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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Iceland

Marteinn Thorsson’s Backyard Village ready for release

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- The Icelandic director’s fourth feature follows a woman reluctant to return to the city she lives in and taking lodgings in a small guesthouse

Marteinn Thorsson’s Backyard Village ready for release
Laufey Elíasdóttir and Tim Plester in Backyard Village

Marteinn Thorsson’s fourth feature, a drama entitled Backyard Village [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, is now ready for release. The Icelandic director’s previous credits include his debut feature One Point O (2004, nominee for Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize), Stormland [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2011) and Karlovy Vary award winner XL [+see also:
film review
interview: Marteinn Thorsson and Ólafu…
film profile
]
(2013).

The story of Backyard Village, penned by Guðmundur Óskarsson (here also serving as producer), revolves around a 40-year-old woman called Brynja (played by Laufey Elíasdóttir) who, after spending some time in a health spa in a small town, cannot bring herself to cross the heath separating her from the city she lives in, unwilling to meet her mother who has just returned to Iceland after leaving the family 35 years earlier. Brynja takes lodgings in a small guesthouse called Backyard Village, where she meets Mark (British actor Tim Plester), a 50-year-old Englishman who has been staying there for a couple of months while coming to terms with his own personal tragedy. The vulnerable pair share their feelings and come to form an unbreakable bond that will help them move on with their lives.

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The project’s technical crew includes director of photography Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson (Of Horses and Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benedikt Erlingsson
film profile
]
, Woman at War [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benedikt Erlingsson
interview: Benedikt Erlingsson
film profile
]
) and composer Jófríður Ákadóttir (Agnes Joy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

Backyard Village was produced by Guðmundur Óskarsson and Marteinn Thorsson for Hveragerði-based outfit Tenderlee and the Icelandic Academy of Storytelling. The project also received backing from Siminn TV, the South Iceland Development Fund and the Icelandic Film Centre. Its domestic distribution is currently being handled by Siminn TV for SVOD platforms and Sena Distribution for its theatrical release. The film will be released in Icelandic cinemas on 26 March 2021.

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