We Present Fridrik Thor Fridriksson

This extensive selection of his work will include his first endeavours as a student as well as his latest pictures – world-renowned films, but also those which Slovak viewers have never had the chance to see. Visitors will be able to watch the director’s first film, the fourteen-minute experiment Nomina Sunt Odiosa, which was screened at a school anniversary in 1975. And we surely won’t leave out The Saga of Burnt Njal (1980), a short, controversial film based on Iceland’s most important legend. It also has an interesting history: at its premiere, the audience expected a historical epic, but Fridriksson treated his subject in a distinctly non-traditional manner, and the screening ended up a fiasco, forcing the director to leave Reykjavik for a time. But he did so with money for his next film in hand.

Fridriksson captured the beginnings of Iceland’s rock scene in the 1980s, including a fourteen-year-old Björk in her band Tappi Tíkarrass, in the documentary Rock in Reykjavik (1982), which became an intriguing statement on the contemporaneous music scene and society. Thanks to this film, Reykjavik earned the title of the city with the most music groups per capita. Fridriksson’s first feature film, White Whales (1987), was bestowed a Special Mention Award from the jury at Locarno. It focuses on whalers and whales who end up as outsiders in their natural habitats. This was followed by the singular road movie Children of Nature (1991), a sensitive tale of ageing and dying which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film and brought Fridriksson international critical acclaim. Art Film Fest will also present the director’s autobiographical memoirs in Movie Days (1994), nominated for Locarno’s Gold Leopard, Devil’s Island (1996), recipient of the FIPRESCI Prize at Karlovy Vary and On Top Down Under (2000), one part from a televised series of erotic tales which featured other reputable directors such as Mika Kaurismäki and Petr Zelenka. In addition, the festival will feature one of the Fridriksson’s latest works, the documentary The Sunshine Boy (2009), which captivatingly investigates the world of autistic children and ways to help and understand them.

In his films, Fridriksson sensitively joins his ironic sense of humour to a genuine concern for the fates of his protagonists, and he tells their stories with his own incomparable visual style. In the section Iceland According to Fridriksson, Art Film Fest will present a total of thirteen films from this distinguished Icelandic director.

Photographs can be found at artfilmfest.sk in the Press section. The Art Film Fest International Film Festival Trenčianske Teplice/Trenčín is made possible through the financial support of the Audiovisual Fund and the European Union Programme MEDIA. Organizers: ART FILM, n.o., Forza, a.s. Co-organizers: the Town of Trenčianske Teplice, the City of Trenčín, the Trenčianske Teplice Health Spa
General Sponsors: Dôvera Medical Insurance, AquaCity Poprad Main Sponsors: Tatra banka, Slovnaft, Veolia Voda – Central Slovakian Waterworks, OHL ŽS, Alison Slovakia Official Transport Provider: Lancia; Logistics Sponsor: DHL; Free student cinepasses provided by: Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa (First Housing-Construction Savings Bank); Sponsor of the Slovak Season section: Zlatý Bažant Sponsor: AVI Studio; Baske Guest House; Official Suppliers: HUBERT J.E., GS design, Philips Media Sponsors: Slovenská televízia, televízia Markíza, FilmBox, CSTV, Central Europe Television, Rádio Europa 2, Rádio Hit FM, Pravda, .týždeň, Markíza, Pardon, Cinemax, Kam do mesta, zoznam.sk, Boomerang Media, SITA, euroAWK