleskov´s Murder Party Murder Party is Nicolas Pleskov’s directorial feature debut and premieres this March. He also wrote the film along with Elsa Marpeau. He has previously directed three shorts. His second short film, ‘Zoo’, won the New Visions Award at the Catalonian International Film Festival in 2013, and was nominated for a Golden Horseman at Dresden Film Festival in 2014. A life-size boardgame In Murder Party, Jeanne (35), a brilliant architect, has a new assignment: To renovate the sumptuous Daguerre mansion owned by an eccentric family, which is the head of a board game empire. When the landlord and patriarch César is found dead, everyone present becomes a suspect. Suddenly Jeanne’s mission turns into a life-size investigation to expose the murderer. This comedy-thriller features a life-size board game and an eccentric set of characters. The father, César (Eddy Mitchell), is the founder of a large board game company. Jeanne Chardon Spitzer (Alice Pol) is a young architect who enters the world of the Daguerres intending to help renovate the mansion. In the wake of the sudden murder of the patriarch, she is drawn into the mysterious enigma. She’s forced to find clues, solve tests and decipher puzzles, as well as unmasking the assassin. Miou-Miou the leading actress Acclaimed actress Miou-Miou plays the part of Joséphine Dguerre. She’s been nominated for a César Award ten times for best actress, which she won in 1980 for her role in ‘La Dérobade’. She and Eddy Mitchell have worked togheter a few times before and in a recent interview with Femme Actuelle she said that she feels like they’re a couple. “He is so good… I respect him enormously.” When asked about working with director Nicolas Pleskof she said they got along right away and that Murder Party was his vision - “something a bit special.” Both films will be screened during Midnight Madness at this year’s festival.
Post Mortem - The First Ever Hungarian Horror Feature
3/9/2022‘Post Mortem’, by director Péter Bergendy, is the first ever Hungarian Horror feature. During the freezing winter of 1918, a wandering, post mortem photographer, ends up in a small Hungarian village that’s overrun by ghosts of the past. As he becomes more closely acquainted with life at the village, he feels increasingly like he must escape it. Stranded spirits As a result of the destruction caused by World War I and the Spanish Flu, countless spirits have become stranded in our world. Tomás, a young post mortem photographer, wanders into a small village in Hungary. He then meets Anna, a ten-year-old orphan girl, and perhaps his own conscious mind. The noises in the night, the village enveloped in hostility, the strange deaths, and the shadowy figures appearing in his photographs, all prompt him to leave as soon as possible. Only a vision in the night and the certainty that ghosts exist, make Tomás return to the village, his conscience and desire for action awake. He decides that with the help of the instruments at his disposal, he will investigate the ghosts' intentions and will find a way to get free of them. The little girl accompanies Tomás's exciting exploration through all its dangers, but they find no clear answers; all the while, the spirits wreak greater havoc as each moment passes. The psychology of horror Post Mortem is the first ever full-feature Hungarian horror film. As a kid, Péter Bergendy loved horror movies. Despite horror films being banned in socialist Hungary, he managed to see the best of them. Born in 1964, he got his first camera from his grandfather at the age of six. From that moment film became part of his life. Together with his creative producer and partner, Gábor Hellebrandt, Bergendy wanted to create a ghost story which, in addition to its psychological content, was also closely related to Hungary. “We conjured up the ghosts from a time of great loss in Hungarian history, during the Spanish Flu pandemic directly after the first World War.” Bergendy originally graduated as psychologist, where he wrote his thesis on the psychology of the horror film; “because horror tells us something important about the unconscious mind, revealing the workings and problems of the psyche in the language of ancient human symbols and archetypes…It’s really exciting.” Award winning director For ten years, Bergendy was the editor-in-chief of the Hungarian issue of German Cinema Magazine. He worked as an academic researcher for the Hungarian Film Institute, and also as editor and director in Hungarian television. For 25 years now he's been ditched in Hungarian and international commercial directing, his multiple award-winning commercials are shown across the world. His first feature film, ‘Stop Mom Teresa!’, was released in 2004 and received international recognition. His cold war spy film noir, ‘The Exam’, won the New Director’s Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2012, and his next thriller, ‘Trezor’, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2020. It was the first ever Hungarian tv-film to be nominated.
An animated series from a screenwriter of Disney directed by an Icelander
2/25/2022The animated series My Year of Dicks (2022) will be premiered in Stockfish. It is written by the bestselling author Pamela Ribon who is among the screenwriters of several big Disney films including Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet. The series is directed by the an Icelandic director Sara Gunnarsdóttir. Pamela and Sara will be available for Q&A after the premier and there will also be an opportunity see Pamela at Stockfish's industry days in a Panel on Modern Scriptwriting. In addition to writing films and TV-shows. Pamela is also a bestselling author of both comic books and novels. My Year of Dicks is about a fifteen-year-old girl in the outskirts of Houston that is trying to lose her virginity. The series is an adaptation of Pamela’s memoir from 2017 called Notes to Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public. Pamela RibonSara Gunnarsdóttir How it all started “I knew I wanted to work with Sara the second I saw her animation”, Pamela says. The director of the series is the Icelandic artist and director Sara Gunnarsdóttir. Sara has directed animated films and music videos as well as creating original artwork for both films and Tv-shows, including Marielle Heller’s film Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) and the HBO documentary The Case Against Adnan Sayed (2019). Sara was born and raised in Reykjavík, Iceland. She has a BFA degree from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and a MFA degree in Experimental Animations from CalArts, California, her final project, the documentary short “The Pirate of Love” being nominated for the Student Academy Awards. Her work has been showcased at MOMA New Directors/New Films in New York, AFI Fest in Los Angeles and Telluride Festival in Colorado. Sara Sara says she has been working with the world of teenage girls throughout her career. Her debut short “Sugarcube” (2009) for example, handles a girl’s first heartbreak and growing up. About the turbulence of teenage girlhood, she says: „I believe most women look back on their teenage years and see the situations they put themselves in in a very different light as adults. I believe most of us feel that we survived being a teenage girl. “We surfaced on the other side of adolescence, some unharmed, others not.” She says that Pamela‘s description of love and sex of a teenager in Notes To Boys are both relatable and sincere. Sara’s vision regarding animation has always been focused on people’s emotions and she describes how Pamela’s writing opened a door to a teenage consciousness on a personal level. Animation allows us to submerge into the character’s perspective and put us, quite literally, in its shoes, she says. In designing the series, she furthermore focused on creating a world that simultaneously reflects the feeling of looking back on teenage years and to be there in the moment. She emphasizes on a natural tone in the animation which she says creates a space for contrast between how the viewer sees the events as well as the character’s inner reaction to them. Out of body experience Pamela says that Sara has a unique sensitivity regarding viewpoints and a special talent for making moments both nostalgic and timeless at the same time. The series includes footage, voices, images and people from her entire life span, she says and describes seeing it all come together as an out of body experience. Pamela emphasizes on the personal in her work. In addition to publishing her memoir she also has the popular blog pamie.com where she has for example published the viral essays “How I Might Have Become the Newest Urban Legend” and “Barbie Fucks it Up Again”. As has been mentioned before My Year of Dicks is about Pam, a fifteen-year-old girl in Houston in the 90s that has a goal of losing her virginity. Intimate writing She is stuck between real life and fantasy while trying to explore different types of boys, toths, skaters, indie movie snobs and more, without getting grounded by her parents. Pamela says that in the past, when she first started telling these personal stories she often got asked why she didn’t burn the pages she had written that revealed such naked feelings. She admits that it has taken a long time for her to let her guard down completely: “As I told the ones who asked me back then why I didn’t burn every single page — Why should we keep pretending we didn’t barely get out of all that alive? This film is made for everyone who thought those days would never end.” Pamela and Sara will be available for Q&A Pamela Ribon will be a guest at this year’s Stockfish. In an addition to premiering My Year of Dicks and doing a Q&A afterwards with Sara, she will also be a speaker at a panel on Modern day Scriptwriting which is one of our industry days event at Selfoss.
