Sparrows And Rams Continue to Dominate Festivals

Sparrows, Rúnar Rúnarsson’s feature, has continued its award winning run with Best Film in the 1-2 Competition at the Warsaw Film Festival. The jury awarded Sparrows the prize for its “masterfully and poetically crafted journey of an anti-hero, up to an unforgettable humanistic ending. The “1-2” in the award title refers to a film being either the first or second feature of a director.

This coming of age drama won the Golden Shell award last month for Best Film at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and tells the story of Ari, 16, who has been living in the city with his mother for the last five years. When she leaves for Africa to supervise a research project, Ari is forced to move back to his small hometown in rural Iceland to live with his father Gunnar who spends most nights drinking.

Meanwhile Grímur Hákonarson’s Rams has added Zurich’s Golden Eye trophy for Best International Feature Film to its line-up of prizes and continues Iceland’s dominance of festivals this year. The jury stated that: “The decision had been unanimous, that all members of the jury had fallen for the film, its human aspect, depth and humor. No frame had been wasted in a wonderful film.” Iceland’s entry for the 88th Academy Awards, won the HIFF Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Hamptons International Film Festival last week.

Rams tells the story of brothers Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) who live side-by-side but have not spoken in forty years. Stubborn and competitive, they only communicate via handwritten notes delivered by their loyal sheepdog Somi. When a deadly virus threatens their prize-winning sheep and livelihood, they are forced to come together to save their unique family breed, and themselves, from extinction.