Victorious at Cannes, Iceland’s Rams conquer the world
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- CANNES 2015: Grimur Hákonarson’s new feature joins Iceland’s main exports, selling for 14 territories at Cannes, where it won in Un Certain Regard
While Iceland mainly exports aluminium and fish, Rams [+see also:
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile] was a hot sales item at the Cannes International Film Festival. It is Icelandic director Grimur Hákonarson’s second feature and received the top prize in the Un Certain Regard competition.
“Before Cannes, Rams had been picked up by ARP Sélection for France, and during the market, it was sold to more than 14 countries, while some are still in negotiations, including the UK and the US,” said Jan Naszewski, CEO of acquisitions and sales at Warsaw’s New Europe Film Sales, which handles international distribution for the title.
The sales list for Rams includes Australia (to Palace), Benelux (Imagine), Germany/Austria (Arsenal), Greece (Ama Films), Hungary (Mozinet), Italy (Bim), Japan (Gaga), the Middle East (Moving Turtle), Norway (Arthaus), the rest of Scandinavia (Scanbox), Switzerland (Xenix), Turkey (Filmarti) and the former Yugoslavia (Demiurg).
It was Iceland’s first prize at Cannes – the closest it has come before was a Special Mention for Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson’s short Whale Valley in 2013; also, Björk won for Best Actress in Danish director Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark in 2000.
Starring Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Theodór Júlíusson, Rams – which was also scripted by Hákonarson – was shot in the remote valley of Bárdardalur in northern Iceland and follows two brothers who live side by side but have not spoken in 40 years; now they must come together to save what is dearest to them: their sheep.
The film was produced by Grímar Jónsson for Iceland’s Netop Films, and co-produced by Ditte Milsted and Jacob Jarek for Denmark’s Profile Pictures. Reykjavik’s Sena Film is in charge of local distribution and released the film yesterday (28 May).