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AWARDS Iceland

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Prisoners and Under the Tree split this year’s Edda Awards


- Ragnar Bragason’s series and Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s film left no room for the competition, winning almost all of the Icelandic Film and Television Academy Awards

Prisoners and Under the Tree split this year’s Edda Awards
The Under the Tree team receiving one of their Edda Awards (©​Krist­inn Magnús­son)

The Icelandic Film and Television Academy presented its 19th Edda Awards at the Reykjavik Hilton on 25 February, but the ceremony had virtually only two winners. The Eddas were shared between Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s film Under the Tree [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
film profile
 and RÚV’s series Prisoners, directed by Ragnar Bragason, which bagged seven and ten Eddas, respectively, including Film and TV Drama of the Year.

Under the Tree, which premiered in Venice’s Orizzonti section last year, was the clear winner in all of the major categories. Apart from the Edda for Film of the Year, Sigurðsson also received the gongs for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (co-written with Huldar Breiðfjörð). The cast’s performances were also acknowledged by the members of the academy, as leading duo Edda Björgvinsdóttir and Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, along with Sigurður Sigurjónsson in a supporting role, all left with an Edda. In the technical categories, however, Under the Tree had to make do with only the Best Special Effects Award.

Despite its nine nominations, Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir’s coming-of-age feature debut, The Swan [+see also:
film review
interview: Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir
film profile
, which premiered at Toronto, didn’t pocket a single Edda, and nor did the multi-award-winning debut Winter Brothers [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Hlynur Pálmason
film profile
 by Hlynur Pálmason, which swept the Danish Robert Awards (see the news) and left the ceremony empty-handed. Baldvin Z, who is currently in post-production with his upcoming Let Me Fall (see the news), received the Best Documentary Edda for Beyond Strength [+see also:
film profile

Prisoners had already set a record with its 14 nods, and the prison-crime drama had racked up an excellent awards streak as well. Co-written by Bragason and Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, the TV Drama of the Year also received the Best Supporting Actress Edda for Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir and swept all the technical awards, including the Eddas for Cinematography, Production Design, Editing, Sound, Costumes and Make-up. During his speech, singer and composer Pétur Ben, who was rewarded for Best Musical Score, honoured the memory of film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who passed away recently.

Even though the neo-noir series Stella Blómkvist achieved a record viewership (see the news) and eight Edda nominations, it could not thwart Prisoners’ dominance in any category, and RÚV’s series also received the Best TV Programme Edda, which was given out after a public vote.

Here is the full list of 2018 Edda Award winners:

Film of the Year
Under the Tree [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
film profile
 – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson (Iceland/Poland/Denmark)

Best Children and Youth programme
Summer Children – Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir (Iceland/Norway)

TV Drama of the Year
Prisoners – Ragnar Bragason

Best Director

Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson – Under the Tree

Best Original Screenplay
Huldar Breiðfjörð, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson – Under the Tree

Best Leading Actress
Edda Björgvinsdóttir – Under the Tree

Best Leading Actor
Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson – Under the Tree

Best Supporting Actress
Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir – Prisoners

Best Supporting Actor
Sigurður Sigurjónsson – Under the Tree

Best Production Design
Heimir Sverrisson – Prisoners

Best Cinematography
Árni Filippusson – Prisoners

Best Costume Design
Helga Rós V Hannam – Prisoners

Best Make-up
Áslaug Dröfn Sigurðardóttir – Prisoners

Best Editing
Valdís Óskarsdóttir, Sigurður Eyþórsson, Sverrir Kristjánsson – Prisoners

Best Sound Design
Huldar Freyr Arnarson, Pétur Einarsson, Daði Georgson – Prisoners

Best Musical Score
Pétur Ben – Prisoners

Best Special Effects
The Gentlemen Broncos, Alexander Schepelern, Emil Pétursson and Snorri Freyr Hilmarsson – Under the Tree

Best Documentary
Beyond Strength – Baldvin Z

Best Short Film
Atelier – Elsa María Jakobsdóttir

TV Personality of the Year
Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson – Hæpið

Edda Honorary Award
Guðný Halldórsdóttir

Best TV Programme – Public Vote
Prisoners – Ragnar Bragason

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