Rams is Iceland’s Oscars hopeful
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Grímur Hákonarson’s festival winner will represent Iceland in the race for the Best Foreign-language Film nomination
Icelandic director Grímur Hákonarson’s Rams [+see also:
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile], which was launched at the Cannes International Film Festival, going on to win the Un Certain Regard Award, will be Iceland’s official submission for the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-language Film, the Icelandic Film and TV Academy announced yesterday (8 September).
Starring Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Theodór Júlíusson, Rams – which was also scripted by Hákonarson – follows two brothers who live side by side in the remote valley of Bárdardalur, but who have not spoken in 40 years. Now they must come together to save what is dearest to them: their sheep stock and prized rams.
From Cannes, Hákonarson’s second feature then went on to compete at Romania’s Transilvania International Film Festival in Cluj-Napoca, where it collected the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award. At the European Film Festival in Palic, Serbia, it received the Tower Award for Best Film; now, after Karlovy Vary and Telluride, it will unspool at the Toronto International Film Festival (10-20 September).
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 Warsaw’s New Europe Film Sales has licensed the movie to more than 40 countries, including the US (Cohen Media Group).
The US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will publish its nominations on 14 January 2016, while the Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 28 February. Iceland has twice been nominated for an Oscar: with Fridrik Thór Fridriksson’s Children of Nature (1992) and Runar Runarsson’s short The Last Farm (2006).