Denmark & Iceland Honoured At Sundance

After 10 days and 123 feature films, the 2018 Sundance Film Festival drew to a close on Saturday, awarding Denmark’s The Guilty (Den skyldige) and Iceland’s And Breathe Normally (Andið eðlilega) major honours at the closing ceremony.

The World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award was presented to The Guilty, directed by Gustav Möller and co-written with Emil Nygaard Albertsen, which unfolds as a crime thriller taking place in real time in a local emergency call centre.

Gustav Möller, said: “This was our first film and I didn’t think anyone would see this film when we started out. Thank you to Sundance… The idea of the film is it would be created by the audience. If you haven’t seen the film this doesn’t make sense at all. It’s very special to get this award.”

Meanwhile, the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award was presented to Ísold Uggadóttir for And Breathe Normally, which she both wrote and directed, set at the edge of Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula where two women’s lives intersect for a brief moment while trapped in unforeseen circumstances.

Ísold Uggadóttir said: “I never would imagine I’d win best director at Sundance. It’s kind of crazy actually. I wasn’t nervous earlier. Pardon me if I say nothing of Sundance. Thank you Sundance for having me and introducing me to all these filmmakers. The first evening I was here I was in awe of being around this talent. I have to share this with my cast…”

When police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) is demoted to desk work, he expects a sleepy beat as an emergency dispatcher. That all changes when he answers a panicked phone call from a kidnapped woman who then disconnects abruptly.

Asger, confined to the police station, is forced to use others as his eyes and ears as the severity of the crime slowly becomes more clear. The search to find the missing woman and her assailant will take every bit of his intuition and skill, as a ticking clock and his own personal demons conspire against him.

On Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland, Lara trains as a border patrol officer at the Keflavík airport. One day on the job, Lara spots a suspicious passport, resulting in Adja, a female refugee from Guinea-Bissau, being detained.

Days go by as Adja is held in a state of limbo, and the two women’s paths continue to cross in the small town. Despite resentment and cultural differences, the women find a unique bond that rests on a moment when Lara is faced with a crucial decision.