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Iceland in the spotlight during the European Film Awards

The European Film Awards 2022 were celebrated in Reykjavik, Iceland, on December 10. The ceremony took place in Harpa Conference and Concert Hall, together with various side events in connection with European film production, managed in extensive collaboration between the European Academy, the Icelandic Ministry of Culture and Business Affairs, and the city of Reykjavík.

The Icelandic Film Center organized various networking and promotional events, in collaboration with the film industry, as part of the awards festival program. Side events were well attended by foreign guests and aimed to further strengthen the collaboration between the European film industry and institutions.

Some 700 guests from 43 countries attendet the event, as well as about 100 journalists and influencers. In addition, 30 producers from 15 countries arrived to the country to participate in a roundtable of the European Film Promotion and the Icelandic Film Center. Reykjavík was therefore in the spotlight of the film world in December, giving a unique opportunity to showcase Icelandic film in a diverse way.

The awards are held every second year in Berlin and other European cities at other times. This year, for the 35th anniversary of the awards, the nominations were presented via video for the first time. The production was carried out in collaboration with the European Film Academy and Íslandstofa, the agency that deals with marketing and branding for Iceland.

Icelandic director Arnar Helgi Atlondres directed the film, in which Iceland plays a major role, along with music by composer Atla Örvarsson. Prominent figures from the Icelandic film industry were invited to present the nominations, including Baltasar Kormákur, Halldóra Geirhardsdóttir, and Benedikt Erlingsson.


On the occasion of the European Film Awards, a landmark in Reykjavík's nightlife scene was added to the list of Treasures of European Film Culture, by the European Film Academy. The bar is known internationally for its representation in the cult film 101 Reykjavík (2000) by Baltasar Kormákur, featuring Hilmir Snær Guðnason and Victoria Abril.

For four weeks, the Month of European Film, the diversity of European film was celebrated at Reykjavík's art house cinema, Bíó Paradís, with screenings of all the films nominated as best picture at the European Film Awards.

The Icelandic Film Centre presented films and TV shows in production at a well attended works in progress showcase at Bíó Paradís. The cinema also served as a hub for visitors and journalists during the award show weekend.

Previously, the Young Audience Award, organized by the European Film Academy, had taken place in three towns in Iceland; Reykjavík, Ísafjördur, and Saudárkrókur. Eight schools participated, including Melaskóli. Members of the European Film Awards Youth Council visited the school on Friday, December 9th and spoke with the students who participated in the jury duties about the winning film, Animal, and sustainability. A film crew from EFA was also present and it is planned to make a video about the visit.

Finally, the award ceremony took place at Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center. The artistic director of the award ceremony was Icelandic musician, producer and TV host Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson. The nominees and guests entered Harpa via a unique art installation created especially for the ceremony. Instead of a traditional red carpet that would have had to been shipped from abroad, Icelandic artists Tanja Levý, Lilý Erla Adamsdóttir and Sean O'Brien created a sustainable art carpet made from local products and materials to reduce the carbon footprint. Icelandic actor Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir and stand-up comedian Hugleikur Dagsson were the hosts of the evening. 

Triangle of Sadness, by Swedish director Ruben Östlund took four top prizes at the awards, for best picture, director, actor and screenplay. Cop Secret, by Icelandic director Hannes Þór Halldórsson, was nominated as best comedy, and Danish actor Elliott Crosset Hove was nominated for his role in Hlynur Pálmason's film, Godland.