EXCLUSIVE: Iceland’s Ljosband producing with UK’s F&ME.

Oscar nominee Fridrik Thor Fridriksson is gearing up for the Reykjavik shoot of Staying Alive, his first feature since festival hit Mamma Gogo. The film is budgeted at €1.5m.

Bardi Gudmundsson (Mother Knows Best) wrote the script about Magdalena, 43-year-old spinster obsessed with funerals, who reunites with her long-lost first love, Greta.

The director says: “When I read Bardi Gudmundsson’s script I felt as if though it was tailored for me, or at least by someone with the same keen sense of fashion as I, as funerals are at the very heart of the story.  Yet the script also appeals to me because it presents a world of bluecollar women and a gay subculture that is quite alien to myself (though gay people have to fight for their basic rights, and are outsiders like most of my characters). I envision this film as an ode to, and vehicle for, the multitude of excellent actresses who have hit middle age at the very peak of their professional and artistic abilities. “

Fridriksson adds: “This is a comedy, like all of my films, albeit without the guffaws, aiming rather for a steady and mounting inner laughter, permeating the tragedy.” 

Anna Maria Karlsdottir and Hronn Kristinsdottir of Iceland’s Ljósband are producing with F&ME as the UK co-producer.

The production is looking for another European co-producer and an international sales company.

Via F&ME’s deal with Molinare, the film will do post in London. F&ME previously worked in Iceland on features such as Falcons, Cold Light, Our Own Oslo and Niceland.

“It’s great to be back working in Iceland,” says F&ME MD Mike Downey. “We have a long history of collaboration on high quality award winning films as well as having brought our own Guy X starring Jason Biggs, to shoot in Iceland. That film was also supported by the Icelandic Film Centre and a collaboration with Karlsdottir once more.”