Icelanders make clean sweep at Berlin awards

Atli, Nanna and Jóhann.

Atli, Nanna and Jóhann.

Iceland made a clean sweep of last night’s Harpa Nordic Film Composer Award ceremony, held in Berlin, Germany.

One nomination each from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden was made in two different categories – the Best Score Award and the Honour Award.

Iceland was victorious in both categories. Atli Örvarsson won the Best Score Award for his music for the popular Icelandic film Rams, while the Honour Award went to renowned Icelandic composer Jó­hann Jó­hanns­son.

“The accordion is perfectly matching the loneliness, the nature and the sound of the sheep calling out for each other, the bleating,” says the Harpa jury of Örvarsson’s work. “The music, the atmosphere and the pictures fit perfectly together. It feels as if the director and the composer really are in close contact – and telling their story together.”

The jury goes on to praise Jóhannson’s “unique body of work, not only on a Nordic but also on an international level.”

“His compositions are very complex, but yet standing out with a coherence – everything fits! There is a strong energy and a very strong artistic will behind his oeuvre. He is also a composer that works a lot with sound and atmosphere.”

The Harpa Award is part of the Nordic Film Music Days, held during the Berlinale Film Festival. Icelandic actress Nanna Krist­ín Magnús­dótt­ir also won the Northern Lights Talent Award, beating eight other nominees for the title.

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