Seasoned actor TinnaHrafnsdóttir (“The Minister,” “The Valhalla Murders”) has joined Icelandic counterparts Aníta Briem (“The Tudors”, “As Lengthy as We Reside”) and Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir (“Paris of the North”, “Fortunately By no means After”), profitable feminine actors who’ve made with panache the leap to screenwriting, sharing the excellence of a nomination for finest screenplay of a Nordic drama sequence.
Flying Iceland’s flag at this 12 months’s Nordisk Movie & TV Fond Prize, to be handed out Jan. 30 at Göteborg’s TV Drama Imaginative and prescient, Hrafnsdóttir is competing together with her six-part household drama “Descendants,” co-written by Ottó Geir Borg (“The Valhalla Murders”) and Tyrfingur Tyrfingsson (“Wild Sport”).
The TV present is her first expertise as a long-form scripted director, following her characteristic movie debut “Quake” which screened at a number of festivals and was acquired by Juno Movies for North America and the UK.
The compelling story of sibling rivalry, loyalty and greed is ready towards the backdrop of Iceland’s booming vacationer business. We comply with three siblings who find yourself at one another’s throats, competing for the legacy of a surprising summerhouse and the dad and mom’ whale watching enterprise.
Every believes they need to have an even bigger slice of what ought to be equally shared. Hrafnsdóttir performs the eldest sister, alongside Þuríður Blær Jóhannesdóttir (“The Minister”) as her brother and Vignir Rafn Valþórsson (“Blackport”) as her youthful sister. Hanna María Karlsdóttir (“Black Sands”) and Pálmi Gestsson (“Trapped”) are forged because the charismatic dad and mom.
Instantly setting the dramatic tone of the sequence is the brooding rating from Sveinn Geirsson (“Fractures,” “Trapped”) and camerawork from Konrad Widelski (“Undercover)” who within the opening credit zooms onto a wall coated by household portraits, all of the sudden going up in flames.
The pic was produced by Iceland’s Polarama, Freyja Filmworks and Tasks, in co-production with Belgium’s Lunanime, with Purple Arrow Studios Worldwide dealing with world rights outdoors Iceland (Síminn) and Benelux (Lumiere Group).
Selection talked to Hrafnsdóttir forward of the Göteborg Movie Pageant tv confab TV Drama Imaginative and prescient, working Jan. 30-31).
How and when did you give you the concept for this present, which takes us straight into Bergman territory and echoes a number of the finest household dramas-such as “Bloodline” and “Succession”?
Hrafnsdóttir: I began engaged on it in 2017, the identical 12 months I began engaged on my first characteristic “Quake”, which additionally tells a narrative a couple of dysfunctional household. My drive as a storyteller is to dive into the core of who we’re, the bonds that form us probably the most, the problems that blood or household relations could cause.“Descendants” is barely primarily based by myself expertise, though the story and the characters are solely fictitious. Some years in the past, a summerhouse my grandparents constructed burned down, a home the place I spent fairly a while with my dad and mom as s baby. This drastic occasion gave me the concept for the body of the story, to jot down about circumstances that revolve round a home. However because the story goes alongside, the viewer finds out that the body, the home and the household’s whale watching firm, solely function metaphors for one thing a lot deeper inside the household, a type of a sworn statement about their upbringing, emotions and wounds.
How was your first expertise as a showrunner?
Hrafnsdóttir: For me, serving because the creator, head-writer and director, the showrunner position was a significant one. In Iceland showrunners usually are not as frequent, so historically, the director assumes that accountability. Nevertheless, on this venture, carrying a number of hats appeared not solely sensible however important. Because the head-writer I ensured the narrative coherence between Ottó, Tyrfingur and me. Because the director, I sought to deliver that narrative to life in a method that aligned clearly with my imaginative and prescient, and being the creator, it was essential for me to take care of a holistic management over the venture. So in essence, to unify these inventive facets seamlessly, it made sense to take the position of the showrunner, however in fact it was a problem.
How was the writing course of with co-writers Ottó Geir Borg and Tyrfingur Tyrfingsson and what did they convey to the desk?
Hrafnsdóttir: They contributed considerably and I’m more than happy with their work. The journey commenced in 2017 once I approached Otto, introducing him to the idea, the household, and the narrative surrounding the inheritance challenge and the summer season home’s burning. He was and joined the venture so our collaborative writing course of started, with us dividing the episodes and revising one another’s work.
The storyline underwent quite a few twists and turns, and we launched the whale-watching firm into the narrative. Nevertheless, at a sure level, Ottó needed to step away from the venture as a result of one other dedication, leaving me alone with the writing course of. Once I sensed that the scripts have been nearly finalized however not fairly there, I reached out to Tyrfingur for the ultimate writing run-through. His mastery in satirical humor and in-depth sarcasm added a taste that I believed was essential for the venture. Because the saying goes, scripts aren’t prepared till they’re prepared, and for me, having well-developed scripts earlier than coming into the taking pictures section is completely paramount.
In what method do you’re feeling this Icelandic household saga and story of three siblings entangled in a whale watching inheritance dispute will attraction to a global viewers?
