Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur's latest local feature The Deep, which had its world premiere at the recent Toronto International Film Festival (September 7), will be Iceland's official candidate for the 2013 Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Feature.
The drama, which was domestically released last week (September 21), depicts the Westman incident: "An iconic moment in the country's history, which everyone over 35 remembers," when on a cold night in March 1984 a fishing boat sank with its entire crew a few miles off the South Coast of Iceland.
One man, Guðlaugur Friðþjófsson (in the film played by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), miraculously survived the shipwreck to become a national hero in Iceland as well as an inexplicable scientific phenomenon due to his superhuman accomplishment.
Produced by Kormákur and Agnes Johansen, for Blueeyes Productions, with Egil Ødegaard of Norway's Filmhuset, has been sold to Scandinavia, the UK and France, while the US, Japan and Australia are being negotiated by international sales agent, France's Bac Films.
Meanwhile Kormákur has gone to Los Angeles to finish his new US feature, 2 Guns, a Mark Wahlberg-Denzel Washington crime-actioner about a DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer set up by the mob. He also worked with Wahlberg in his latest American outing, Contraband (2012).
Iceland has twice won an Oscar nomination – in 1992 for Best Foreign-Language Feature (Friðrik Þór Friðriksson's Children of Nature) and in 2006 for Best Live Action Short (Rúnar Rúnarsson's The Last Farm). In 2001, Icelandic writer Sjón was nominated for his lyrics in Danish director Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark.
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