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Toronto Film Review: ‘The County’

  • Variety
Toronto Film Review: ‘The County’
After the death of her dairy farmer husband, a middle-aged woman courageously sacrifices her livelihood to speak out against the corruption and injustice at work in her community in the audience-pleasing, humanist drama “The County.” Like writer-director Grímur Hákonarson’s previous film “Rams,” . The yin to that film’s yang, “The County” is full of feisty female energy and imagery, and sprinkled with rousing “you go girl!” comic moments. Niche arthouse play is a given for this appealing and endearingly modest tale.

Hard-working couple Inga (Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir) and Reynir (Hinrik Ólafsson) run Dalsmynni, a mom-and-pop dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. With money tight and their hours long, they haven’t been able to take a vacation for three years. At night, they are so fatigued that they can barely manage to mumble, “Did you call the inseminator?” or “Did you order the fertilizer?” before collapsing into bed.
See full article at Variety »

Sol Bondy’s One Two Films Boards Rafi Pitts Drama ‘Star,’ Sets Slate

  • Variety
Sol Bondy’s One Two Films Boards Rafi Pitts Drama ‘Star,’ Sets Slate
Sol Bondy’s Berlin-based One Two Films has boarded Iranian helmer Rafi Pitts’ latest film, “Random Star Suicide,” produced by French shingle Les Films du Worso and set to shoot next year.

After 2016’s “Soy Nero,” Pitts again examines Americans living on the margins of society in a story that follows a young black man and a working-class veteran whose lives and destinies cross.

One Two Films is continuing its focus on international and English-language productions as it recalibrates following the recent exit of longtime partner Jamila Wenske. The company has a new office in Berlin and a slew of projects in the works as it seeks to broaden its reach as an international co-producer specialized in Germany’s soft money incentives.

One Two Films partnered with Denmark’s Profile Pictures on Grimur Hakonarson’s Icelandic drama “The County,” which premieres in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section, and the
See full article at Variety »

Sol Bondy and Jamila Wenske of German production outfit One Two Films to go separate ways (exclusive)

Bondy will continue to run the company.

Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy, founders and managing partners of German production outfit One Two Films, have decided to part ways.

Bondy will continue to run the company with investor and partner Christoph Lange. Fred Burle, One Two Films’ project manager since 2017, has started working on his own projects as a producer, reporting to Bondy.

Wenske will take her projects with her to Achtung Panda!, the Berlin-based production outfit she is joining as managing director. More details about her role at Achtung Panda! will be revealed soon.

One Two Films has made a
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sol Bondy and Jamila Wenske of German production outfit One Two Films to go separate ways

Bondy will continue to run the company.

Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy, founders and managing partners of German production outfit One Two Films, have decided to part ways.

Bondy will continue to run the company with investor and partner Christoph Lange. Fred Burle, One Two Films’ project manager since 2017, has started working on his own projects as a producer, reporting to Bondy.

Wenske will take her projects with her to Achtung Panda!, the Berlin-based production outfit she is joining as managing director. More details about her role at Achtung Panda! will be revealed soon.

One Two Films has made a
See full article at ScreenDaily »

UK Film Centre in Cannes 2019: Full line-up of events revealed

UK Film Centre in Cannes 2019: Full line-up of events revealed
Ken Loach, Jessica Hausner, Asif Kapadia all to give talent talks.

Talent talks from directors Ken Loach, Jessica Hausner and Asif Kapadia all feature on the UK Film Centre’s programme of industry events at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25).

Each will discuss their respective films, which are having world premieres at the festival.

Loach will be joined by screenwriter Paul Laverty and producer Rebecca O’Brien on Friday, May 17 to discuss Competition title Sorry We Missed You, hosted by Screen’s Wendy Mitchell.

Hausner will talk alongside co-writer Geraldine Bajard and producers Geradine O’Flynn and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Woman at War’ Director on What Tom Cruise Could Learn From His Quirky Icelandic Thriller

  • The Wrap
‘Woman at War’ Director on What Tom Cruise Could Learn From His Quirky Icelandic Thriller
Here’s a list of what the Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson says is missing from his new film “Woman at War”: “No misery, no violence, no death, not even a gun, and no sex.”

