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AWARDS Iceland

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Three Icelanders in a fishbowl clean up at the Eddas


- Baldvin Z’s Life in a Fishbowl has collected 12 Eddas at the awards gala in Reykjavik

Three Icelanders in a fishbowl clean up at the Eddas
Director Baldvin Z collecting his Edda Award (© mbl.is/​Styrm­ir)

It was a full house for Icelandic director Baldvin Z’s Life in a Fishbowl [+see also:
film review
film profile
when the Icelandic Film and TV Academy presented the Eddas – Iceland’s national film prize – on Saturday (21 February) at an awards gala in Reykjavik’s Harpa concert hall.

Nominated in 12 categories, Z’s (for Zophoníasson’s) depiction of three people who have a lasting effect on each other collected 12 statuettes, including Best Film (Icelandic Film Company/Júlíus Kemp), Best Director (Z), Best Script (Z and Birgir Örn Steinarsson), Best Cinematography (Jóhann Máni Jóhannsson), Best Actor (Thorsteinn Bachmann) and Best Actress (Hera Hilmar). 

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The other Edda frontrunner, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s Paris of the North [+see also:
film review
film profile
, which was also considered in 12 categories, left the ceremony with two prizes: Best Supporting Actor (Helgi Björnsson) and Best Supporting Actress (Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir). A total of 100 film and television productions, including nine features, were submitted for the Academy’s awards, which were staged for the 16th time.

“The best Icelandic film in history,” proclaimed the country’s leading daily, Fréttabladid, after Sena’s 16 May release of the Bachmann (The Deep [+see also:
film review
festival scope
film profile
), Hilmar and Thorvaldur Kristjánsson starrer, which became last year’s number one in the local charts, taking 47,982 admissions – almost 20% more than the number-two title, the best US performer, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Following the stories of a successful writer trying to drink himself to death after a stormy divorce, a single mother working at a nursery school and turning tricks on the side to survive financially, and a former football player climbing the ranks in the world of banking while his family falls apart, Life in a Fishbowl was launched at the Toronto International Film Festival, subsequently bagging the top prizes at Lübeck and Tallinn.

Icelandic director Agusta Einarsdottir’s Impact, about the rescue of five sailors from the 1986 shipwreck of an Icelandic cargo ship in the northern Atlantic Ocean, was named Best Documentary, while Jörundur Ragnarsson’s Chum was crowned Best Short. Reynir Lyngdal’s thriller mini-series, The Lava Field: Hraunið, won for Best TV Drama. 

This year’s Honorary Edda went to Icelandic writer-actor-comedian-reporter Ómar Ragnarsson, who has received the Award for Best New Reporter/Best TV Personality four times. A nature and environmental activist, Ragnarsson was picked as Man of the Year in 2006 by two Icelandic TV and radio stations, and the Icelandic government declared 16 September as Icelandic Nature Day in his honour.


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