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Iceland wins the Nordic Council Film Prize for the second year in a row

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- Dagur Kári’s Virgin Mountain has received the Nordic Council Film Prize 2015 for Best Nordic Film

Iceland wins the Nordic Council Film Prize for the second year in a row
Icelandic director Dagur Kári collecting his Nordic Council Film Prize (© Johannes Jansson/norden.org)

A film “with a high level of artistic quality and deeply rooted in Nordic culture”, Icelandic director Dagur Kári’s Virgin Mountain [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
was awarded the Nordic Council Film Prize 2015 last night (27 October) in Reykjavik. The accolade comes with €47,000 for Kári and his producers, Agnes Johansen and Baltasar Kormákur.

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The prize was presented during the Nordic Council’s session in Iceland, and Kári received it from his fellow countryman and colleague Benedikt Erlingsson, who won it last year for Of Horses and Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Benedikt Erlingsson
festival scope
film profile
]
.

“A simple and visually inventive tale about preserving your goodness and innocence in a seemingly impenetrable world. Kári’s artistic ascent of a male virgin mountain results in a deeply moving and captivating film, offering a dignified portrait of its gentle giant of a man, as well as poignant depictions of the women around him,” said the jury.

Starring Gunnar Jónsson, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir and Sigurjón Kjartansson, Virgin Mountain tells the story of Fúsi, a 43-year-old man who sleepwalks through the mundane routine of everyday life, until encounters with a vivacious woman and an eight-year-old girl force him to step into the world of adulthood. 

The Icelandic Sögn/RVK Studios production with Denmark’s Nimbus Film was launched at a Special Gala during the Berlin International Film Festival, and it went directly from winning the Audience Award at the CPH:PIX Copenhagen International Film Festival to New York, where it collected three prizes in the World Narrative Competition at the Tribeca Film Festival: Best Narrative Feature (Kári), Best Screenplay (Kári) and Best Actor (Jónsson).

Born in France, Kári grew up in Iceland and was educated at the National Film School of Denmark in Copenhagen, where he is today senior teacher of directing. His 2003 feature debut, Noi the Albino, toured the international circuit and won 20 awards, Dark Horse [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2005) was selected for Un Certain Regard at Cannes, and his first English-language film, The Good Heart [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, was nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize in 2010. He is also a keen musician and plays in the group Slowblow.

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