Some of Iceland’s hottest directors and newcomers took centre stage this week to pitch their upcoming films at Reykjavik’s Stockfish Film Festival (February 28-March 10). The Works in Progress session held on Tuesday at the arthouse venue Bíó Paradís was one of the festival’s highlights.

Four films previously pitched at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Market were previewed again in Reykjavik: the Icelandic films Echo by Rúnar Rúnarsson, The County by Grímur Hákonarson and White, White Day by Hlynur Pálmason, as well as the Danish/Icelandic co-production Valhalla by Fenar Ahmad, all supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Other works in progress were the following:

  • End of Sentence (Iceland/Ireland/USA) The debut feature by UK-based Icelandic director Elfar Aðalsteins (Sailcloth) is based on a script by Beautiful Boy’s Michael Armbruster. The road movie tells of a father and son’s who embark on an emotional and eventful journey to honour their late wife and mother’s last wish of having her ashes spread in her native Ireland. The A-list cast includes John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Sarah Bolger (Into the Badlands), and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Trapped).

    The film in post-production is produced by Adalsteins’ Berserk Films, with Samson Films’ David Collins, Palomar Pictures’ Joni Sighvatsson, in co-production with Guðrún Edda Þórhannesdóttir, John Wallace and Eggert Baldvinsson. Rocket Science handles sales. 
  • Agnes Joy (Iceland) Silja Hauksdóttir’s second feature after Dis, tells of Rannveig (52) and her daughter Agnes (18), whose relationship is challenged when actor Hreinn moves to town to work on a film script. In the starring roles are Katla Margrét Þorgeirsdóttir (Trapped 2), newcomer Donna Cuz, Þorsteinn Bachmann (Under the Tree) and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Fortitude).

    The film is produced by Vintage Pictures’ Birgitta Björnsdóttir, with Rannveig Jónsdóttir. Delivery date is set for early May and the Icelandic premiere for the fall 2019.
  • Shadowtown (Iceland/Canada) The feature co-directed by Jón Gústafsson (Wrath of Gods) and Karolina Lewicka is the story of Maya (25) who inherits an old house in Iceland from a grandmother she has never met and travels to Reykjavik to close the sale. Family secrets are revealed and lives are endangered as ghosts of her ancestors intervene in the sale.

    The film is produced by Ursus Parvis’ Hlín Jóhannesdóttir (The Swan) with Artio Films’ Gústafsson and Lewicka’s (Canada) and Leif Films’ Leif Bristow.

More than 27 feature length films screened at Stockfish including the Nordic titles The House that Jack Built, The Raft, Holiday, Phoenix and Stupid Young Heart. Directors Selma Vilhunen, Camilla Strøm Henriksen and producers Annika Hellström and Lilja Snorradóttir took part in the panel ‘Breaking in Without Burning Out’ organised