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PRODUCTION Iceland / Denmark / Germany / France

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Grímur Hákonarson starts shooting The County

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- The Icelandic filmmaker and his producer Grímar Jónsson are getting ready for the highly anticipated follow-up to their hit film Rams

Grímur Hákonarson starts shooting The County
Director Grímur Hákonarson (left) and producer Grímar Jónsson (© Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)

Icelandic film director and screenwriter Grímur Hákonarson rose to prominence with his sophomore feature, Rams [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile
]
, which won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and became an instant international hit. His much-anticipated follow-up, entitled The County, produced by Grímar Jónsson, will commence shooting by the end of February in rural northern Iceland.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The story follows Inga (Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir), a middle-aged cattle farmer who is forced to stand on her own two feet after her husband dies in a car accident. Starting a new life, she will also be forced to fight against the injustice that rules her corrupt countryside community.

Regarding the backstory of the film, Hákonarson, who also wrote the script, told Cineuropa: "The script of The County is partly based on my personal experience, and partly on research. I have been thinking about The County for three years, giving it time to take shape. As with the story of Rams, this one is fictional, but is based on real events and characters."

Apart from Egilsdóttir (Sparrows [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Atli Óskar Fjalarsson
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
) in the leading role, Hákonarson will again work with two Rams actors, lead Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson (Either Way [+see also:
trailer
interview: Hafstein Gunnar Sigurdsson
interview: Hilmar Gudjônsson - Shootin…
film profile
]
). The rest of the confirmed cast members comprise Hinrik Ólafsson, Hannes Óli Ágústsson (Metalhead [+see also:
trailer
festival scope
film profile
]
), Ragnhildur Gísladóttir and Danish actor (and frequent Lars von Trier collaborator) Jens Albinus (Nymphomaniac [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Louise Vesth
film profile
]
).

Leading producer Grímar Jónsson, of Netop Films, shared his insight on their new effort: "It's a challenge to follow up on the success of Rams, but I’m delighted how the development has evolved, mainly because of the quality of the script, which has Grímur's fingerprints all over it. His voice, humour and originality as a director, in my opinion, really shine through. We're just about ready to start shooting in late February, and I can't wait."

As previously reported (see the news), Netop Films is continuing its collaboration with Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales in handling international sales for The County – as also happened with Rams – while confirmed local distributors include Scanbox (Scandinavia), Sena (Iceland) and Haut et Court (France).

The County, which is budgeted at €2.7 million, will be an Icelandic-Danish-German-French co-production. Netop Films is again teaming up with Denmark’s Profile Pictures and Germany’s One Two Films, as was the case for Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Under the Tree [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
film profile
]
, while France’s Haut et Court is the new co-producer on board. The film has already received the support of the Icelandic Film Centre, the Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Danish Film Institute and SR Fernsehen/arte, and it is slated for an early 2019 delivery.

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