Nun-drama and parkour on the Gaza strip
2/21/2022Among guests at Stockfish this year are the Portuguese director David Bonneville and the Italian director Emanuele Gerosa. They will, for example, partake in a Q&A about their latest films, The Last Bath and No More Jump, that have received awards at festivals all over the world and will be screened at Stockfish. „My films reflect my personality and this is why the themes are recurrent - they reflect my worries, my fears and desires“, David Bonneville says in a conversation in regards to the Berlinale festival. His films are often a study on complex communication and non-normative desires and longings. With the exception of The Last Bath he is best known for his short films Gypsy and Heiko but he has also made video art and very short films that have been well received and won awards. The Last Bath Complex communication and non-normative desires The Last Bath is Bonneville’s first feature film. It’s about Josefine, a forty year old nun that is about to take her perpetual vows. She is called back to her childhood village to attend her father’s funeral when she meets her 15-year old nephew who has been abandoned by his mother. Isolated, back at the old family house, the nun and her nephew feel disconcerted as undefined feelings emerge. „It’s a strong festival title which should generate debate and opposing moral stances with regards to the central relationship“ says in a review on screendaily.com. Among numeral other awards and nominations the film was the winner for Best Feature Film and Best Actress at Luso-Brazilian festival of Santa Maria da Feira. It was also nominated for the Ingmar Bergman prize in Gothenburg as well as being a nominee for the Oscars best foreign film. The film stars the twins Anabela and Margarida Moreira as well as the 18 year old Martim Canvarro. One More Jump is Manu Gerosa’s second feature-length documentary. It has been screened at festivals all over the world and won, for example, the PRIX EUROPA award for Best european TV documentary in 2020 in Germany. His first documentary, Between Sisters, also received several rewards and was screened at numerous festivals. One More Jump is about Jehad and Abdallah, founders of the Gaza Parkour Team that were brought up together in the Gaza Strip. They founded the group to give the younger generation an alternative to the war but because of different choices they made in life they parted. Despite not having had contact in several years, their destinies are mirroring each other so now, more than ever, they need to find out if there is a way that can lead to freedom for someone who, like them, was born in prison. One More Jump „strangers“ in their own land „There is a close symbolic connection between parkour and the reality that people face every day in the Gaza Strip“, Gerosa says. In the film he uses parkour as a visual metaphor for the situation in Gaza. To overcome obstacles is a daily occurrence in the life of the people in Gaza, he says. „Everyday these guys engage themselves in dangerous stunts, challenging in a symbolic way, the barriers of the reality they were born in. They can insist, fail, try again or achieve the perfect jump, yet the wall that separates them from the world, will always be there, insurmountable.“ Gerosa says that Palestinians are forced to live as „strangers“ in their own land that condemns them to remain strangers everywhere they go. Through Jehad and Abdallah’s story he says he wants to raise questions about the meaning of „freedom“ for people who were born and have grown up in the prison that is the Gaza strip. Despite a difference in form and themes The Last Bath and One More Jump are both exciting and challenging award-winning films by directors that do not shy away from complex topics and reflect the diverse group of filmmakers participating in this year’s Stockfish festival.
INTERNS & VOLUNTEERS!
1/26/2022The 8th Stockfish Film Festival, which takes place from March 24th to April 3rd, is looking for volunteers and interns! We are looking for interns who can start working with us as soon as possible. Interns assist with various projects related to the preparation of the festival. Working with the festival team provides good insight into the production process of an international film festival. For applications and further information send to firstname.lastname@example.org – Subject: Intern Volunteers assist in a number of projects during the festival. The contribution of volunteers is very important whereas they create the always lively atmosphere at the Stockfish festival. For applications and further information send to email@example.com – Subject: Volunteer
Shortfish, in collaboration with Síminn and Kukl, will compete on four lanes in 2022.
1/21/2022Applications are now open for Shortfish (Sprettfiskur), the short film competition of the Stockfish Film Festival, which will be held for the 8th time from March 24 to April 3, 2022. The application deadline has been extended to February 15th. There will be a significant change to Shortfish in 2022 by expanding the short films competition into 4 categories. The winner of each category will receive awards for a value up to 2 million ISK. The aim of the competition is to draw attention to talented and aspiring filmmakers and to support their future projects. The Shortfish is held in collaboration with Síminn and Kukl. The contenders will compete on four lanes divided into Fiction, Documentary, Experimental & Artistic Music Video Projects. The winner in each category will receive prize money sponsored by Síminn as well as a deposit for equipment rental at Kukl. 1. FICTION 5 entries will be selected for the competition. Maximum 30 minutes Not officially released before 2021 Icelandic premiere at a film festival is a condition in the future. (we grant an exemption from this rule in 2022). Only Icelandic films and/or films from an Icelandic author, director, producer will be accepted. 1.000.000 ISK - Prize money1.000.000 ISK - Equipment rental 2. DOCUMENTARY 5 entries will be selected for the competition. Maximum 30 minutes Not officially released before 2021 Icelandic premiere at a film festival is a condition in the future. (we grant an exemption from this rule in 2022). Only Icelandic films are eligible or the author, director and / or main producer is Icelandic. 500.000 ISK - Prize money500.000 ISK - Equipment rental 3. EXPERIMENTAL 5 entries will be selected for the competition. Works created in the field of experimental, art, photography and/or performance making Maximum 30 minutes Not officially released before 2021 Icelandic premiere at a film festival is a condition in the future. (we grant an exemption from this rule in 2022). Only Icelandic films are eligible or the author, director and / or main producer is Icelandic. 250.000 ISK - Prize money250.000 ISK - Equipment rental 4. ARTISTIC MUSIC VIDEO PROJECTS An artistic music videos made with an original score. 5 entries will be selected for the competition. Not officially released before 2021 Only Icelandic videos are eligible or the author, director and / or main producer is Icelandic. 250.000 ISK - Prize money250.000 ISK - Equipment rental For further information send to: firstname.lastname@example.org Submit on filmfreeway.com/Shortfish
Virtual Masterclass with Isabelle Fauvel in Bíó Paradís!
5/25/2021Evolution of relationships between the worlds of literature and cinema across Europe Since the beginning, both worlds, both industries have been nurturing each other, yet, many of the bridges have only been created recently as directors and producers all end up being confronted to adaptation one day or the other. Publishers and right holders, on their side, see a great opportunity not to be neglected in selling their rights. Still, finding the right book to adapt at the right moment in one’s career and on a fair budget isn’t always easy. Between both worlds, facilitators try to come up with solutions. After gathering experience as a producer, Isabelle Fauvel created Initiative Film in 1993 : the first company dedicated to film development. Since then, she is the privileged partner of writers, directors and producers for all matters on projects and talents development around the following activities: talent scouting, books scouting , scriptwriting consultancy, story editing and insightful advising during the whole project gestation period. As such, she hold talks regularly in events such as the Crossroads Forum of Thessaloniki, Sofia Meeting and within the Toronto International Film Festival where she has been a mentor for the Studio and Talent Lab.,She is also a speaker at University and cinema schools like FAMU in Prague, Kask in Gent... She works as an expert for MFI (Mediterranean Film Institute), for ACE Producers and for a large number of Euromed programmes, including creating training programmes on demand all over the world. But she also ventures into the world of publishing where she facilitates book adaptations: Etonnants scénarios / Bamako, AdaptLab within the Torino Film Lab for example. She also collaborates with Shoot the Book!, the crime novel festival Quais du Polar in Lyon or Livres sur les Quais in Switzerland. Her will is to contribute to the circulation of ideas and talents and to enrich the field of film development. Initiative Film has been scouting for Jerusalem International Film Lab since its creation in 2012. Venue: Bíó Paradís - Room 2 Wednesday 26th of May at 16:30 Duration 60 - 80 min The masterclass is held in English! Free admission!
A son directs his father in a film based on his fathers life.
5/17/2021To escape his alcoholism and the crisis in Venezuela, Roque retreats into the Amazon jungle to renovate a cabin that he built during more happier times. He meets up with old friends in the jungle but his intensions are transformed by the lure of gold as he starts struggling with feverish visions caused by alcohol abstinence. “La Fortaleza”, is based on the true story of the filmmaker’s father who also stars in the film as himself. The film has received all together 10 wins and 15 nominations. It won best film at Nador Cinema Festival and Rome Independent Film Festival. The film has been called a powerful metaphor of Venezuela. The performances in the movie are raw and most of the actors are non-professional. It's a radical and powerful film that demands to be seen. “I do feel strongly about these abuses of Venezuela, by outsiders and by ourselves.” says Jorge Thielen Armand, the director of the movie in an interview with iffr.com. “And the mines where I filmed were real. At the same time, I’d like viewers to not always immediately know if something might be a dream or not; if something is reality or fiction. It’s related to the magic realism of Venezuela. There can suddenly be a horse standing in your garden, in the middle of a city, as in “La Soledad” ( The director’s previous movie). Those things really do happen there.” Limited tickets here
Director convicted for “propaganda against the regime”.
5/14/2021Under the current regime in Iran, every male is obligated to perform two years of military service. Without fulfilling the obligation, they will not have many basic rights in society nor a passport to be able to travel freely around the world. Penalty of death is also known to be used excessively by the regime for many different crimes as well as a way to suppress any political opposition. “There is no Evil” explores these themes and how they intertwine in a powerful way with four short stories. The four stories deal with four Iranian men who each present a different perspective on the matter. A family drama, centered on the father of the family, a new soldier who realizes he will have to go against his morals if he is to fulfill his duties, another soldier on leave who must face his fiancée and his own deeds and finally a story of a self-exiled couple and their niece visiting from Germany. “There is no Evil” won the Golden Berlin Bear in 2020. Mohammad Rasoulof the director and the producer of the film could not attend the award ceremony. On march 4th 2020, Rasoulof was sentenced to one year in prison for three of his movies, which were creating “propaganda against the system.” Following the advice of his lawyers, he did not comply with the order. The verdict also included a ban on making films for two years. “These stories are not about execution. I wanted to focus on the question of responsible actions with regard to whether one obeys or disobeys the orders of a totalitarian power. The main idea was to create a complex situation in which one can see the confrontation between two contradicting social values against the background of a totalitarian government” - Rasoulof with filmcomment.com The film is screened at Stockfish!
