Iceland Touts New Winter Film Festival to Highlight Production Attractions

Many of HBO's 'Game of Thrones' scenes were shot in Iceland

Oscar-nominated Fridrik Thor Fridrikkson leads the launch

Iceland’s film industry leaders, led by Fridrik Thor Fridrikkson, are announcing a new winter festival in Reykjavik to showcase the country as a key destination for foreign film and TV film shoots. The program will highlight industry talent on the island, as well as its diverse landscapes and generous tax incentives.

Stockfish Film Festival was created by Iceland’s many boards, the Icelandic Film Makers Association, the Association of Film Producers, The Icelandic Actors Association, Women in Film and Television, and the Icelandic Playwrights and Screenwriters Association, in a bid to bring more work to the burgeoning industry.

The island, which is about the size of Kentucky, continues to be an attractive draw for Hollywood. Recent Iceland shoots include Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which used a nearby glacier backdrop for part of the film.

Game of Thrones found its land beyond the wall in Iceland. And Andy and Lana Wachowski took advantage of the country’s scenic landscapes for next year’s Jupiter Ascending. And Iceland is not just useful for production. Ryan Gosling completed post in Iceland for his directorial debut How to Catch a Monster, which was shot in Detroit.

Fridrikkson, whose 1991 Children of Nature was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, is no stranger to festivals, nor to bringing business to his country. He headed the Reykjavik Film Festival which ran from 1978 to 2001. And he founded the Icelandic Film Corporation, the country’s largest production company, which has created a network of co-production partners including Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope and Lars von Trier’s Zentropa.

The festival is not to be confused with the Reykjavik International Film Festival, which has also been attracting more international guests in recent years. Its 11th edition opens Sept. 25 and includes such festival favorites as Boyhood, Timbuktu, The Wonders, as well as a tribute to director Mike Leigh.

Stockfish’s main goal is to bring in international players to network with Iceland’s entertainment community. It will feature also a works-in-progress presentation and an Icelandic screenwriters workshop. The fest will be funded by the City of Reykjavik and Promote Iceland.

The first Stockhouse Film Festival will run from Feb.19 to March 1. 

Twitter: @Aristonla