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.
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.