Rúnar Rúnarsson to shoot drama in Iceland’s fjords

Renowned Icelandic screenwriter and director Rúnar Rúnarsson is to begin filming his second feature in his homeland in July.

The new movie, Sparrows, will take six weeks to shoot – starting in the capital, Reykjavík, and then being filmed mainly around the western fjords of Bolungarvík, Isafjörður and Flateyri.

The plot follows Ari, 16, who lives in Reykjavik with his mother. However, when she takes up a new job in Africa, he has to return to the small town he grew up in. Back in familiar surroundings, he finds his father has been struggling to cope with the financial crisis and that an old female friend is in a problematic romantic relationship. The boy soon becomes a man as he tries to help those closest to him deal with their problems.

Rúnar, who also directed the 2011 film Volcano, said that he has always had the urge to write movies about his life and the people he knows and loves. He explained that he finds it important to work on a subject he knows about by writing a story using first and second hand experiences, adding that he then uses the real life core and mixes and alters it with fiction.

He went on to say that the Westfjords and their surroundings are beautiful, but full of “worn towns” fighting to survive, pointing out that this was the case even prior to the financial crisis. He described the region as a “magical and thematically poignant place to portray a story change”, adding that he considered it his second home.

Producer Mikkel Jersin said the story was a “coming of age” for a boy who has to reinvent himself, noting that Rúnar enjoyed writing about crossroads in life.