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PRODUCTION Iceland

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Rúnar Rúnarsson readying Echo

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- The new project by the Icelandic filmmaker was selected for this year’s Atelier programme at Cannes

Rúnar Rúnarsson readying Echo
Director Rúnar Rúnarsson (© Nimbus Film)

Rúnar Rúnarsson, the Icelandic writer-director of the coming-of-age drama Sparrows [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Atli Óskar Fjalarsson
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
, which went on to win 21 awards on the festival circuit, is working on a feature-length follow-up project called Echo. Billed as an “echo from postmodern society, a contemporary mirror”, Rúnarsson’s third feature aims to “portray different layers of Icelandic society in a linear timespan”, in a poetic, neo-vérité style. The writer-director plans to shoot from December 2018 until January 2019 in Iceland, as the story unfolds between the Advent season in December 2018 and the following New Year’s Eve. The movie will then be in post-production until April 2019. 

Rúnarsson revealed that he plans to veer into observational cinema and to use fragments of reality in order to portray emotions. “The reason I make films is to convey emotions, and I always leave a strong personal imprint on the subject matter at hand,” he says. As for the story itself, he says it will explore “the mundane path we walk searching for happiness, looking for meaning. If we wander into the shadows, then the knowledge of light is what can guide us, and when we step into the brightest light, we only know how lucky we are because we know the darkness,” echoing the spiritual undercurrent of his sophomore feature, Sparrows. Rúnarsson called Echo “a film where reality is captured, initiated and staged”. 

Echo is a co-production between Nimbus Iceland and Pegasus Pictures, produced by the director himself and Live Hide for Nimbus, and Lilja Ósk Snorrardóttir for Pegasus, with Birgitte Hald acting as an executive producer. The project was picked for this year’s edition of the Atelier programme at Cannes and has so far received support from the Icelandic Film Centre. The producers are currently looking for co-producers, sales agents and festivals.

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