Hrafnsdóttir: The summer season home and the corporate solely act because the body of the story. It’s firstly a character-driven household drama constructed on conflicts many people can relate to. However to make it actual, the actions and choices these characters make are typically fairly ludicrous. All folks can at occasions make silly choices, however the best way the three siblings deal with the legacy scenario exposes their true nature and self-absorption, in a method that you just in all probability received’t like them in any respect. However whenever you discover out extra about their background, why they’re the best way they’re, it forces a present of understanding and sympathy for them as nicely. Folks from throughout ought to be capable to relate to what they’re going by means of, for household points are for certain worldwide.
Are you able to say just a few phrases about your character, the bold eldest sister Arndís?
Hrafnsdóttir: She is the one who took all of the accountability throughout her youth whereas her dad and mom have been occupied with their careers, conflicts or partying, a scenario sadly frequent for the eldest sibling. She embodies ambition, a cutthroat businesswoman projecting a tricky exterior. But her emotional life is in disarray, entangled with poisonous relationships that depart her feeling misplaced. The complexity of her character resonates with me, and I imagine taking over this position was the best determination.
May you develop on the tone which is altogether darkish, reflective and satirical?
Hrafnsdóttir: Household points, by their nature, might be very darkish and cynical. With this tone, we aimed to seize the assorted shades of life, its complexities, struggles, and the ironic nature of how households typically navigate by means of what they share, or are imagined to share. In essence, the tone serves as a story instrument to discover the multilayered and sometimes difficult dimensions of household life, reflecting all its vivid and reasonable colours.
As a filmmaker, what have been your visible inspirations and what have been the most important challenges throughout the shoot?
Hrafnsdóttir: I discover it crucial that my visible inspirations stem from the inherent storytelling inside the body itself. Due to this fact, I rigorously prioritize what parts are positioned in it and what intentional gaps I depart to have interaction the viewers’s creativeness. Colours play an vital position in my visible language; as an illustration, the unconventional selection of darkish partitions in the summertime home, a departure from the Icelandic norm, was essential in creating the atmospheric tone I sought. Symbols and metaphors additionally maintain vital weight in my visible storytelling. Take the massive tree in entrance of the summer season home. It turns into a silent witness to a protracted disagreement between the dad and mom, a story layer not explicitly witnessed on display screen, and the onset of autumn, symbolizing dying, contributes to the visible depth of the story.
Throughout the shoot, one of many largest challenges was translating these visible parts successfully onto the display screen. It was a fragile dance between sustaining acquainted visible norms and pushing inventive boundaries.
The present was co-produced by Belgium’s Lunanime and co-financed by Purple Arrow Studios Worldwide. When did they arrive on board and the way important have been their monetary contributions?
Hrafnsdóttir: They got here on board on the financing stage. They actually preferred the scripts and noticed world potential in it because the story not solely attracts a transparent image of two totally different generations but additionally provides a glimpse into the Icelandic touristic ‘goldrush’ which rose shortly after the banking disaster and gave our small nation of 400,000 a possibility to rise after downfall. Their monetary contribution at this early stage was very important for us in so many facets.
What are your private views on the booming tourism business which accounts for round 6% of Iceland’s GDP, and do you approve of your Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir who has turned to taxes to curtail the impression of tourism on nature?
Hrafnsdóttir:The tourism business turned a fascinating goldmine for a lot of however on the similar time it’s undeniably a actuality that calls for accountable administration. I don’t have a robust opinion on it however I believe that the Prime Minister’s strategy displays a essential stance for reserving the great thing about our landscapes and sustaining the ecological stability which is important for us. It’s all the time a fragile stability between reaping the financial advantages of tourism and making certain the preservation of a novel pure heritage.
You’re the third Icelandic feminine actor nominated for finest screenplay of a Nordic sequence after Nanna Kristín Magnusdóttir in 2020 with “Fortunately By no means After” and Anita Briem in 2023 with “As Lengthy as We Reside,” who each introduced very private tales to the screens. Is that this a specific development in Iceland, or simply one other instance of empowering feminine tales now reaching world screens?
Hrafnsdóttir: When a venture attracts inspiration from a private story it provides one other dimension to the narrative in my view. Tales written by females are usually fairly private and for them, making their method onto world screens are crucial, coming from Iceland or not. By weaving parts from actual experiences into the storyline, we contribute to the varied and highly effective illustration of girls’s narratives which is vital.
What’s subsequent for you?
Hrafnsdóttir: In my subsequent venture I’ll solely direct, which shall be a grateful change for me, however I actually discover it a privilege to be supplied to step right into a venture another person has created from the start. In March Björn Hlynur Haraldsson and I’ll direct “Vigdis,” a four-part drama-series primarily based on the inspiring true story of the primary girl on this planet to be elected president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. The present is produced by Rakel Garðarsdóttir, Ágústa Ólafsdóttir and the gifted group of Vesturport. I actually look ahead to that one.
I’m additionally growing my second characteristic, however not like my debut “Quake” the script shall be primarily based by myself authentic thought. The idea of the movie shall be introduced within the Discovery program on the Göteborg Movie Pageant which can be an excellent honor. One other sequence can be within the pipeline, so there are thrilling occasions forward for me.