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FESTIVALS Iceland

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Stockfish gives a Shortfish to Mikel Gurrea’s Foxes

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- Reykjavik’s new European film festival is about to go out “on wheels” following its first programme at the Bíó Paradís art cinema

Stockfish gives a Shortfish to Mikel Gurrea’s Foxes
UK actress Brenda Blethyn at the Stockfish European Film Festival in Reykjavik

Reviving the original Reykjavik Film Festival (which was held between 1978 and 2001), the Stockfish European Film Festival, which closed its first programme on Sunday (1 March), was “a great success, and the guests were delighted”, according to the festival chairman, Oscar-nominated Icelandic director-producer Fridrik Thór Fridriksson.

More than 30 films were on show at Reykjavik’s Bíó Paradís art cinema, the festival centre operated by Iceland’s organisations of film professionals, which also supported the event in conjunction with the City of Reykjavik and Promote Iceland. A selection of the entries will now tour the island in the guise of Stockfish on Wheels. 

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The Shortfish competition (for Best Short) was won by Mikel Gurrea’s Foxes, about a young real-estate agent trying to juggle an important sale with taking care of his ten-year-old son. “It is a solid and sincere work, a simple story of fatherhood, depicting a reality that many will find easy to relate to,” said the jury of the Eva Sigurðardóttir production (for Askja Films). 

French director Philippe Garrel’s 1972 movie The Inner Scar was presented as a Discovery from the Past at a “party screening” in the Bíó Paradís lobby; starring Velvet Underground singer Nico, it was largely shot in Iceland and was introduced by Icelandic writer-poet Sjón.

In collaboration with local distributor Eye on Films, the festival unspooled Latvian director Aik Karapetian’s The Man in the Orange Jacket [+see also:
film review
interview: Aik Karapetian
interview: Roberts Vinovskis
film profile
]
, with Karapetian in attendance, and Polish director Lech Majewski’s Field of Dogs [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lech Majewski
film profile
]
, with lead actor Michal Tatarek among the audience.

Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson moderated a master-class discussion between French director Rachid Bouchareb and UK actress Brenda Blethyn about the dynamics of directing actors. Other lectures were delivered by US producer Christine Vachon and Pavel Jech, head of the FAMU film school in Prague.

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