A surrealistic spoof of Alice in Wonderland & Cinderella.
5/14/2021From Russia comes a unique feast for the eye. “Tzarevna Scaling” is directed by Uldus Bakhtiozina who is also main actress, screenwriter, costume designer and the editor of the movie. In 2014 Uldus was names by BBC one of the 100 women of year changing the world for the better. Her art has been widely exhibited all over the world and has been exhibited in the same exhibition with Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovich and Damien Hirst. “Tzarevna Scaling” is a retro-futuristic feminist spoof on costume drama and tells the tale of the fishmonger Polina who drinks tea that she was given from a strange old woman who transforms her sleep into a fairy tale, where she is the tsar’s daughter. The film has been compared with the works of Alejandro Jodorowsky ( El Topo, Holy Mountain ) and surreal combination mix of Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. This is Uldus first feature and we can’t wait to see what she does next. The film is screened at Stockfish!
Everything from brutality to beauty.
5/14/2021Beginning is a Georgian-French drama set in a jaded town near Tbilisi, Georgia, where a group of extremists set buildings on fire. The film explores the passage where God demands unfaltering faith from Abraham by asking him to murder his own child. The protagonist is a former actress who has become a shadow of herself by the domestic tyranny held by her husband. It plays with the emotions of having had enough yet being numb – making the film delicate yet brutal. Shot in luminous 35 mm long takes. Stunning cinematography where the camera is let to explore the bridge between isolation and longing. Dea Kulumbegashvili is an up-and-coming female director whose future work we can‘t wait to follow. Beginnings being her first feature length film, her short films; Invisible Spaces and Léthé, also examine the intensity of human emotion, especially if they have been bottled up. Beginnings, whose original working title was Naked Sky, has everything from brutality to beauty, a truly wonderful piece. „It can be hard to divine much of a difference between beginnings and endings, but there’s no mistaking the savage grace with which Kulumbegashvili blurs them together until they’re one and the same. In their own (very different) ways, both Yana and Kulumbegashvili ultimately express the limitlessness of their potential.“ – Indie Wire by David Ehrlich „It is co-produced by the Mexican film-maker Carlos Reygadas, whose influence is very apparent.“ – The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw Limited tickets here
Apausalypse - By Anní Ólafsdóttir And Andri Snær - Worldpremiere at Stockfish!
5/14/2021Apausalypse is the newest film from the incredible duo Anní Ólafsdóttir and Andri Snær Magnason who premiered last year their first film together The Third Pole nominated for 5 Edda Awards. After experiencing a certain void when the premier of their film “The Third Pole” was cancelled due to the Pandemic. The film makers decided to go on journey with their cameraman Andri Haraldsson and capture those strange times. Or as Andri describes it, on how it all started: “Like most people, during the COVID-19 global lockdown, we experienced lost opportunities. I had just finished a documentary film with my co-director, Anní Ólafsdóttir, called The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole: A Bipolar Musical Documentary with Elephants. After three years of work, it was scheduled to premiere nationwide in cinemas in Iceland, smack dab on the day orders were issued forbidding gatherings and closing all theaters. With no certain opening date on the horizon, our months of promotion went down the drain and a mental health awareness campaign would have to wait while the world discussed more urgent issues of physical health. We were frozen, our work halted for more than a week, when we began to wonder: Are we missing something? Are we sitting in the old world, grieving a lost opportunity, while a historical moment slips away?” The outcome was Apausalypse a documentary film shot in Iceland in April 2020 when the world stopped. The filmmakers interviewed artists and philosophers to look for the higher meaning of this great pause: The Apausalypse, when the world was suddenly on hold. What does this mean in terms of issues like mental health and global warming. When most stages for art were closed they used empty airports, runways, and highways as stages for dancers and performers. You can buy tickets here
Political drama wrapped in a paranormal horror.
5/12/2021Alma and her children are brutally murdered during the Guatemala genoside. 30 years later when the general who ordered the killing is found not guilty in court for his war crimes, Alma (now La Llorona) returns to the land of the living to torment the general. “La Llorona” was nominated for the Golden Globe awards last year as The Best International Feature for Guatemala. With his third full length feature director Jayro Bustamante has crafted a modern supernatural horror with the Mayan genocide as a backdrop. Many critics worldwide have selected the film as one the best horror movies released in 2020, if not the best. “Honestly, it was born more from a strategic point of view than a creative idea. The genocide in Guatemala is a topic my people don’t want to touch. They run away from it and just don’t want to talk about it. Because of that, I was looking for the best way to tell this story and I thought, What I have to do is insert the content of the story in a package people like, so that people want to see it because of the package in which it’s being delivered and they’ll get the themes inside.” says Bustamante, the director and co-writer of the film. The film is screened at Stockfish
Life is the real treasure!
5/12/2021From Iran comes the masterpiece “Sun Children” which has received critical and audience acclaim wherever it’s been shown. Last year it won two awards at The Venice Film Festival, a nomination for the Golden Lion and was Iran's contribution for the Academy Awards as Best International Feature. “Sun Children” tells the story of 12-year-old Ali and his three friends. Together they work hard for their families on the streets of Tehran. Their lives takes a dramatic u-turn when they hear about an underground treasure, buried underneath a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids. Ali and their friends decide to go treasure hunting to turn their lives around for the better. The director of the film, Majid Majidi dedicates the film to the "152 million children forced into child labor and those fighting for their rights. “I am guessing that the number 152 million is an understatement,” says director Majid Majidi, who based the story on a real school named "Sobhe Rooyesh" or "Morning of growth" which was managed by an NGO and located in the South of Tehran. Roohollah Zamani, who debuts in his acting career as the main character Ali, won the Marcello Mastroianni award at The Venice Film Festival. The film is screened at Stockfish.
The life of a pioneer and an everyday hero.
5/12/2021The documentary “No Ordinary Man” is an in depth look at the life of musician Billy Lipton who is a cultural icon in the Trans community. Lipton lived an extraordinary life but through his life he married 5 women without any of them knowing that he was born as a female. Lipton’s story is explained by the perspective by trans artists where he is hailed as a pioneer and an everyday hero. Together, the artists join Tipton’s son Billy Jr. to reckon with a complicated and contested legacy: how do you tell the story of someone who was hiding in plain sight yet desperate to be seen? The film is incomparable and a groundbreaking work that shows what is possible when a community collaborates to honour the legacy of a legend and a very unlikely hero. “As a trans man interested in trans history, I’ve always been interested in who controls the story. The story of Billy Tipton’s life has always been controlled by the mainstream media. This project was an incredible opportunity to approach Tipton’s life from a trans perspective.” says Chase Joynt, the co-director of the film in an interview with seventh-row.com The film is screened at Stockfish!
THE LAST ONES - Opening film at Stockfish!
5/12/2021To kickstart the festival we open with the film Viimased or The Last Ones, an Estonian-Finnish drama set in a mining village in Lapland. The story follows reindeer herders and miners, struggling between their ideas and the reality of their future. Directed by Veiko Õunpuu, whos other films also explore the intensity and strangeness of human emotion, dreams and longings. The Last Ones delves into both Laplands culture and its stunning landscape, offering the audience a rare experience, with its visual treats and different outlooks. Accompanied with a mostly electronic soundtrack, that also plays with cheesy 70s bar singalong tracks and Japanese Kabuki theatre music. It‘s an Over all beautiful film –sound, cinematography and narrative. Reviews: „Sound design works in tandem with the score, anchoring the film with a persistent seismic rumble which evokes not only the caverns blasted underground but also the sense of a way of life which is in the process of crumbling.“ – Screen Daily by Wendy Ide „Playing with strong contrasts between a majestic landscape of tundra and mountains, and the mediocre and almost hellish life in the savage capitalism of mining, The Last Ones paints a brutal portrait of the other side of the Lapland dream, very far from the touristic cliches of snowmobile and canoe adventures.“ – Cineuropa by Fabien Lemercier „The Last Ones works as both compelling psychodrama and handsome sensory experience. Cinematographer Sten-Johan Lill paints the majestic Arctic vistas in elegantly muted autumnal colors, with sparing use of freeze-frame lending the film’s aesthetic an agreeably retro edge.“ – The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Dalton
Young and upcoming female directors take their place at Stockfish this year!
