Another win for Iceland’s Heartstone at the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s movie won the €12,500 top prize at the German festival, which ended on Sunday
Icelandic director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s feature debut, Heartstone [+see also:
interview: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
film profile], has been continuing its festival winning streak, ever since it was Iceland’s first official Venice competitor: on Saturday (5 November), it received the top prize at the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck – the largest Nordic film festival outside Scandinavia.
“An unsentimental yet moving film debut. With idiosyncrasy, a steady hand and great intensity, the filmmaker hijacks us and takes us to a place at the end of the world, where teenagers are in the process of finding themselves. Left to their own devices, they learn what’s really important,” said the jury as it justified the awarding of German pubcaster NDR’s €12,500 accolade.
Also scripted by Guðmundsson, Heartstone is set during a turbulent summer in a remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boy Thor tries to win the heart of a girl, while his mate Christian discovers new feelings towards his best friend. And then it is time for them to leave the playground and face the acrimony of adulthood.
At Venice the Baldur Einarsson-Blær Hinriksson starrer collected the Queer Lion Award, at the Warsaw International Film Festival it won Best Director and the Ecumenical Prize, it received the Gold Q Hugo Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival, and snagged the Audience and the International Critics’ FIPRESCI Awards at Ukraine’s Kiev Molodist festival.
Danish director Jesper W Nielsen’s The Day Will Come [+see also:
film profile] – portraying two young boys robbed of their lives when they are placed in an orphanage forgotten by time – racked up more than 4,000 votes, enough to bag the Lübecker Nachrichten Audience Prize, while the Baltic Film Prize went to another festival favourite, Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] (the Un Certain Regard winner at Cannes and Gold Hugo winner at Chicago).
185 films were screened in this year's Nordic Film Days programme, and three of them earned their Norwegian directors a festival prize: Sara Johnsen's Framing Mom [+see also:
film profile], which opened the showcase (“an intelligent, witty and complex film about motherhood, longing and reconciliation,” according to the jury) was awarded the Interfilm Church Film Prize; Hanne Larsen's Gilbert's Grim Revenge took home the €5,000 Children's Jury Prize; and George Kurian's The Crossing, following a group of Syrian refugees on their voyage over a sea, two continents and five countries, left with the Dokumentary Film Prize.
Here is the full list of winners at the 2016 Nordic Film Days:
Dokumentary Film Prize
The Crossing - George Kurian (Norway)
Drifting Away – Cyprien Clément-Delmas (Germany)
Children’s Jury Prize
Gilbert’s Grim Revenge – Hanne Larsen (Norway)