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PRODUCTION Iceland

Rúnarsson making “volcanic” feature debut with Zik Zak

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Zik Zak Filmworks, behind Rúnar Rúnarsson’s 2006 Oscar-nominated short film The Last Farm, is currently filming the director’s feature debut, Volcano.

Written by Rúnarsson, Volcano is the story of a grumpy, 67-year-old man (Theódór Júlíusson) who gradually learns to reach out to those he loves.

For his feature debut, Rúnarsson has teamed up with his friends from the Danish Film School who worked on his previous short films, including cinematographer Sophia Olsson and editor Jacob Schulsinger. Zik Zak, which has worked with Rúnarsson for the last decade, is spearheading the project in co-production with Denmark’s Fine & Mellow.

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The film, budgeted at just over €1m, received support from the Icelandic Film Centre, the Danish Film Institute’s New Danish Screen and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Delivery is set for May 2011.

Another Zik Zak production opened on Icelandic screens a week ago, through Sena Distribution: the thriller Undercurrent by Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson, nominated at the European Film Awards 2006 for his feature debut Thicker than Water [+see also:
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The film was co-written with Otto Geir Borg, in collaboration with the actors from the established Vesterpurt theatre group. One of the film’s producers, Thór S. Sigurjónsson, describes it as the “first Icelandic fishing drama actually set on a fishing vessel”.

The next Zik Zak production to hit Icelandic screens around Christmas is Hullabaloo by Gunnar Björn Gudmunsson (Astropia), a youth film set in the late 1970s.

Sigurjónsson, who produced Dagur Kári’s English-language film The Good Heart [+see also:
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with Zik Zak founding partner Skuli Malmquist, said he is currently negotiating a US project with an A-list director. “We’ve been badly hit by the financial crisis, and foreign currency has more than doubled for us. But we continue to be as creative as possible and try and attract foreign partners here as we have great crews and a 20% rebate on production costs for filming in Iceland,” he added.

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