5/12/2021We wrote the other day about Emerald Fennell the young actress that is smashing it with her first full length feature Promising Young Woman screened at Stockfish. Since then she has even won an Oscar. But there are also two other young upcoming women directors this year at Stockfish who are creating a big splash with their first film. Spring Blossom by Suzanne Lindon has won a great few awards and on top of writing and directing the film she plays the main role. When asked if this was a difficult task for a first full length feature she has this to say: “Directing and acting at the same time was natural to me because it was something I wanted to do from the start so I never really considered that it was a big deal. I think that it was also a part of the desire I had to make a gesture that looked like me. Writing, playing and directing was the best way for me to get naked and to make an object that looks as much like me as possible. This was the only way I wanted to make the movie. I could not have made the movie without playing in it, but I could not have played in the movie without directing it. This is always about legitimacy, which is kind of a vicious circle. The story, the character, everything was very personal, too personal to let someone else do it.” The film in short is about Suzanne who is 16. She is bored with people of her age. Every day on her way to high school, she passes a theater. There, she meets an older man, and becomes obsessed with him despite their age difference. Third film directed by an up and coming woman film director is Babyteeth by Shannon Murphy. Shannon has already created a great reputation in Australia as a director in theater but Babyteeth is her first full lengt feature film. Originally written for theater by Rita Kalnejais the piece was thought to be so visual that it was decided to create a film adaptation. When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with small time drug dealer Moses, it’s her parents’ worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a new lust for life, things get messy and traditional morals go out the window. Milla soon shows everyone in her orbit how to live like you have nothing to lose. Babyteeth joyously explores how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love. Limited tickets Spring Blossom here. Limited tickets Babyteeth here.
"Like a Pollock painting made of blood, sweat and tears“
5/11/2021It’s not a film festival unless there is a light hearted dark punk comedy in the program! “Dinner in America” has received glorious reviews and some people have compared it's humour to the cult classic “Napoleon Dynamite.” An on-the-lam punk rocker and a young woman obsessed with his band unexpectedly fall in love and go on an epic journey together through America's decaying Midwestern suburbs. The film is written and directed by Adam Rehmeier who grew up in midwestern America and brings many aspects from his childhood to the film. The film was an instant hit when it premiered at Sundance in January 2020 and praised by both audience and critics. The film has also been screened at film festivals all over the world, in countries like Ukraine, Sweden, Canada, Estonia and Poland. “Seeing the reactions from so many people over the course of [the festival] was pretty profound for me, I was surprised at how universal it was—I thought originally that it would resonate more with 18-30 year olds, but it seemed to resonate with older people, and of all walks of life.” - Adam Rehemeier in an interview with cinetopiafestival.org "This film fucking rocks! Like a Pollock painting made of blood, sweat and tears" - Filmsnobreviews.com The film is screened at Stockfish!
How far would you go for freedom?
5/11/2021“The Man Who Sold His Skin” is the second feature in full length from director Kaouther Ben Hania og has been praised everywhere it’s been shown. For instance it was nominated as The Best International Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards, Best Arab Film at the El Gouna Film Festival and won two awards at The Venice Film Festival. Sam Ali is an impulsive Syrian refugee who back turns into a living work of art by a European artist and turns into a walking piece of art. Slowly but surely Ali learns that he may have just sold away more then just his skin. The movie brings together many different genres, drama, romance, dark humour and satire. It also shows the connection between art and human condition and two different worlds which is the world of art and the world of refugees. “The contrast between the two worlds in the film shows a reflection on freedom. When refugee Sam meets artist Jeffrey, he tells him, "You were born on the right side of the world." The problem is that we live in a world where people are not equal. Despite all the talk about equality and human rights, an increasingly complex historical and geopolitical context inevitably ensures two kinds of people: privileged and condemned.” - Kaouther Ben Hania, Director. The film is screened at Stockfish!
The Rise and Fall and the second Rise of a Hip Hop artist.
5/11/2021From Sweden comes the gripping documentary “Yung Lean: In My Head”, which chronicles the life of the Swedish rapper Yung Lean who went viral when he released the song “Ginseng Strip 2002” on YouTube. As of April 2021 the song has already received 32 million views. The film tells his life story, how he discovered hip hop music, his North American tour and the drug use that followed. The film is an honest portrayal of how being famous can in some cases destroy the human soul, how to rise above it and be true to yourself. The film is directed by Henrik Burman and was nominated for best documentary at The Stockholm International Film Festival. “It was so much fun telling the story about him, it’s like it wasn’t exhausted. He has a very consistent line in what he does in his art and in the media. He’s the same Jonathan to me, but he’s been through a lot. I’m so damn impressed with him. He is an old soul and has lived as many lives as it feels or one focused life. He still decides to go his own way.” - Henrik Burman, director in an interview with newsbreezer.com Limited tickets here
Award Winning Documentaries - Nordisk Panorama Focus
5/11/2021In a special Nordisk Panorama Focus two award winning documentaries are screened at Stockfish! The Painter and the Thief - Best Nordic Documentary by Benjamin Ree Jury Motivation The award goes to a film that challenged the jury and made room for conversations about cinema itself. Depicting a complex relationship, this is a story about self-destructive fascination and the perversity in the romance, but also forgiveness. The structure told through impeccable editing, reveals the intricacies of the psychology of its two main characters. The filming process is here a part of the ambivalence of this relationship driven by the pleasure of being seen through someone else’s eyes. Raw and clear. This is pure cinema! Colombia In My Arms - New Nordic Voice Award by Jenni Kivistö & Jussi Rastas Jury Motivation This film brings us to many different places and emotions inside one country. It brings us among armed guerillas in the jungle, it brings us to hallways of political decision-making and lobbying, it brings us to coca-plantations of poor peasants, and it brings us to the mansion of the member of the old privileged elite. It shows us how inequality between rich and poor people keeps on growing. And almost unnoticed, little by little, the film makes its statement clear and formulates theory of how the society works. Not only in this country in the focus of the film but in the world in general.
Behind the Gates of Fantasyland is Somekind of Heaven?
5/10/2021“Some Kind of Heaven” is a documentary debut by director Lance Oppenheim and is considered by many to be one of the best documentaries of recent years. “Some Kind of Heaven” is like a deep-thought cinematic painting about the life course of a human being. Behind the gates of a palm tree-lined fantasyland, four residents of America’s largest retirement community, The Villages, FL, strive to find solace and meaning. In an interview with Screenrant Oppenheim says, quote “I found there was an article that was talking about how The Villages had quickly become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. There was suddenly 120,000 people that left the North, and they were moving in to this world that reminded them of their youth, designed to simulate the 50s and the 60s. And I just was fascinated by that, as a way to explore that uniquely American desire to escape reality. That was sort of the genesis of everything.” “Some Kind of Heaven" is an unforgettable debut in documentary filmmaking that provides insight into the final chapter in a person's life. It shows that even though the body is weaker, the beauty still shines through. The film is screened at Stockfish!
A Canadian Heritage Minute on Ayahuasca!
5/5/2021"The Twentieth Century" is a Canadian comedy drama by Matthew Rankin who writes the script and directs his feature debut. The film has garnered awards and nominations and is full of madness and clever satire. "The Twentieth Century" is definitely worth watching on the big screen with a fun crowd, as is expected from "Midnight Madness" at Stockfish. The setting is Toronto in 1899. Mackenzie King, a young and aspiring politician, dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But King furtively indulges a fetishistic obsession that may well be his downfall. The film is neither a realistic nor an accurate description of the history of Canada. It mixes real history and fantasy in a stylized manner mostly based on deliberately unrealistic sets influenced by German expressionism, war propaganda films and melodramas of the 1940s. Rankin described the film himself as “one part Canadian Heritage Minute and one part Ayahuasca Death Trip" Only two screenings at Stockfish!
Stockfish has new dates! The 20th - 30th of May!
3/24/2021After a lot of back and forth and a couple of cancelations due to Covid this year a final decision has been made to go forward with the festival on the 20th of May to the 30th of May. The line up has never been more exciting but a few of the titles where shortlisted for the Oscar this year and one of films, Promising Young Woman, won an Oscar for best Original Screenplay. Learn more about the films screened at the festival here.
The films selected for Shortfish 2021!
3/24/2021The aim of the Shortfish short film competition is to draw attention to up and coming young filmmakers and encourage them to further their skills with a price that gives them an opportunity to keep working on further projects. The winner of the Shortfish will receive one million Icelandic krona from Iceland’s most prominent film equipment rental Kukl. That will give a good jump start for the winning director for their next film. Last year the rules were changed for the Shortfish competition, it was decided to allow all short films premiered in the previous year to enter instead of only films that had not been premiered in Iceland. This has allowed more variety and increased the number of entries. We also feel that this way we are giving young filmmakers more opportunity to showcase their work. This year we received over 50 entries and all promising films. Therefore we have decided to increase the number of films in the finals for more people to be able to enjoy them in the cinema. Jury for the Shortfish 2021 are Marina Richter film critic, Ragnar Bragason director and Tinna Hrafnsdóttir actress and director. Following 12 films will compete in Shortfish this year: ,,All Dogs Die’’ - Director: Ninna Pálmadóttir, winner of last years Shortfish ,,Animalia’’ - Director, Rúnar Ingi ,,Blindsided’’ - Director: Daníel Bjarnason ,,Baba’’ - Director: Bahare Ruch ,,Jökull’’ - Director: Axel Frans Gústavsson ,,Island living’’ - Director: Viktor Sigurjónsson ,,Monday’’ - Director: Bergur Árnason ,,Between Earth and the Moon’’ - Directors: Anna Karín Lárusdóttir & Hekla Egils ,,Spaghetti’’ - Directors: Nikulás Tumi, Egill Gauti Sigurjónsson ,,This should get better?’’ - Directors: Alex Snær Welker Pétursson ,,Dalia'' - Director, Brúsi Ólason ,,Kitchen by Measure'' - Directors: Atli Arnarsson og Sólrún Ylfa Ingimarsdóttir
Little Kingdom - Internationally premiered at Stockfish! Slovakian and Icelandic production.
