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Dir. Maximilian Hult with actors (sitting from left) Jóel I Sæmundsson, Þóra Karítas Árnadóttir and Björn Thórs. Photo: Sigga Ella, Copyright: LittleBig Productions.

SWEDISH DIRECTOR MAXIMILIAN HULT DIRECTS FEATURE WITH AN ALL-ICELANDIC CAST.

Maximilian Hult, director of award-winning feature HEMMA, now makes a romantic drama comedy Pity the Lovers, set in Iceland with an all Icelandic cast. The film, produced by Swedish LittleBig Productions, is currently in shooting on location in Reykjavík. Besides directing, Maximilian Hult also wrote the screenplay and original story about the somewhat dysfunctional brothers, their longing for love and their everyday struggles towards a balanced life.

Boasting some of Iceland's finest actors Pity the Lovers started principal photography in Iceland on the 24th of August and is planned for release in 2018. The film is shot in the Icelandic language and the main roles are held by Björn Thórs, Jóel I Sæmundsson, Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir, Sigurður Karlsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Þóra Karítas Árnadóttir and  Hafdís Helga Helgadóttir.
Producer Anna G Magnúsdóttir says “The film was originally planned for production in Sweden but faced with the prospect of postponing the production for a whole year, waiting for the last bit of financing in Sweden, we opted for going to Iceland and bridge the financial gap with the 25% reimbursement for filming in Iceland.”

This is not the first time Hult directs a film in Iceland. His first film HEMMA, although set in Sweden was also shot in Iceland with Swedish cast. Director Hult says “I have to admit to a certain nervousness regarding directing Icelandic actors in a language I do not speak myself. But that concern disappeared as soon as the main cast was in place and we started working.”

Producer Anders Granström said “We're thrilled to be back in Iceland working with a highly professional, near all Icelandic production crew and all Icelandic cast.  It´s amazing to watch the project come to life through a combination of Maximilian´s directorial skills, the talented actor performances, a creative and professional contribution from the crew and, not to forget, the exceptional locations. It’s also wonderful to be able to in this way contribute to and further strengthen the ties between Swedish and Icelandic filmmaking.

Synopsis
Brothers Óskar (Björn Thórs)) and Maggi (Jóel Sæmundsson) are easy going but both have a hard time with close relationships, a problem they deal with in different ways. Óskar tries to stay clear of emotional ties while Maggi jumps into a series of short-lived relationships. Their absentminded father (Sigurður Karlsson) has similar problems but has miraculously managed to hold on to his relationship with Guðrún (Edda Björgvinsdóttir) whom he met after his first wife, the mother of his sons, died when the boys were young.
The veterinary Anna (Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir) is facing a life-changing decision, unwittingly influenced by Óskar. The young wanna-be artist Ingibjörg (Hafdís Helga Helgadóttir) tries to become a grown-up as fast as she can and the 13-year-old friends Danni T and Danni M plod on with their daily lives, which increasingly take place in Óskar’s house.

With Pity the Lovers, producers Anna G Magnúsdóttir and Anders Granström of Stockholm based LittleBig Productions AB join forces again with Icelandic producers, Guðrún Edda Þórhannesdóttir and Friðrik Þór Friðriksson of Spellbound Productions ehf, Reykjavík, repeating a successful cooperation on director Hult´s acclaimed first feature, award-winning romantic drama HEMMA (2013).
Distribution in Iceland is done by Sena ehf while International Sales & Distribution is taken care of by Swedish Green Lighting Studio AB.

About the Actors:
Björn Thors plays ÓSKAR the slightly depressed main character doing his best to avoid complicated relationships. He is known for Paris of the North (2014), The Deep (2012) and Þetta Reddast (2013).

Jóel Sæmundsson plays Óskar´s younger brother MAGGI, who on the other hand, unlike his brother, is an eager candidate for complicated relationships. Sæmundsson is known for Borgríki 2 (2014), Life in a Fishbowl (2014) and Astrópía (2007).

Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir plays veterinarian ANNA, Óskar´s childhood sweetheart who´s life he unintentionally does complicate somewhat. Ásgerisdóttir is known for Pressa (2007), Cold Light (2004).

Sigurður Karlsson plays ÁRNI, Óskar and Maggi´s absentminded father, a dedicated repairman more adept at dismanteling things than putting them together. Karlsson is known for Virgin Mountain (2015) Trapped (2015-16) Fangar (2017).

Edda Björgvinsdóttir plays GUÐRÚN, Árni´s caring second wife, who maybe took on a heavier burden than she expected marrying him. Björgvinsdóttir is known for Under the Tree (2017), Stella í orlofi (1986) and The Raven Flies (1984).

Hafdís Helga Helgadóttir plays INGIBJÖRG, a young wannabe artist in a big rush to grow up and become somebody. Helgadóttir is known for In Front of Others (2016), XL (2013) and Íslenski draumurinn (2000).

