After eight years of feature silence, Icelandic director Ágúst Gudmundsson (photo), who directed the first modern Icelandic feature, Land and Sons (1980), is back behind the camera, shooting Spooks and Spirits, a black comedy that started principal photography last month (October 16) on locations in Reykjavik.
Produced by Gudmundsson, Anna Katrín Gudmundsdóttir and Andy Paterson for Ísfilm, the €850,000 production supported by the Icelandic Film Centre will be simultaneously edited and ready for domestic release next spring.
Scripted by Gudmundsson, Spooks and Spirits suggests that "living with your parents can be trying, especially when they are dead", following Anna and her boyfriend trying to sell the house she has recently inherited from her late father. His ghost, however, makes it perfectly clear it cannot be sold, and chases away the buyers.
Starring Gísli Orn Gardarsson, Ilmur Kristjansdottir, Thorhallur Sigurdsson, Elfa Osk Olafsdóttir and Vignir Rafn Valthorsson, Gudmundsson's eighth feature is lensed by Bergsteinn Bjorgulfsson. Frank Hall has supplied the musical score.
Earlier this year Gudmundsson, whose latest feature was Ahead of Time - and who has directed a documentary on Icelandic Cinema - introduced and screened Land and Sons in New York's Lincoln Center, spearheading a program of 18 Icelandic titles, which have contributed to putting the island on the cinematic map.
Spooks and Spirits will be one of at least three Icelandic feature premieres next year, as both Benedikt Erlingsson's Horses and Ragnar Bragason's Metal Head are currently being made, and Dagur Kári's Rocket Man, produced by Baltasar Kormákur's BlueEyes Productions, will go before the cameras in January.
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