3/23/2021Little Kingdom will be internationally premiered at Stockfish on the 12th of April. The film is a co production of Slovakia and the Icelandic film production Loki Film owned by Sæmundur Norðfjörð. The music in the film is composed by Valgeir Sigurðsson. Little Kingdom is a romantic period drama inspired by the Slovak theatrical performance of Debris Company’s Epic.The film enacts a timeless wartime story where the main characters – played by an up-and-coming international cast – find themselves entwined in life or death situations. The film follows two contrasting couples, two very differ- ent versions ‘love’: Eva with Jack, and Bar with Cat. They’re all searching for happiness but each in their own ways. The film crew consisted of people from 9 countries – Slovakia, Iceland, UK, USA, Sweden, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary and Austria. It was decided to keep the whole story in English and thus emphasize the universality of the topic. During very demanding casting sessions. An experienced and professional cast was selected, including many British and Slovak actors, helping create a film that is both Slovak and international yet universal. We all understand love and hardship. Human nature transcends all borders and what we are capable of in order to survive. Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson scores the film but among his previous works when it comes to film and TV we can mention Being John Malkovitch, Dreamland and Drawing Restraint 9.
Pinocchio nominated for two Oscars - Screened at Stockfish!
3/19/2021We continue to announce films for the festival that have been nominated for the Oscars. Pinocchio directed by the Italian director Matteo Garrone is the third film to receive nominations. This time it’s for costume design and hair & make up but this film is a real feast for the eyes. It’s the classical tale of Pinocchio with a fresh approach and delivery, filmed in the beautiful scenery of Italy. Each frame has been visually thought through. When Matteo Garrone the director was asked why another Pinocchio he had this to say: “With this movie, I am completing my journey through the fairy-tale world that I started with Tale of Tales. I hope it’s an evolution thanks to the experience I’ve gained. But Pinocchio is different because it is a coming together of Tale of Tales with my filmography. The love I feel for Pinocchio isn’t love at first sight. It’s a character I’ve always been drawn to, and many have noticed his influence both in Gomorrah and Reality. Pinocchio is a dream of mine that goes back in time, back to when I was a child; on my desk I still have my own personal Pinocchio “story-board” that I drew and coloured in when I was a kid, and which is one of my most cherished mementos.” Like was said before the film has been nominated for two Oscars but behind the film we already have two Oscar winners for their previous work. Two-time Academy Award® winner Mark Coulier has brought Pinocchio and his friends alive through his visionary character design, and prosthetic make-up. The other is Roberto Benigni who gained worldwide acclaim for his film Life is Beautiful, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards® winning him Best Actor, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Music Original Dramatic Score.
Promising Young Woman - Nominated for 5 Oscars and screened at Stockfish!
3/17/2021We continue to announce our amazing lineup this year! Promising Young Woman just received 5 Oscar nominations on top of its 171 nominations and 83 wins at other festivals. What a newcomer director, writer Emerald Fennell is! Update: The film won Oscar for Best original script. Promising young Woman is Emerald Fennell’s first full-length feature film. Until now she’s best known as an actress. Many might know her from The Danish Girl, Anna Karenina, and BBC’s TV drama The Crown and Call The Midwife. Not many writers, directors can pride themselves on such a successful first picture. Those who are interested in learning more about the long list of wins and nominations can have a look here. But just this week the Oscar nominations were announced and Promising Young Woman was nominated for: best film, best leading female actress, best script, best director, and best film editing. The story follows a young woman, Cassie, who at first sight, leads a very simple life. Going on thirty, still living with her parents and pouring cheap coffee during the day as a waitress. This young woman is anything but a simple creature during the night. Cassie frequents the local bars and nightclubs, pretending to be dead-drunk, utterly helpless and vulnerable. And, every week, lethally beautiful Cassie is on the prowl for all sorts of nocturnal predators and other wolves in sheep's clothing, who are unaware that, sometimes, the hunter can become the prey. Actress Calley Mulligan has already received 23 awards for her role as Cassie and like we said before was nominated as best leading actress for the Oscars this year. What a power girl contribution to the film industry this year. We recommend securing a ticket as limited seats are available.
Three films at Stockfish shortlisted for Oscar nominations!
3/12/2021Even though the world is going through a pandemic and Stockfish Film Festival will be a little different this year, we guarantee as usual a big range of high quality award winning films. So, without further ado, we introduce this year's selection with three multi-awarded films, which all have been selected into the 15 motion picture pre-selection for the best foreign picture at this year's Oscar awards. All three films bring out the tough subject of injustice and inequality. La Llorona From Guatemala come “La Llorona”, which has swept awards all over the world and gathered altogether 42 nominations and 15 awards. It’s categorized as a horror movie yet it brings together real events in history and Latin America’s most famous folklore, La Llorona. A former Guatemalan dictator Enrique Monteverde is being held on trial for genocide. When the trial is ultimately convicted on his behalf, the ghost of La Llorona is unleashed and Enrique starts to hear her cries in the dead of night. It’s an interesting approach to a historic event by adding horror elements but what is genocide nothing else but horror. Sun Children From Iran comes “Sun Children”, which despite being released just recently has already gained 5 awards and 9 other film nominations. Including two awards at the Venice Film Festival along with a nomination for The Golden Lion. Ali is a 12-year-old boy who works hard to provide for his family. One day Ali is entrusted to seek a treasure that is hidden underground. In order to find it, Ali and his three friends enroll in a school designated for street kids which just to happens to be near the place where the treasure is hidden. Roohoollah Zamani has received praise for his portrayal as the young Ali and won the best actor award at The Venice Film Festival. The Man Who Sold His Skin The third and the last film on this list comes from Tunisia, “The Man Who Sold his Skin”, which is written and directed by Kaouther Ben Hania. The film has received enormous praise and received multiple nominations and awards. Sam Ali is an impulsive young man from Syria who fled there to Lebanon. He flees to Europe to settle down with the love of his and coming there he meets a famous artist who tattoos his back. Slowly but surely his back turns into a modern art painting which starts to have grave consequences for Sam Ali.
A record year in the number of entries in Shortfish!
3/4/2021It is such a pleasure to witness the number of entries of short films in Shortfish this year. Over 50 films entered but in comparison, the competition had 40 entries last year which was also a record. This increase we would like to thank the decision to change the conditions for entry. Now the films don’t have to be premiered in Iceland, only produced in the previous year. We feel this way we can increase the opportunity for Icelandic short films to be screened and get more exposure. We promise a fantastic movie experience this time around. The judges who already have started their reviewing say that it will be a very difficult decision this year in which films to select for the finals.
INTERNS & VOLUNTEERS!
2/23/2021The 7th Stockfish Film Festival, which takes place from April 8t to 18th, is looking for volunteers and interns! We are looking for interns who can start working with us as soon as possible. Interns assist with various projects related to the preparation of the festival. Working with the festival team provides good insight into the production process of an international film festival. For applications and further information send to email@example.com – Subject: Intern Volunteers assist in a number of projects during the festival. The contribution of volunteers is very important whereas they create the always lively atmosphere at the Stockfish festival. For applications and further information send to firstname.lastname@example.org – Subject: Volunteer
Physical Cinema Festival returns to Stockfish 2021
2/19/2021Physical Cinema joined Stockfish for the first time two years ago in 2019 and received such an amazing reception that it was decided to repeat the festival every two years. Physical’s Cinema founder is one of Iceland’s most beloved choreographers and filmmakers Helena Jónsdóttir. She aims to give the film making a new platform to experiment with film making further in an attempt to express different aspects of the human being and move the audience in new ways. The films can be documentaries, short films, or film installations and this year the festival will transform the outlook on Reykjavik in various places and be filled with moving art. Watch this space for further updates over the next few weeks.
SHORTFISH open for submissions! Stockfish & KUKL shorts competition!
1/4/2021The short film competition Shortfish is now open for submissions for the 7th time. The purpose of the competition is to allow young and upcoming film makers to showcase their work and help them grow further in the field. Last year’s winner PAPERBOY by Ninna Pálmadóttir has been invited to many film festivals both in Iceland and abroad and won the Edda Award for best short. The winner this year will receive 1 million Icelandic krona voucher at one of the leading film equipment rentals, KUKL. Submission guidelines: The films can be no longer than 30 minutes and not been premiered before 2020. Only Icelandic films can be submitted, or films that are either directed or produced by Icelandic citizens. In addition the film needs to have English subtitles. Please send applications to email@example.com before the 20th of February. Topic: SPRETTFISKUR. Include following information: Name of film. (Icelandic and English title) Directors nameProducers nameName of filmShort synopsis (in English and in Icelandic)Premier dateLink to film with a password if neededContact information
Stockfish 2020 made it to the end in the shadow of COVID-19.
