Hjartasteinn

Iceland, Denmark 2017

Synopsis

A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it's time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

Directors Statement

Heartstone is a personal story based on my experience growing up in a small fishing village. The core of the film is a strong, beautiful friendship between two boys, and how their environment and inner conflict drive them apart, before the bond they share manages to reunite them again.

A few years ago, at the time I was searching for a story to write, I had a dream about my childhood friend who took his own life as a teenager. In this dream he showed me around our old village, and as we arrived at his childhood home, he smiled and gave me a map of the village. After this we ran off and played with the other kids. When I woke up, I knew I wanted to write a story inspired from this time. The village was an environment full of contrasts, where the sun shines without rest during the summer and barely rises at all in winter. A place where the same things you love and give you freedom also tie you down. A place where young kids come to know animals and discover how nature and people can be both amazingly beautiful and incredibly cruel.

I wanted to reflect on this period which I feel very strongly about. As a kid and a teenager, I used to wish that I could show the grown-ups around me how our world really was. And that's what I want to do as a filmmaker; because the years of our youth reflect our lives in a very clear, beautiful, and often harsh manner. I seek inspiration from nature, from the strong feelings that come to you in the mountains, by the sea and when walking over untouched ground, and the ways those feelings relate to our inner emotions. I believe Heartstone is a story that carries an important message for everyone, especially youth. A story of brotherhood, self-acceptance, strong girls and the importance of family.

Biography

Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson (born 1982, Iceland) graduated from the Icelandic Art Academy. After graduation he moved to Denmark and studied screenwriting. His short films have been selected for more than 200 festivals and won over 50 international awards. Among these accolades are a Special Mention for WHALE VALLEY (2013) in the Official Competition of the Cannes Film Festival and a nomination for the European Film Awards. Gudmundsson developed and wrote his first feature film HEARTSTONE during a Cannes Cinéfondation Residency. While in development, HEARTSTONE also received an award from the Netherlands Production Platform.

Filmography:

2016 HEARTSTONE (129 min)
2014 ÁRTÚN (20 min)
2013 WHALE VALLEY (15 min)
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Written by : Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Produced by : Jesper Morthorst, Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, Anton Máni Svansson, Lise Orheim Stender

Director of Photography : Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

Editor : Anne Østerud, Janus Billeskov Jansen

Production Design : Hulda Helgadóttir

Costume Design : Helga Rós V. Hannam

Hair & Make up Artist : Kristín Júlla Kristjánsdóttir

Composer : Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersen

Sound Design : Peter Schultz

Main Cast : Baldur Einarsson (Þór), Blær Hinriksson (Kristján), Diljá Valsdóttir (Beta), Katla Njálsdóttir (Hanna)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2017