Country Focus: Iceland
Caoz making CGI versions of two Icelandic sagas
by Annika Pham
13/03/2009 - Caoz, the only digital and animation studio in Iceland, has two major projects in the making, both inspired by ancient Icelandic sagas. The most ambitious, Thor: The Edda Chronicles, is co-produced by the partners of Niko and the Way to the Stars [trailer], Germany’s Ulysses GmbH and Ireland’s Magma Productions.
Thor will be Iceland’s biggest ever fully animated feature film and the first feature-length CGI-animated film for Caoz. The €7.5m project will be directed by Oskar Jonasson (Reykjavik Rotterdam [trailer]) and co-directed by Gunnar Karlsson (Anna and the Moods).
Hilmar Sigurdsson, the company’s managing director and producer of Thor with Arnar Thorisson, told Cineuropa that the project has been “in development for 800 years”, since the first “draft” of the story was written in 1220 by Icelandic historian and poet Snorri Sturluson in his Edda manuscript. Inspired by and partly based on Edda, Thor will provide “a new angle on Nordic mythology”, says Sigurdsson. Based on a script by Fridrik Erlingsson, it tells the story of how Thor, a blacksmith living in the world of Men, becomes a super heroic god of common people and the protector of Asgard, the City of the Gods.
The co-production has received support from the Icelandic Film Centre, the MEDIA Programme and Nordisk Film & TV Fond, among others. Telepool is handling world sales. The film will go into production in April and the delivery date is set for 2011.
Caoz is also involved as minority co-producer on Egill, a €2.8m film produced by Hungary’s Lichtof Productions with Poland’s Semafor. The project, which will use a mixed CGI technique, focuses on the life of the great Icelandic poet from the 10th century, who was famous for his violent behaviour and poetic talent. The project was selected at the last Cartoon Movie event in Lyon.