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FESTIVALS Iceland

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The 14th Reykjavik International Film Festival prepares to kick off

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- The festival will unspool in the Icelandic capital and will be opened by Hlynur Pálmason’s award-winning feature debut, Winter Brothers

The 14th Reykjavik International Film Festival prepares to kick off
Winter Brothers by Hlynur Pálmason

Icelandic director Hlynur Pálmason’s feature debut, Winter Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Hlynur Pálmason
film profile
]
, which was world-premiered and went on to win three prizes at the Locarno International Film Festival, will tonight (28 September) open the 14th Reykjavik International Film Festival at the Haskólabíó cinema, followed by a reception at the Hafnarhúsi∂ Art Museum hosted by Reykjavik’s mayor, Dagur B Eggertsson.

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Starring Danish actors Elliott Crosset Hove and Simon Sears, and produced by Julie Waltersdorph Hansen for Copenhagen’s Masterplan Pictures, Winter Brothers followstwo brothers, their routines, habits and rituals – and a violent feud that erupts between them and another family, “in a tale of a lack of love set in a workers' environment during a cold winter”.

At the Hafnarhúsi∂ event, visitors will be able to see an exhibition – “Doubling” – by French visual artist and avant-garde filmmaker Pierre Coulibeuf, a guest of the festival, which will later screen his 2013 documentary Doctor Fabre Will Cure You at the art museum. There will also be performances by Icelandic singer Erna Omars and the Icelandic Dance Party.

Most of the programme will unspool at the Haskólabíó multiplex and the Nordic House, but the festival will also be active at other venues, such as a city bus. Running until 8 October, and closing with Danish director Janus Metz’s Swedish title Borg/McEnroe [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the schedule comprises 86 features and 68 shorts from 43 countries, as well as the titles in the children’s programme, bringing the total number of films to 226.

In the New Visions Grand Prix Competition, the festival will present the first or second features by 13 up-and-coming directors. Contenders for the Golden Puffin include Winter Brothers, Faroese director Sakaris Fri∂i Stórá’s Dreams by the Sea, British filmmaker Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Francis Lee
film profile
]
, US-Chinese director Chloé Zhao’s The Rider, Spanish filmmaker Elena Martín’s Júlia Ist [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Elena Martín
film profile
]
, French director Sara Forestier’s M [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sara Forestier
film profile
]
, Italian filmmaker Valentina Pedicini’s Where Shadows Fall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valentina Pedicini
film profile
]
, Romanian director Ivana Mladenovic’s Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivana Mladenovic
film profile
]
and Lithuanian filmmaker Egle Vertelyte’s Miracle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Eglė Vertelytė
film profile
]
.

With a focus on Finland, celebrating the centenary of its independence – with such flicks as Dome Karukoski’s Tom of Finland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Dome Karukoski
film profile
]
– the gathering has rustled up a selection of international festival winners for the Open Seas section, the Documentaries section has become increasingly popular, and the Icelandic Panorama is intended to build a bridge between Icelandic cinema and international filmmaking. The Industry Days, with its seminars, master classes and the Reykjavik Talent Lab, will accommodate film professionals, and there will be a Golden Egg short-film competition for newcomers.

Special guests this year also include German director Werner Herzog and French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, who will both be honoured with retrospectives. They will be joined by German director Valeska Grisebach, dubbed an Emerging Master, who will introduce two of her films.

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EPI Distribution
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