Press release HARPA

Icelandic victory paves the way for Nordic film composers and actors

Monday evening The Nordic Film Composers Network awarded their Harpa Awards for 2016.
HARPA took place at a big ‘red carpet’ event at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin and was presented together with the actors award Northern LIGHTS.

Icelandic composers took it all: Atli Örvarsson won the award for best score for Grímur  Hákonarsons RAMS and Jóhann Jóhannsson won the price for his impressive oevre.
Norwegian filmmaker, producer, musician and actor Thomas Robsahm was in the jury, and even though none of his fellow norwegians won an award, he is very happy with the outcome:
– In the jury we want to express our appreciation for the great work of all 10 Nordic composers: They all have their own, strong voice, combined with an impressive body of work. And thereby paving the way for the Nordic film – out in the international world.

In 2009 the Harpa award was invented. The aim was to put spotlight on Nordic talent, skills and knowhow and to promote the great Nordic film talents in music and acting for the international film industry. And thereby strengthening the opportunities for cooperation between the Nordic countries and the international film market.

Also when it comes to the acting Iceland is standing out. The casters recognition award goes to Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir, not only an outstanding actor but also a scriptwriter and producer.
The special mentioning went to swedish actress Malin Levanon, who just won the Guldbaggen (the swedish ‘Oscars’) for best leading actress in Sweden, January 2016.

The two winners were picked from a very strong group of young actors. Among them were the Hollywood film star Anita Briem (Doctor Who, Journey to the Center of Earth) and the 3 times award winning norwegian actress Ellen Dorrit Petersen, whom is starring in the Berlinale Panorama film, (Shelley) and Danish/German Mette Lysdahl, who this weekend just won 6 Robert Award ( Danish ‘Oscars’) as well as the Dragon Award at Göteborg International Filmfestival in Sweden.

Read more about the thoughts behind presenting the Nordic Composers to the European market here and the HARPA here and read more about the actors and Northern Lights  here.
Words from the jury, Thomas Robsahm, Konrad Sommermeyer and Christine Aufderhaar:
The award for best composer goes to a man with a unique sound. The accordion is perfectly matching the loneliness, the nature and the sound of the sheeps calling out for each-other, the bleating. 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 award of best score goes to  Atli Örvarsson for his music for Grímur Hákonarsons RAMS.

The Honorary award goes to a composer with a 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 award goes to:  Jóhann Jóhannsson from Iceland.

About Jóhann Jóhannsson
He was nominated for the BAFTA, GOLDEN GLOBE & OSCAR – ACADEMY AWARDS last year and won the GOLDEN GLOBE for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.
He has this year been nominated for the BAFTA and OSCAR – ACADEMY AWARDS for the film SICARIO.  He has scored 28 films and been nominated and awarded several times.

About Atli Örvarsson
Atli has worked with Hans Zimmer in Los Angeles for a number of years. Since moving back to his original hometown Akureyri in northern Iceland, he has scored a number of Hollywood films and TV series as well as Icelandic films.
The film RAMS was coincidentally shot in the remote countryside village where his mother grew up and is based on a true story about two elderly brothers living on the same farm and leading a very rural countryside life – but have not spoken to each other for many decades.
Atli is the son of Iceland´s most distinguished accordionist Örvar Kristánsson who passed away last year. Atli created the score to a large degree using his fathers old accordion which is heavily featured in the score.
RAMS has won more awards than any other Icelandic film ever.