Despite the absence of those mainstays, he said “Woman at War” is an action thriller with lessons for Hollywood films. It’s a tense, topical film of espionage, sabotage and personal demons about a lone eco-terrorist (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) being hunted by the Icelandic government and a massive corporation doing harm to the environment.

And because this is an Icelandic film, its hero has a trio of musicians who follow her across hill sides, rooftops and into her home providing the film’s brisk, invigorating score as she goes. At one point, a drummer seemingly tips her off to the danger awaiting her.

“I wish they would do more of this,” Erlingsson told TheWrap’s Steve Pond
See full article at The Wrap »

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #63. The County – Grimur Hakonarson

The County

Four years after his hit sophomore film Rams (2015), Iceland’s Grimur Hakonarson should at last be ready with his third feature, The County. His latest is an Icelandic-Danish-French-German co-production, comprised of Hakonarson’s returning producer Grimar Jonsson (also of 2017’s Under the Tree) plus co-producers Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy. Starring Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir, Hakonarson also reunites with his Rams actors Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson, who are also joined by Hinrik Ólafsson, Hannes Óli Ágústsson, Ragnhildur Gísladóttir and Denmark’s Jens Albinus.…
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

'Cold War', 'High Life' producers team with New Europe to form production company

Ewa Puszczyńska, Klaudia Śmieja, Jan Naszewski join forces.

Ewa Puszczyńska and Klaudia Śmieja have joined forces with Jan Naszewski’s Poland-based New Europe Film Sales (Rams) to form production company Nem Corp.

The company is putting together a slate that will aim to attract international film projects to Poland, with a view to taking advantage of the 30% tax incentives newly introduced by the Polish parliament, as well as the soft money and private funding opportunities available in the country.

It will do co-production and service work, as well as developing new projects with Polish talents. New Europe will take on
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Oscar-Winner Ewa Puszczyńska Sets Up Nem Corp. With Klaudia Śmieja, Jan Naszewski

  • Variety
Oscar-Winner Ewa Puszczyńska Sets Up Nem Corp. With Klaudia Śmieja, Jan Naszewski
Ewa Puszczyńska, the producer behind Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winner “Ida” and the director’s Cannes best director award winner and Toronto Film Festival entry “Cold War,” is setting up a new production company, Nem Corp., with Klaudia Śmieja, the producer of Claire Denis’ Toronto film “High Life” and Agnieszka Holland’s upcoming “Gareth Jones,” and sales agent Jan Naszewski’s New Europe Film Sales.

Nem Corp. intends to attract “prestigious international film projects” to Poland, both as co-productions and service work, as well as develop projects of its own with top Polish talent. The company, which is already working on a slate of projects, wants to take advantage of the 30% tax incentive newly introduced by the Polish parliament as well as the soft money and private funding opportunities available in Poland.

Puszczyńska co-produced Robert Schwentke’s “The Captain” and Rezo Gigineishvili’s Berlinale-selected “Hostages,” and works as an expert for the Torino Film Lab.
See full article at Variety »

Under the Tree review – Icelandic over-the-hedge warfare drama

From a missing dog to an unspeakable encounter with a nail gun, neighbours rage in Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s skilful black comedy

Lest the people of Iceland be getting complacent about their ranking as the fourth happiest country in the world, here’s an unsettling film sniffing at something rotten at the back of the fridge – behind the paid-for higher education, hang-up-free sex and tastefully minimal interiors.

The film’s director, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, has said his inspiration for Under the Tree was Iceland’s high rate of “neighbour rage”: over-the-fence feuds between ordinary respectable people. Blame the Viking DNA. He skilfully constructs his film as part-thriller, part-intelligent relationship drama, topped with a juicy dollop of savage black comedy.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'Nancy' wins top prize at Japan's Skip City festival

'Nancy' wins top prize at Japan's Skip City festival
Best director goes to Icelandic filmmaker Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson for Under The Tree.

