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Ísold Uggadóttir wins Best Director award at Sundance

Ísold Uggadóttir won the Best Director award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition of the Sundance Film Festival for her Icelandic feature And Breathe Normally. This is the first  time that an Icelandic feature wins an award at Sundance and only the second time that an Icelandic feature has been selected for one of Sundance's main competitive sections.

Uggadóttir accepted the award in person. And Breathe Normally had its world premiere at the festival on January 22, where Uggadóttir was also in attendance with the film‘s main cast and crew.

And Breathe Normally is Uggadóttir's first feature film. She previously wrote and directed the award-winning short films Family Reunion, Committed, Clean and Revolution Reykjavík, and she graduated from the Columbia University School of the Arts in 2011 with a master's degree in directing and screenwriting.

The film had a warm reception at the festival and has received positive reviews from Variety and Screen Daily.

About the film

And Breathe Normally tells the story of the intimate bond that forms between two women – an Icelandic mother and a refugee from Guinea-Bissau – whose lives briefly intersect in Iceland due to unforeseen circumstances.

Ísold Uggadóttir both wrote and directed the film, and it stars Kristín Thóra Haraldsdóttir and Babetida Sadjo. It was produced by Skúli Malmquist for Zik Zak Filmworks and coproduced by Inga Lind Karlsdóttir, Lilja Ósk Snorradóttir, and Birna Anna Björnsdóttir, along with Diana Elbaum (Belgium) and Annika Hellström (Sweden).

Next up for the film is the Göteborg Film Festival, where it will have its European premiere and will be competing for the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film. A total of nine films are up for the award, which comes with a cash prize of 1,000,000 Swedish krona

International sales for the film are being handled by The Match Factory.

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival was founded by veteran actor and director Robert Redford and is one of North America's and the world's most prestigious film festivals. Notable directors that have taken their first steps at Sundance include Paul Thomas Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, Steven Soderbergh, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, and the Coen brothers.

In 2004, the American/Romanian/Icelandic coproduction One Point O,directed by Marteinn Thorsson and Jeff Renfroe, and coproduced by Fridrik Thór Fridriksson, was selected for Sundance's U.S. Dramatic Competition.