Gay Icelandic psychological thriller
Rift - Rökkur in Icelandic - is a new Icelandic gay psychological thriller and the second movie by director Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen. Rift is the first Icelandic movie about a gay couple and has already been shown at thirty film festivals all around the world.
"The movie is about this former couple, Gunnar og Einar. A few months have passed since they broke up, when Einar leaves a weird voice mail on Gunnar's phone. Gunnar finds this dubious and drives to the summer house where Einar is staying to see if he is all right. When Gunnar arrives, he slowly realizes that things are not what they seem to be," says Erlingur to Morgunblaðið without spoiling anything for future viewers.
Few gay Icelandic films
"It is rare that Icelandic movies talk about homosexuality, even thought it has started to change. In my movie Rift this relationship is in the foreground. I have always found it interesting that even though Icelanders are quite ahead when it comes to LGBT rights, the Icelandic cinema has never spoken of homosexuality. Rift is my first Icelandic movie and I was very conscious of changing that when writing the script," says Erlingur.
Actors Björn Stefánsson and Sigurður Þór Óskarsson play the two main charactes and the movie was filmed on Snæfellsnes peninsula where the landscape and the circumstances of the place play a role in the story.
"My family has some ties to this place and when I went there location scouting, some how all the pieces came together," says Erlingur who had not thought about the location when he wrote the script to begin with.
Various prizes and recognitions
Rift premiered at the Gothenburg Film Festival last February, which is the largest film event in Scandinavia, and it came out in Iceland one week ago. Meanwhile it went to over thirty film festivals in six different continents, where it has received various prizes and recognitions.
"Rift got it's most important prize at a festival called Outfest and is held in Los Angeles. It's the biggest LGBT film festival in the world and Rift got a prize for artistic achievement," says Erlingur, who also received a special jury prize in New Orleans for the best movie.
Erlingur says many reviews have been published about the movie and that they are all great. "Web sites that mostly focus on horror films have been following Rift, even though we call it a psychological thriller rather than a horror movie," he says. "Technically Rift is not a horror movie even though it's certainly horrifying."