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Icelandic films at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

Icelandic films at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) September 7 - 17


The coming edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is shaping up to be a big one for Icelandic films. Three films – Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir’s The Swan, Haftsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s Under the Tree, and Hlynur Pálmason’s Winter Brothers – will screen at the festival, and the Icelandic actor Sverrir Gudnason plays the lead in the Swedish biopic Borg/McEnroe, which will be the opening film at this year’s festival.



The Swan / Svanurinn – Discovery (world premiere)

Director: Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir (Iceland)


Showtimes: Sept. 9, 10, 12, 13 & 17




The Swan, writer/director Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir’s debut feature, will have its world premiere in TIFF’s competitive Discovery section. The film tells the story of a wayward nine-year-old girl who is sent to the countryside one summer to help out on a farm and mature. She soon finds herself deeply entangled in a drama she can hardly grasp. The Swan was written and directed by Hjörleifsdóttir, produced by Birgitta Björnsdóttir and Hlín Jóhannesdóttir for Vintage Pictures, and coproduced by Germany’s Junafilm and Estonia’s Kopli Kinokompanii.



Under the Tree / Undir Trénu – Contemporary World Cinema

Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson (Iceland)


Showtimes: Sept. 10, 11 & 13



Under the Tree, writer/director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s third feature, which just had its world premiere in the Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti, will screen in TIFF’s Contemporary World Cinema section. The film is about a conflict that develops between neighbours over a large, beautiful tree that straddles their backyards. As the conflict intensifies, so do the stakes for each of the neighbours. Under the Tree was directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson and written by Sigurdsson and Huldar Breidfjörd. It was produced by Grímar Jónsson, Sindri Páll Kjartansson and Thor Sigurjonsson for Netop Films and co-produced by Poland’s Madants, Denmark’s Profile Pictures, and Germany’s One Two Films. 


Winter Brothers  – Discovery (world premiere)

Director: Hlynur Pálmason (Iceland)


Showtimes: Sept. 9, 11, & 13



Winter Brothers premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in early August. Like The Swan, it will screen in TIFF’s Discovery section. The film is a brother odyssey set in a worker’s environment during a cold winter. It concerns two brothers – their routines, habits, and rituals – and a violent feud that erupts between them and another family. Winter Brothers, a Danish/Icelandic co-production, was written and directed by Hlynur Pálmason. It was produced by Denmark’s Masterplan Pictures and coproduced by Anton Máni Svansson for the Icelandic company Join Motion Pictures. 



Sverrir Gudnason stars in TIFF 2017 opening film BORG/MCENROE




The Icelandic actor Sverrir Gudnason plays the role of Björn Borg, up against Shia LaBeouf’s John McEnroe, in the Swedish biopic Borg/McEnroe, TIFF’s opening film. Gudnason, who is based in Sweden, has won many awards in recent years for his roles in the films Original, Monica Z, and Blowfly Park.


Find out more about upcoming Icelandic films



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