About the film HEMMA
Swedish/Icelandic Romantic Drama HEMMA (Home) by Maximilian Hult, received fine reviews and was awarded The South Korean 2013 Busan Audience Bank Award as Best Film, was Opening Film at Mannheim Heidelberg and awarded the Ecumenical Award as Best Film. The film was awarded the Grand Prix as Best Film in Febio Fest Prague, young Erik Lundqvist was awarded as Best Male Actor at Peace & Love Film Festival Sweden and actress Anita Wall won the Guldbaggen 2015 for Best Female Supporting Role. Icelandic Film Awards EDDAN 2015 also nominated Maximilian Hult as Best Director, as well as Valdís Óskarsdóttir and Sigurður Eyþórsson for Best Editing.

HEMMA was shot in Iceland in the summer of 2012, with support from the Icelandic Film Centre and The Ministry of Industry. The film is produced by Swedish Producers Anna G Magnúsdóttir & Anders Granström and co-produced by Icelandic Guðrún Edda Þórhannesdóttir & Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. The Film was released in cinemas in Sweden and Iceland and has been sold to various territories in Europe and Asia.

Contact:
Anna G Magnúsdóttir, anna@littlebig.se
0046 70 261 6465 / 00354 779 1656
LittleBig Productions AB, www.littlebig.se

Actress Anita Wall was Awarded a Guldbagge for her role as Frida Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Maximilian Hult's international award winning feature Home / Hemma.

Anita Wall as Frida and Lars Lind as her husband Yngve.

Anita Wall as Frida and Lars Lind as her husband Yngve.

The Guldbagge Awards ceremony was held 26 January 2015 at Cirkus in Stockholm and broadcasted live by Swedish Television (SVT).

"Awarded annually since 1964, the Guldbagge ("Golden Beetle") is the name of the Swedish Film Institute's award for achievements during the previous year. The award itself, in the form of a flower chafer beetle, was designed by the artist Karl Axel Pehrson." - Swedish Film Institute

Maximilian Hults romantic drama HEMMA (Home) will be released in Icelandic cinemas Friday the 24th of October 2014. The film was shot in Iceland the summer och 2012 with support from the Icelandic Film Centre and Ministry of Industry and with a large Icelandic participation both in front of and behind the camera. So it's a pleasant reunion that takes in Iceland Friday the 24th of Oct.

Hemma premiererd Internationally at Busan International Film Festival, where it competed and won the  Busan Bank Audience Award, as best international film. Form then on it took part and competed at various other international film festivals with good results.  Hemma was released in Swedish cinemas on July 11th 2014 in 23 cities and 27 screens and was very well received by both critics and audiences.

Långfilmen Hemma av Maximilian Hult släpps på bio på Island fredagen den 24 oktober. Filmen spelades in på Island sommaren 2012 med stöd från det Isländska filmcentrat och med många isländska medverkande både bakom och framför kameran. Det blir ett kärt återseende i Reykjavik fredagen den 24 oktober.

Hemma hade internationell premiär i Busan International Film Festival, Asiens största och viktigaste festival för asiatisk och internationell film och kammade där hem priset, Busan Bank Audience Award,  som bästa internationella film. Flera internationella festivaler och flera priser har följt i kölvattnet och den 11 juli hade filmen biografpremiär i Sverige. Den gick upp i 23 städer och 27 dukar och fick ett mycket positivt bemötande hos press och publik.

Feature HEMMA will be released on DVD & VOD in Sweden November 19th - make sure to get a copy of this touching and feel-good Rromantic drama.

HEMMA takes part in New Perspectives at the International Film Festival in Edinburgh 18th - 29th of June 2014!

Established in 1947, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema. Intimate in its scale, ambitious in its scope, and fuelled by pure passion for cinema in all its manifestations, EIFF seeks to spotlight the  most exciting and innovative new international film talent.

Powered by VHX LittleBig Productions have now started sales of some of their films directly from the company website and Facebook! First out are feature GRINGA by Cesar Galindo and documentaries SÁMI NIEIDA JOJK  (Sami Daughter Yoik) and KIRUNA - RYMDVÄGEN (Kiruna - Space Road) by Liselotte Wajstedt.

Other titles will follow, stay tuned! Take a look!

Hemma (Home) has been selected for Tridens Competition at PÖFF, Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn 15th Nov - 1st Dec 2013.

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Tridens Baltic competition is a programme covering debut films from the entire Baltic and Nordic region. This year there are 12 films from 11 countries competing.

About the Festival
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is a unique event combining a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films. The festival aims to present Estonian audiences a comprehensive selection of world cinema in all its diversity, providing a friendly atmosphere for interaction between the audience and filmmakers from all around the world.

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[av_two_third first av_uid='av-5cok0z']Maximilian Hult's first feature premieres, and competes for the Bank of Busan Audience Prize, in the Flash Forward category  at Busan International Film Festival in South Korea 3-12 oct 2013. Producer Anna G Magnusdóttir and director Maximilian Hult represent the film i Busan.[/av_two_third]

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