3/30/2020The organisers of the Stockfish Film festival want to thank everyone that either attended as a guest or helped out in anyway to make the festival possible during these strange times. Stockfish 2020 will never be forgotten. Just before the opening on the 12th of March we where looking at an all time record in ticket sales and interest before the festival had even started. We did manage to have our opening night and receive our first scheduled guests but as soon the party was over it was quite clear that all plans needed to a adapt to the harsh reality of Covid-19 with cancelation of all industry events and foreign guests. In spite of all restrictions and the fact that we could only open the cinema doors to very few people at a time, we decided to keep to the schedule of showing all the fabulous films the festival had to offer. At least a few people could enjoy a little change in their day with quality cinema. We are grateful for the patience and the respect our guests showed in following the rules to make this possible and thankful for the fact we could see the festival through to the end, before it wasn’t possible anymore due to further restrictions. We are very much looking forward to organising a proper Stockfish Festival next year, the way we know it with even better films on the menu if that is even possible. Until then keep safe, stay home and nourish that joyful spirit within you even though times are hard. Here are few joyful memories from our opening party before the party was over worldwide.
Paperboy by Ninna Pálmadóttir is the Shortfish winner this year
3/23/2020Nearly 40 shortfilms competed in the Shortfish this year and where 6 of them chosen to compete for the final prize, 1.000.000 ISK voucher from Kukl. It was however a unanimous decision by the jury that Paperboy would be the winner this year. This is what the Jury had to say about their decision: "Sometimes, help comes from the least expected direction, from little people we don't take much notice of, but who are a constituent part of our daily lives. Sometimes, the little people can literally be that - children. The hero of the Shortfish competition is tucked in silence and burdened by big sorrows, and yet capable of putting that aside to offer comfort to a perfect stranger. We, the jury have made a unison decision. For its cinematic quality given in subtle images that speak even without a dialogue, for its warmth and well nuanced script that focuses on human connection, and for its good eye for detail, we award the prize to Blaðberinn (Paperboy) by Ninna Pálmadóttir." From Paperboy. "Sometimes, help comes from the least expected direction, from little people we don't take much notice of, but who are a constituent part of our daily lives. Sometimes, the little people can literally be that - children." - The Jury Ninna was expectedly touched by the jury's words but the award was given to her yesterday in a very small ceremony at Bíó Paradís with only the presence of Ninna her self, the organisers of the festival and a photographer due to these strange circumstances in the times of COVID-19. Ninna: "I'm so grateful and touched at the same time. This prize is truly encouraging and an honour. I was really touched by the Jury's words and also grateful how the organisers of this amazing festival have held their head high and done the best they could in this difficult times." The 1.000.000 from Kukl will come in handy when Ninna makes her next picture but at the moment she's working on a feature script. But who knows maybe we'll see another short film from this talented director in Shortfish next year. In addition to the voucher Ninna received this beautiful award piece designed and made by Marsibil G. Kristjánsdóttir and her brother Róbert Daníel Kristjánsson. First time Stockfish gives out the new Stockfish trophy designed by Marsibil G. Kristjánsdóttir and her brother Róbert Daníel Kristjánsson.
Announcement due to COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings! - Update
3/16/2020Dear guests and co-operators of Stockfish Festival As an official prohibition of public gatherings has been announced due to the COVID-19, Stockfish Festival and Bíó Paradís have made appropriate arrangements during this period. Scheduled screenings will not be changed but number of tickets for sale have been decreased down to a number that allows 2 meters distance in all areas of the cinema. Seats have been specially marked so it’s easier for people to make sure they can allow recommended distance between themselves and others during screenings. We understand that people living together would like to come and sit together so we trust people show responsibility and take good care when it comes to these matters. Areas in front of the cinema, the refreshment desk has been specially marked and we’d like to ask people to take special care when it comes to positioning themselves and keep good distance between each other. It’s specially recommended during these strange times that people buy their tickets online. Sanitisers are available with easy access through out the cinema and surfaces are cleaned every hour during opening hours. Seats are cleaned in between screenings. People will be counted into each room and the number of people in the hall will be controlled. Let's remember we all need to be responsible and take good care and caution as we don’t want to spread anything on to others. Have a good time during sceenings and thank you for your patience during these strange times!
Announcement regarding COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings.
3/13/2020Announcement regarding COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings. Due to the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland, Stockfish has decided to postpone all Industry Events, receptions and asked our international guests to stay home. What we are left with are the film screenings in Bíó Paradís which will be implementing the same precautions as other cinema houses. The cinemas will make announcements regarding these precautions and how they intend to ensure that governmental issued restrictions on gatherings of 100 people or more are followed. We have already limited the number of tickets to all of our screenings from Monday onward to ensure that we don’t reach 100 guests at a time. Hand sanitizer is available all around the cinema and the staff is taking special care to clean and sanitize multiple times during the evenings. We also encourage guests to leave empty seats between themselves and avoid standing or sitting close to each other. We will continue to stay attentive to any updates and recommendations from the Department of Health and make changes accordingly. Again, we ask that anyone who has been feeling unwell, anyone who is or is close to anyone that is at high risk to please stay in the comfort of their own home during these times.
Q&A at Stockfish with dogma director Mona J. Hoel!
3/11/2020Norwegian director and writer Mona J. Hoel will be present for a Q&A session after the screening of her latest film Are you Leaving Already? (2019, Skal dere gå allerede?). Hoel gets back in touch with her Dogma roots with the new film. She is best known for her previous feature, Cabin Fever (2000) which stands as the 19th film certified as part of the Dogme 95 movement. The Dogme 95 cinematic movement has in its heart the promise of delivering narratives that are as close to reality as possible, it started with danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, with the ideal of granting the director the well deserved role of artist, that is, as independent from studios’ dictates as possible. In that sense, not only the stories told in Dogme 95 movies speak of daily lives, but also the shooting of scenes themselves are designed in a minimalist fashion that facilitates the audience’s proximity with the narrative and grants the artists involved a much higher degree of independence. To this end, Dogme 95 carries 10 rules (known as Vows of Chastity) for directors who wish to film a movie within the movement. Are you Leaving Already? follows these Vows of Chastity, having also been made without any kind of support from the government. In short, Mona’s new film is independent of external influences, being a product that purely represents the director’s vision. Running for 87 minutes, Are you Leaving Already? brings to the audience the story of a young girl, played by Nicole Madeleine Aurdahl (Chlorox, Ammonium and Coffee), who moves into a new apartment provided by her father after serving time in jail. With an absent father and a workaholic mother, she carries the weight of many young people in the world nowadays, having to fend for herself and build a family from unexpected friendships. Unhappy with the snot-green color of the new apartment, she hires two painters to help with renovations. They soon realise that the damages of the apartment is nowhere near the emotional scars the girl herself carries. It is in this context that the story unfolds which is well within the boundaries of real everyday life. The focus is on Nicole's character whose issues are considerably relatable, if not as a whole, certainly in parts. Mona J. Hoel studied photography at the International center of Photography in New York from 1982 to 1985, received an interdisciplinary degree in theatre science at the University of Oslo as well as in film directing at the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm. Already in those years Mona J. Hoel seemed to hint at a promising career, having had Ingmar Bergman as a mentor, and Alan Parker as jury chairman on her graduation short film The House, which won main film prize at the International School Film Festival in Munich (1989). Are You Leaving Already? marks a welcome return to filmmaking for Hoel, after over a over a decade away from the scene. The realistic mood of Are You Leaving Already? is bound to stir the audiences’ emotions and thoughts, making the presence of the director at the movie’s screening all the more valuable, giving the audience the unmissable opportunity to present their thoughts and questions directly to Mona J. Hoel.
World premiere at Stockfish - Just like a Painting by Eggert Pétursson.
3/8/2020An Icelandic documentary premiering now at Stockfish. The director Gunnlaugur Þór Pálsson will be attending and participate in Q&A afterwards. The film is about Eggert Pétursson and his works, but he is a leading figure of the country's contemporary art scene. Eggert describes his own works and creative process which is heavily inspired by Icelandic nature. The audience is also guided by the narration of Þóra Ellen Þórhallsdóttir, a botanist, who entwines the elements of Icelandic nature with our experience of Eggert’s paintings. In an interview with RÚV about an exhibition of his in 2017, Eggert says: “There is no one right way of understanding the painting, you look at it in time. There are so many details, you never see just the one painting, you always have to reapproach it and discover something new. It’s the same with nature, the main difference of course is that this is handmade nature, which is not real.” Not only does the film portray visual beauty in the form of nature and paintings but music has also a big part to play. Atli Örvarsson writes the music for the film as well as Sin Fang. Among tracks Atli has written for films are: Rams and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, as well as tv series The Lava Field and Law & Order: LA, just to name a few. While Sin Fang released a new album last year by the name Sad Party.
