Film about Icelandic/Canadian Olympic Champions

Frank Frederickson, captain of the Winnipeg Falcons.

Frank Frederickson, captain of the Winnipeg Falcons.

Vala Hafstað

Preparations are underway for the production of a film about the 1920 Canadian Olympic hockey team, the Winnipeg Falcons from Manitoba. The production will be in the hands of Icelandic film production company Pegasus and its Canadian counterpart Buffalo Gal Pictures in Winnipeg. A green light is being awaited from the Icelandic Film Fund.

Morgunblaðið asked Pegasus film producer Snorri Þórisson about the project.

“If funding is approved, we could start filming next year,” Snorri states, “and the film could premiere about a year later.”

The first Olympic hockey tournament took place in Antwerp, Belgium, at the 1920 Summer Olympics. The Winnipeg Falcons represented Canada in the games and ended up winning the gold medal. What distinguished the team is that aside from one team member, all were first generation Canadians of Icelandic descent.

Film producer Snorri Þórisson.

Film producer Snorri Þórisson.

In 2007, the book When Falcons Fly : The Story of the World’s First Olympic Gold Hockey Team, by David Square, was published by Poppy Productions.

Snorri approached Square at the time and made an agreement with him to base his film on the book. Production was, however, delayed, but Snorri did not abandon the project.

“Although the film is about boys who are enthusiastic hockey players, this is not a film about hockey, but about overcoming social injustice in a new country,” Snorri reveals.

The film’s working title is “Falcons Forever.” “It’s a film about ‘our boys,’ who won an Olympic gold a century ago,” he continues. “Theirs was a winding road, since for a long time, they did not have access to teams in Winnipeg, because Icelanders were looked down on at the time.”

After two failed attempts at having a script for the film written, both of which would have resulted in a typical hockey film, Snorri and Nína Petersen created a framework for a new script. This time, the focus was on the players themselves, and the script was completed by Winnipeg screenwriter Shawn Linden. Snorri and officials at Buffalo Gal Pictures are very pleased with the result.

The main character is the team’s captain Frank Frederickson (a.k.a. Sigurður Franklín Jónsson). According to Snorri, Frank and his family will be central to the film.

Óskar Þór Axelsson will direct the film. The cost of production is estimated at ISK 1 billion (USD 6.8 million; EUR 6.3 million).

You can read a chapter from David Square’s book When Falcons Fly : The Story of the World’s First Olympic Gold Hockey Team here .


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