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UNDER THE TREE premieres in Venice – minister of education, science and culture to attend

Under the Tree, the third feature from Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 31. Kristján Thór Júlíusson, the Icelandic minister of education, science and culture, will attend the premiere, along with members of the film's cast and crew.

Under the Tree is screening in the festival's Orizzonti section, which is part of the official selection. The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the most prestigious. It was established in 1932 and will be held for the 74th time from August 30 through September 9.

Under the Tree centers around a conflict between next-door neighbors over a tree in the backyard and the shadow it casts. The conflict begins as a typical suburban spat but soon begins to spiral unexpectedly and violently out of control.

The first reviews of the film are starting to come in, including a strong review from Screen International.

As mentioned, Under the Tree is Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson's third feature. His previous films are Either Way (2011) and Paris of the North (2014). Under the Tree was written by Sigurdsson and Huldar Breidfjörd and produced by Grímar Jónsson, Sindri Páll Kjartansson and Thor Sigurjonsson on behalf of Netop Films. It is a coproduction between Iceland, Denmark, Poland and Germany.

International sales for the film are being handled by New Europe Film Sales (jan@neweuropefilmsales.com).


In recent years Icelandic films have begun to make their mark in Venice. In 2010 the French/Icelandic short film The Life and Death of Henry Darger, from director Bertrand Mandico, was selected for the Orizzonti section. In 2015 Baltasar Kormákur's Everest was chosen as the festival's opening film, and last year Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson's debut feature, Heartstone, was selected for the sidebar Venice Days, where it won the Queer Lion award.