Nancy, directed by Us filmmaker Christina Choe, was awarded the Grand Prize in the International Competition of this year’s Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (July 13-22) in Japan.

The film, which premiered at this year’s Sundance film festival, stars Andrea Riseborough as a woman who claims to be the long-lost daughter of a couple seeking the child they lost in a shopping mall in the 1980s.

Best director went to Icelandic filmmaker Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson for Under The Tree, about a man forced to move
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Under The Tree’: There’s Familial Dysfunction, Trauma, Grief And Hostile Neighbors [Review]

Sorrow, grief and tragedy underpin deep-seated trauma in Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s snowballing dark comedy “Under The Tree.” Like an extravagant oak casting an overwhelming shade, distress and dissension brood over the lives of two neighboring families. With trivial apprehension uprooting suburban comfort, Sigurðsson’s latest proves that regardless of our individual aches and pains, grief-stricken irrationality poses tremendous and even horrifying consequences.

Iceland’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film this past year, “Under The Tree” operates between two plotlines divulging into preventable animosity and misunderstanding—one between neighbors, and the other between a couple who separate over the husband’s suspected affair.

Continue reading ‘Under The Tree’: There’s Familial Dysfunction, Trauma, Grief And Hostile Neighbors [Review] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘Sorry To Bother You,’ Annapurna Says; ‘Whitney’ Docu Takes The Stage: Specialty Box Office Preview

  • Deadline
‘Sorry To Bother You,’ Annapurna Says; ‘Whitney’ Docu Takes The Stage: Specialty Box Office Preview
Sundance debut Sorry to Bother You opens in seven markets this weekend via Annapurna, which picked up the title out of the festival. Written and directed by Boots Riley, the genre-bending fantasy-sic-fi stars Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. Cannes 2018 doc Whitney will go out in well several hundred locations, hoping to tap the momentum of docs Rbg, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Three Identical Strangers, which have had robust theatrical runs this spring/summer. Time will tell whether the Whitney Houston pic can replicate the success of the 2015 Amy Winehouse doc Amy, which also spotlighted a musical sensation who died way too soon. That A24 release took in more than $8.4M and an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. And Breaking Glass Pictures is opening Daniel Peddle’s adventure-drama Moss in two New York and L.A. locations ahead of an on-demand release July 10.

Other limited rollouts this weekend
See full article at Deadline »

Review: Under The Tree, Where a Feud Begins

On the heels of Winter Brothers, a dramedy about alienation, brotherhood and "being loved and fucked" (read the review), comes yet another Icelandic dramedy, Under the Tree. Compared to the artist Hlynur Pálmason behind Winter Brothers, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson has already made two feature-length films whilst his debut, Either Way, scored a second-life when David Gordon Green tried his hand at it, eventually turning it into Prince Avalanche (read the review). Sigurdsson's recurring theme of people in crisis transposes unto his third oeuvre, although he opted for a bigger ensemble this time. The writer-director juggles two storylines. He opens Under the Tree rather swiftly in a brisk sequence of a couple in a bed, porn being watched, an offended wife and a man being kicked...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Review: ‘Under the Tree’ is a Darkly Absurd Comedy of Errors

If humans weren’t always the pettiest creatures on Earth, we’ve definitely earned the title this past century. Just think about how often you find yourself asking the question, “Let’s see what they’ll do about this?” I don’t mean hypothetically either. I’m talking about truly contemplating your next smugly biting (until an inevitable escalation leads you towards unforgivably heinous) act of vengeance to counter whatever your latest opponent in life has delivered. Eventually we forget how our duel began because our desperation to achieve a win proves too powerful to accept anything else. I’m sure this mindset has been exacerbated by newfound convenience through technology because things that used to occupy our time have been streamlined or replaced. The resulting boredom ignites an unquenchable desire for triumphant satisfaction.

What’s worse is that our opponents very often become people we cannot avoid. Our own
See full article at The Film Stage »

Bitter Feud Between Neighbors Leads To Disgusting Exchange In New Clip From Dark Comedy ‘Under The Tree’

There are a lot of people that can relate to the situations presented in the Icelandic dark comedy film, “Under the Tree.” The film, which was shown at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, follows a couple who is absolutely sick of their next-door neighbors after said neighbors complain about a tree in their backyard. According to the neighbors, the couple’s tree casts a large shadow over their sundeck and they would like it to be cut down.

