“Inspiring filmmaker”

“Inspiring filmmaker”




One of my influencers in film making both as a director and as a producer is the Icelandic Filmmaker Friðrik Þór (Thor) Friðriksson. His approach to film making is rather unique from where I stand, since he has done both documentary film making and feature films and seems to be pretty capable taking on each medium.

Friðrik Þór was born in Reykjavík Iceland in 1953, he started his career in film making at the age of 22 with some experimental short films that rely on visual storytelling, Having grown up in the sixties he was influenced by the American directors but says that Akira Kurosawa was the one that got him interested in film making. In 1982 he made one of his most iconic films a documentary about young musicians in Iceland called Rokk í Reykjavík (Rock in Reykjavík), it was a very culturally significant film, that looked closely on a very prominent scene in Icelandic history, it was one of those times were a filmmaker is in the right time and knows the right people and has the right skill set and makes a documentary about a time in history that lives on for years. 5 years later he founded the Icelandic Film corporation which along with producing his own films has become one of the more influential Icelandic production companies worldwide in no small part due to his reputation as a filmmaker which he received a good deal of after his 1991 Börn Náttúrunnar (Children of Nature) which he directed and co-wrote along with a well known Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson was nominated as the Best foreign language film in the Academy Awards.

Children of Nature was a film based on a book, not just any book but a Nobel award winning book written by Iceland’s most notorious writer Halldór Laxness, he then went on and worked on a few other feature films where he collaborated with well known authors to create films based on their books. Most notable of these films are Djöflaeyjan (Devil’s Island) and Englar Alheimsins (Angels of the universe), throughout his career he has done both documentaries and feature films and notably has more credited work as a producer than a director, having co-productions with directors like Lars Von Trier and Francis Ford Coppola.

I like the fact that he makes films based on books, and he gets the original authors to help with creating the screenplay so that no important messages or story developments are left out as often happens when a book is turned into film.

He has developed a very strong visual style and characters in his films are more often than not very genuine and have a very real sense of humour.

He does bring his personality into these stories and the topics resonate with the Icelandic nation creating characters everyone knows or can relate to.
I overall like his style and the fact that although most of his work as a director is feature films based on books, he has also done documentary films, this is something is find very interesting and is something that I hope I can achieve in the future.

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