Stockfish 2020 made it to the end in the shadow of COVID-19.


The 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


Nearly 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


Dear 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!

Q&A at Stockfish with dogma director Mona J. Hoel!


Norwegian 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.

Arracht director and lead actor attending Stockfish!


Arracht 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" – Get tickets here.

Tolkien director Dome Karukoski confirmes his presence at Stockfish


Finnish 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


Director 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

H.P. Lovecraft and Nicholas Cage at Stockfish 2020!


Now 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!


Stockfish 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!


And 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. 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. 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?

Award-Winning COMEDIES at Stockfish!


Three 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. 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. 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. 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.

The Award Winning: BACURAU and SYNONYMS at Stockfish 2020!


Bacurau won the Jury Prize at Cannes last year and Synonyms The Golden Bear at Berlin International Film Festival. Two very intriguing choices worth seeing. Synonyms , comedy drama, directed by Nadav Lapid is a story about being pressed between two cultures. It has elements of autobiography as it is based on the director's personal experience. “one day, as if I had heard a voice out of nowhere, like Joan of Arc or Abraham the patriarch, I realised I had to leave Israel. Leave right then, immediately and forever. Uproot myself from the country, flee, save myself from an Israeli destiny. Ten days later, I landed at Charles-de-Gaulle airport. I chose France because of my admiration for Napoleon, my passion for Zidane, and a couple of Godard movies I had seen two months earlier. I had basic French, no permit or visa, and I knew no one. But I was determined never to come back. To live and die in Paris.” Even though based on his own experience, Nadav uses the liberty of fiction and poetry to create a story with many layers, meanings and metaphors. Bacurau , action adventure mystery, is a co-operational project between two friends, Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelle. The idea for the film came about when both of them where attending a film festival in Brazil eleven years ago. “at that major festival with its lavish budget, we had social contradictions before our eyes every day. Bacurau grew out of our observations, annoyance and desire to surprise people by showing this poor, remote part of the world getting revenge on people who consider them "simple," "funny" or "fragile" when they are just as complex and interesting as everybody else.” The two friends wanted to make a film they both wanted to see. The outcome is a gory western that takes place in the future, however the whole look of the film is very vintage. An interesting combination that becomes it’s very own. Tickets can be bought here.

MONOS and THE PAINTED BIRD – First titles introduced for Stockfish 2020!


Two 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 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.” 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


The 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 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