Fridrik Thor Fridriksson lines up Reykjavik shoot for Staying Alive

// 18th of May, 2012

Academy Award nominated Icelandic director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s latest production, "Staying Alive", is set to roll in and around Reykjavik and will mark his first feature since his 2010 award winning, local box office hit, "Mamma Gogo". The film, which has been written by Bardi Gudmundsson (best know for his film "Mother Knows Best") tells the story of Magdalena a 43 year old spinster who leads a secluded life, unemployed, and still stuck deep in the closet. To kill time during her unemployment she starts frequenting the funerals of strangers. However, Cupid moves in mysterious ways. When Magdalena’s long-lost first love Greta turns up at an interment the embers of their forbidden passion start to smolder anew.

"Staying Alive" is as most of my films have been about outsiders, often on the road. As I presented my films abroad I came to realize the large role funerals played in them. I of course said this was intentional - road movies were played out, but funeral movies the nascent trend.

When I read Barði Guðmundsson’s script I felt as if though it was tailored for me, or at least by someone with the same keen sense of fashion as I, as funerals are at the very heart of the story. Yet the script also appeals to me because it presents a world of bluecollar women and a gay subculture that is quite alien to myself (though gay people have to fight for their basic rights, and are outsiders like most of my characters). I envision this film as an ode to, and vehicle for, the multitude of excellent actresses who have hit middle age at the very peak of their professional and artistic abilities. This is a comedy, like all of my films, albeit without the guffaws, aiming rather for a steady and mounting inner laughter, permeating the tragedy" says director Fridriksson.

Producers are Anna Maria Karlsdottir and Hronn Kristinsdottir via their Ljósband shingle which to date has produced a number of features including "December"(2009)and Icelandic box office phenomenon "Our Own Oslo" (2011). The film is budgeted at € 1.5 million ($1.9 million.) Karlsdottir has previously been responsible for a number of Fridriksson’s previous films including "Angels of the Universe" and "Falcons", as well as the Gerard Butler/Stellan Skarsgard starrer "Beowulf and Grendel". "We are currently in negotiation to bring another European co-producer on board and a World Sales Agent wouldn’t hurt either" says producer Anna Maria Karlsdottir.

London-based Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) have joined the production as the UK co-producers who will bring the post-production of the film into their ongoing deal at London based post-production village Molinare. F&ME are no stranger to working in Iceland having collaborated with Fridriksson, Karlsdottir and Kristinsson on a number of features including "Falcons", "Cold Light", "Our Own Oslo", and "Niceland". "It’s great to be back working in Iceland," says F&ME MD, Mike Downey, "we have a long history of collaboration on high quality award winning films as well as having brought our own "GUY X" starring Jason Biggs, to shoot in Iceland. That film was also supported by the Icelandic Film Centre and a collaboration with Karlsdottir once more."