Continue reading Bitter Feud Between Neighbors Leads To Disgusting Exchange In New Clip From Dark Comedy ‘Under The Tree’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Official Us Trailer for Dark Comedy Film 'Under the Tree' from Iceland

"Who does a thing like this?" Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official Us trailer for the indie dark comedy Under the Tree, one of the few films from Iceland made every year. The film premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last year, and played at a number of other fests. It will be released in Us theaters this July. When Baldwin and Inga's next door neighbours complain that a tree in their backyard casts a shadow over their sundeck, what starts off as a typical spat between neighbours in the suburbs unexpectedly and violently spirals out of control. The film stars Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Þorsteinn Bachmann, and Selma Björnsdóttir. I watched this and it's such a depressing film, despite good intentions. It's very well made but just too sad by the end. Take a look below. Here's the official Us trailer (+ poster) for Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Berlin-Based One Two Films Unveils International Slate (Exclusive)

Berlin-based One Two Films, co-producer of such recent high-profile works as Jennifer Fox’s “The Tale” and Isabel Coixet’s “The Bookshop,” is set to follow its winning run with a slew of upcoming German and international productions.

One Two Films’ Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy are partnering with Canadian writer-producer Mike MacMillan on two English-language films currently in development. “I Will Not Go Quietly” centers on a distant but desperate father who travels from Toronto to Switzerland to reach his ill daughter; the film is penned by MacMillan and Darragh McDonald. “Nightlife” is a comedy set in Berlin.

In addition, the company is co-producing Icelandic director Grimur Hakonarson’s recently wrapped “The County.” The film, which follows his 2015 Cannes Un Certain Regard award winner “Rams,” is a co-production by Iceland, Denmark, Germany, and France.

Wenske and Bondy — selected by Variety for its 2018 10 Producers to Watch list — are re-teaming with
See full article at Variety »

'Under The Tree' wins big at Iceland's Edda Awards

'Under The Tree' wins big at Iceland's Edda Awards
Iceland-Poland-Denmark-Germany co-pro picks up seven awards including best film and best director.

Under The Tree was the big winner at Iceland’s Edda Awards on Sunday.

The film won seven awards: best film, best director (Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson), best actress (Edda Björgvinsdóttir), best actor (Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson), supporting actor (Sigurður Sigurjónsson), best original screenplay (Huldar Breiðfjörð and Sigurðsson) and best special effects (The Gentlemen Broncos).

Baldvin Z won best documentary for Beyond Strength, about an Icelandic strongman, while Best Short Film went to Atelier by Elsa María Jakobsdóttir.

Best Children’s programme went to Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir’s Summer Children, which premiered in Tallinn Black Nights.

On the TV side, Ragnar Bragason’s Ruv series Prisoners won 10 prizes.

Under The Tree, an Iceland-Poland-Denmark-Germany co-production, premiered in Venice Orizzonti before going to Toronto; the film went on to win awards in the Hamptons, Zurich and Fantastic Fest, among others. The dark comedy/tragedy was Iceland’s submission for the foreign-language
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Full Line-up Announced for 41st Annual Portland International Film Festival

Earlier today the folks at the Northwest Film Center announced the full line-up for this year’s Portland International Film Festival, and have published a Pdf for all to read online. The printed copies will be making their way around town this week.

The Northwest Film Center is proud to reveal the 41st Portland International Film Festival (Piff 41) lineup. This year’s Festival begins on Thursday, February 15th and runs through Thursday, March 1st. Our Opening Night selection is the new comedy The Death of Stalin from writer/director Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop). The film, adapted from the graphic novel by Fabien Nury, stars Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs, and Michael Palin. The Death of Stalin will screen simultaneously on Opening Night at the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum (1219 Sw Park Ave) and on two screens at Regal Fox Tower 10 (846 Sw Park Ave).

Check
See full article at CriterionCast »
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