Arracht director and lead actor attending Stockfish!
3/1/2020Arracht is Tom Sullivan's first feature film after a string of successful shorts by the Irish director. Both Tom Sullivan and lead actor in Arracht, Dónall Ó Héalai will be present for a Q&A session after a screening of the film. Given that Tom Sullivan was born in Dublin, the setting of Arracht speaks back to the history of the director’s native land. During the years of 1845-1849 Ireland was plunged into a situation of mass starvation, due to a massive blight on the potato crops that led to the death of approximately 1 million people and the emigration of about 1 million more. This period was known as “The Great Famine” or “Gorta Mór”. It is in this scenario that the story of Arracht takes place. The character of Coleman Sharkley, played by Dónall Ó Héalai (Impossible Monsters, Loud Places, My Name is Emily), is a charismatic fisherman who has the trust of the village he lives in, but his life takes a tragic and violent twist as he takes in a former soldier from the Napoleonic Wars, Patsy (Dara Devaney), shortly before the aforementioned Great Famine strikes the land. Plagued by both the blight and an incremental rise on the land’s rent he sets out with Patsy and his brother to talk with the English Landlord and request a stay on the rent increases. The events that follow the meeting change his life forever, making his future seem as bleak as the blight that is taking over the land. From Arracht. The movie carries a dark tone, setting the frame for the story itself, be it in regards to Coleman's quest or the horror of the Great Famine itself, in this fashion the narrative is presented in a way that the audience is bound to feel the mood of the story in full. Sullivan masterfully delivers part of Ireland’s history, using the country’s own language, as opposed to the usual English narration, while adding to the mix a relatively modern thriller. If on one side the audience is faced with the blight as a natural tragedy on the country as a whole, on the other side the narrative delivers the consequences of greed and unbridled, inhumane capitalism, with unscrupulous landlords that care little, if at all, for the people living on the land, sadly a problem that is still all too relatable in many countries. Dónall Ó Héalaí was also born in Galway, Ireland, thus also blending perfectly into his role. The actor delivers a chilling interpretation that speaks true to the character’s predicament adding much to the realism and urgency of the story. A tale of Ireland’s harsh past and a testament to the bravery and endurance of its people, “Arracht” is a must see for fans of historical drama as well as those who enjoy thrillers. Director Tom Sullivan and lead actor Dónall Ó Héalai will both join us at Stockfish for a Q&A session. The film won Best Irish Film at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. The lead performance from actor Dónall Ó Héalaí was also celebrated, with the actor receiving the Aer Lingus Discovery Award. The film also received the audience Award at the 2020 Glasgow Film Festival. “Premiere in Tallinn last November as part of the Black Nights International Film Festival, with critics calling the film “bracingly authentic” and “a striking feature debut”. Its Irish Premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival was met with praise from Irish critics and audiences, with the Irish Times calling it “unmissable and a beautifully crafted murder ballad" – screenireland.ie Get tickets here.
Tolkien director Dome Karukoski confirmes his presence at Stockfish
2/26/2020Finnish director Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland, Lähde Omiesi Matkaan, Napapiirin Sankarit) has confirmed his presence at the Stockfish Film Festival for the screening of Tolkien (2019), which stars Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as the world renowned author. J.R.R. Tolkien created a whole universe within which he set his classic novels The Hobbit, and the epic The Lord of the Rings, both of which have had praise in cinematic adaptations by Peter Jackson as well as a beautifully drawn animation of The Lord of the Rings by none other than Ralph Bakshi. A tv show is also undergoing production and is set to be distributed by Amazon’s streaming service. Other than that, the universe he created has expanded into various new stories, by means of diverse media. However, the story of J. R. R. Tolkien’s life itself has not been subject to the same spotlight. In that sense, Karukoski’s movie aims to bring the author’s early life into focus, even going as far as being bold enough not to engage primarily in the origin of Tolkiens epic, but much more on his relationships and experiences during the First World War. The audience will see Tolkien create his own fellowship as he surrounds himself with fellow students, all of whom share a passion for literature, his budding romance with Edith Mary Bratt and his growing involvement in linguistics, all of which eventually influenced in the creation of the Middle-Earth mythos. The task behind such endeavour is not an easy one, the literary importance of J.R.R. Tolkien means that many of his fans have read about his life from diverse sources and made their own interpretations on events. This task has fortunately been left to Dome Karukoski, whose film experience has given him 21 awards and 17 nominations. Fully aware of the obstacles of the task at hand, Karukoski has reportedly chosen to pay attention to Tolkien’s early days, since the director himself identifies with some of the obstacles that surrounded Tolkien, namely the lack of a fatherly presence and the feeling of being an outlier. The director didn’t shy away from taking the necessary liberties with the retelling of Tolkien’s life, in order to deliver an engaging cinematic experience, all the while being careful to do justice to the iconic author. The realistic narrative is delivered with its share of fantastical visions that adds an interesting pace to the story, as well as a slice into Tolkien’s imagination prior to the fully built mythos of Lord of the Rings. Karukoski is a fan of the author and his film shows it by delivering an interpretation of the author’s early life that translates well into the cinematic format. Fans of Karukoski and of Tolkien are invited to a Q&A after the screening of the film in Bíó Paradís on the 13th of March. Get tickets here.
International premiere - A Fire In The Cold Season - Q&A
2/25/2020Director Justin Oakey will join us at Stockfish for the international premiere of his film A Fire in the Cold Season. Oakey has directed a few shorts and now premieres his second feature film after his debut feature Riverhead (2016). A Fire in the Cold Season follows similar themes as his previous films, that is the everyday life in Newfoundland with a hint of drama and mystery. In his newest film Oakey once again shows the darker side of the small island community, this time with more of a “hunter and prey” approach. A reclusive trapper by the name of Scott (Stephen Oates) sees himself thrown into an unexpected situation when a dead body is found on the side of a river. The event unites him with Mona (Michaela Kurimsky), a young and strong-willed mother-to-be. Soon they come to depend on one another as they get dragged into a reality of violence and are hunted down by outlaws. The movie is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s western narratives (No Country for Old Men, The Road, Blood Meridian, The Counselor), with a realistic, heavy paced mood where nothing is certain but the promise of despair in a violent world. The film's score is composed by Mat McNerney and Kimmo Helen of the Finnish folk band Hexvessel. Justin Oakey has been in love with storytelling since childhood, but decided to follow the path of film making after being inspired by a few high-school video projects. When working on films set in Newfoundland, such as A Fire in the Cold Season, Justin Oakey tends to portray the island as realistically as possible, taking inspiration from people close to him as he inserts cinematic narrative elements into the picture. An international premiere of A Fire in a Cold Season in Iceland is fitting due to the unique cultural similarities between the two islands. Iceland and Newfoundland are both of similar size and population and have had to learn to coexist with harsh climates and work with nature to create a sustainable way of life. Sometimes the harshness of the weather can seep into the society, as Oakey portrays in his films. The director will be present at the premiere and will answer questions from the audience after the screening, a unique opportunity for film enthusiasts and fans of his work alike. A Fire in the Cold Season is bound to deliver a thrilling experience to the audience. Tickets now on sale at Tix.is.
H.P. Lovecraft and Nicholas Cage at Stockfish 2020!
2/24/2020Now here is something for Lovecraft and Nicholas Cage fans. For some this goes together, others not so much but undeniably both Lovecraft and Cage have their own devoted fan base. Color Out of Space with Nicholas Cage as the lead will be our special Midnight Madness screening at Stockfish Festival on Friday the 13th of March. Richard Stanley returns with the film Color out of Space after two decades but his last film was the cyberpunk debut “Hardware” that came out in 1990. He grew up in South Africa and learned to love Lovecrafts work when his mother read his stories to him as a child. He was specifically fond of Color out of Space but strangely Color out of Space is said to be the cult writer favourite out of the many short stories he has written. In an interview with Los Angeles Times Stanley says: "“I was a lonely, creepy kid who spent most of my time doing crayon drawings of monsters,” Stanley said with a smile. In that childhood, he says, the fantastic was an escape and a way to deal with the discord in his parents’ relationship. Years later, “Color Out of Space” would serve a similar purpose.” Stanley wrote the adaptation of the screenplay himself along with a co-writer Scarlett Amaris and together they decided to set the story in modern days rather then the time the original story is set in. As such it doesn’t seem to disappoint Lovecraft fans as it was both chosen Best Film as well as winning the Audience Choice at a special Lovecraft Film Festival last year. In short for those who have not read the book the story is about the Gardner family who moves to the country side to escape modern distraction and city hassle. However their rural reality becomes anything but after their land gets hit by a meteorite changing their lives into a living colourful nightmare. Don’t let this one pass you by as there will only be one screening at 11PM on Friday the 13th of March. Tickets are now available on Tix !
Director Karim Aïnouz - guest at Stockfish with his award-winning film, Invisible Life!
2/19/2020Stockfish is proud to announce that the award-winning director, visual artist and screen-writer Karim Aïnouz will be a guest at the festival this year. His film, Invisible Life, has received 26 nominations and 14 awards, including top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Invisible life is an adaption of the novel “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” by Martha Batalha about the bond between two sisters who are forced apart by their father. They seek to find each other again, thinking they live in separate continents, while in fact co-existing in the same city. The book was given to mr. Aïnouz the same year his mother would have turned 90 years old just like the main character, Eurídice, and it touched him on a deep personal level. In an interview with Variety last year, mr. Aïnouz explains: “it would be so important if people who met my mother knew what she had to go through. Both of them worked, my grandmother and my mother. When I read the book, I felt, wow, finally somebody is talking about what it was like to be a woman at that time in Brazil, but also in the world. Adapting the book, I realized I could pay homage not only to my mother, but also to her generation.” The film has had phenomenal reception, both by audiences and juries worldwide, for its empathetic interpretation of the two female characters and what they go through.
Award-Winning Documentaries at Stockfish - Nordisk Panorama Focus!
2/13/2020And now something for the documentary fans. Three award winning docs from last year's Nordisk Panorama screened at Stockfish followed by Q&A's with two directors and one producer of the films. The filmmakers will also participate in a Nordic Documentary Panel at Stockfish moderated by a representative from Nordisk Panorama. Q’s Barbershop The opening film of Nordisk Panorama 2019 Q’s Barbershop was quite the hit with it’s audience in Malmo last year. The film follows Q a barber that runs a barbershop in Vollsmose who became a bit of a star at the festival. In the film the audience gets a sneak peak into the community that has formed around the barber as his clients. They look to Q not only for a cool haircut, but also to get advice on any problem they may face. The director, Emil Langballe will answer questions from the audience after the screening. The film has received four nominations as best documentary at The Danish Film Awards, Nordisk Panorama, Oslo Pix and CPH:DOX. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoLZsLpWif8 Humanity on Trial Humanity on Trial won the Nordisk Panorama audience award. The film follows a young Dane, Salam Aldeen, who goes to Greece along with others to rescue refugees crossing the ocean. One night he gets arrested while looking for a family who’s lost at sea. Accused of human smuggling, he might end up serving life in a Greek prison. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU7FciL1UWI Lindy the Return of Little Light The third and final film won Best New Nordic Voice last year and the producer China Åhlander will accompany us in the Q&A afterwards. The film is directed by Ida Persson Lännerberg and follows an artist that has always had a hard time fitting in. He fled into a fantasy world as a child where he was the super hero Little Light - a boy who could spread light across the world. Today, acclaimed and loved for his interpretations, he’s asked by a theater in Berlin to get up on stage as himself to tell his story. But can he do that without harming his loved ones? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjWaCmyk7Kk
Award-Winning COMEDIES at Stockfish!
2/6/2020Three comedies have been chosen for Stockfish 2020 that combined have so far received 39 award nominations. Statistically comedies haven’t been the most successful when it comes to winning awards and nominations in film festivals. These three however have caught the attention of festival juries worldwide. Extra Ordinary First off is Extra Ordinary, co-directed by Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern, which has had it’s audience laughing out loud from start to finish. The story is about a woman who works as a driving instructor but has a special gift of seeing beyond this world. Even though not too keen on her extraordinary talent she decides to help a possessed little girl. The script is said to be brilliantly written and combined with phenomenal acting and great directing the outcome seems to win the audiences hearts along with number of awards. So far the film has brought home 10 wins out of 14 nominations last year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1TvL5ZL6Sc It Must Be Heaven Next is It must be heaven about a Palestinian man who decides to escape his homeland to look for a new home. However it doesn’t seem to matter how far he travels or where he goes. Something always reminds him of Palestine. It’s the award winning director Elia Suleiman who writes, directs and acts in the film. He must be in heaven because, so far, he has bagged 9 award nominations and 3 wins, one of being the FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6blvldmt6c Give Me Liberty Last but not least is the American independent film Give me liberty by Kirill Mikhanovsky. Yet another comedy from last year with great many awards but it has 5 wins out of 13 nominations. It follows a medical transport driver in Milwaukee, America's most segregated city. He is one of those people who wants to please everyone and just can’t say no. When riots break out he stands before a very difficult decision which no people pleasing type of person should ever have to make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR8nVCExVo4&t=36s Three perfect opportunities for the film buffs to get their “not as much of a film buff” friend to accompany them to the cinema. Everyone loves a good comedy.
MONOS and THE PAINTED BIRD – First titles introduced for Stockfish 2020!
1/27/2020Two award winning films and audience favourites are the first titles to be announced for Stockfish Film Festival 2020. The Painted Bird and Monos are both war dramas that explore the effects of war on the young spirit and mind. The Painted Bird by Vacláv Marhhoul has made quite an impression for it’s dynamic cinematography and brutal content. The story is based on a novel by Jerzy Kosiński about a young Jewish boy who was sent to stay with an aunt in a foreign country in an attempt to save him from the holocaust. Shortly after his arrival the aunt dies unexpectedly and the boy is forced to make it on his own in a brutal world of war and chaos. The film is filmed on an unusual format when it comes to modern film making but the director Vacláv has this to say about his unusual choice of format: “We shot the film on 35mm black-and-white film at 1:2:35 aspect ratio. Cinemascope is a richly emotive format. No other format can capture, with such accuracy and force, both the beaty andthe cruelty playing out on the screen.” - Vacláv Marhhoul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECUiSb2WEvU Monos examines the chaos and fog of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, banding together a diverse young cast of seasoned professionals and untrained neophytes thrust into an unforgiving, irrational and often surreal environment where anything can happen — even peace. The story starts off on a remote mountaintop setting somewhere in Latin America. A rebel group of teenage commandos perform military training exercises while watching over a prisoner and a conscripted milk cow for a shadowy force known only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, fracturing their intricate bond, the mission begins to collapse. Many who have seen the film have described a strong resemblance to Lord of The Flies and apparently the book had some influence on the director as well as another famous novel: “Lord of the Flies and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness have allegorical powers that span way beyond their specific time, conflict or country. Also, both novels have something that lingers in your subconscious, like a totem pole, like some sort of tattoo.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=disclpVzoMQ Despite thematic similarities between these films, The Painted Bird and Monos offer two very distinct but equally intriguing cinematic experiences. We'll keep you posted as there is more to come.
SHORTFISH 2020 open for submissions! Stockfish & KUKL shortfilm competion
1/22/2020The short film competition Shortfish is now open for submissions for the 6th time. More applicants can apply this time as the Stockfish committee has decided all films publicly premiered in 2019 or later can submit. The purpose of the competition is to allow young and upcoming film makers to showcase their work and help them grow further in the field. Marzibil Sæmundardottir, the festival director, says that the Stockfish board wants to give more film makers an opportunity to apply for the competition without limiting their chances to take part in other festivals. 'It's important for aspiring film makers to be able to show their work in more then one festival. In addition we want to give the reward to the best of the best last year rather then limit the competition to films that have not been premiered before.' Last years winner XY by Anna Katrin Larusdottir has now been invited to nine film festivals both in Iceland and abroad. The winner this year will receive 1 million Icelandic krona voucher at one of the leading film equipment rentals Kukl. The six chosen films will travel around North America and Kanada next year with Taste of Iceland as special representatives for Iceland film industry. Admission The films can be no longer then 30 minutes and not been premiered before 2019. Only Icelandic films can be submitted, or films that are either directed or produced by Icelandic citizens. In addition the film needs to have English subtitles. Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 20th of February. Topic: SPRETTFISKUR. Include following information: Name of film. (Icelandic and English title) Directors nameProducers nameName of filmShort synopsis (in English and in Icelandic)Premier dateLink to film with a password if neededContact information
1/13/2020The winner of the Shortfish was announced at the closing ceremony! The short film XY by Anna Karín Lárusdóttir won the prize and received a prize of ISK 1 million krónar from KUKL. We were honoured with an amazing panel of experienced judges: Alissa Simon program director for Palm Springs IFF, Steve Gravestock program director at the Toronto IFF and Wendy Mitchell, a Nordic correspondent at Screen International and a Nordic contact for the San Sebastian Film Festival. Stockfish congratulates Anna Karín on her victory and wishes her as well as other competitors, success in future film projects. The future is bright in Icelandic filmmaking! Judges reviews on XY:“First, we would like to thank the Stockfish Film Festival for asking us to be on the jury and for so graciously hosting us in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. It was an honour to serve on the Shortfish jury and see the work of a new generation of Icelandic filmmakers. For its assured direction, nuanced and touching performances (especially from its talented young cast), and sensitive engagement with timely and complicated issues, the jury awards the prize to XL by Anna Karin Larusdottir”