Dean's Graduation Speech Spring 2024

Our esteemed dean, Hlín Jóhannesdóttir, gave this speech at our Spring graduation on June 1st

Dear graduates and relatives, teachers, staff and administrators. Other guests.

Welcome to graduation at The Icelandic Film School in the spring of 2024.

This is a turning point for you, for sure, because the changes you have experienced in your life from the time you started your studies here until you finished it so gloriously here and now, are great, I dare to believe. It is safe to say that the program at The Icelandic Film School is quite an endurance test for everyone, but the mere completion of this program confirms that the person deserves a good career in filmmaking. As we know here, there are very high demands that students both perform well in their personal studies, but also that students perform well in relation to their fellow students and the projects they undertake as a group. Well done indeed. No one gets to this point except on their own merits.

The highlight is then making a finished graduation film. Your graduation film is a personal piece of film that confirms your ability to be a driving force in filmmaking. At the same time, you prove yourself as professional artists in your fields of expertise, be it directing, creative techniques, screenwriting or acting. The ambition must also be high because the standards are high. In the annual international film school competition for the best graduation film, The Icelandic Film School has scored high for the past decade. In addition, students' graduation films have entered festivals, received awards and been shown on television.

At each graduation, the staff at The Film School are equally surprised by the high quality of your films, considering that they are made under tight conditions. Don't forget that we who work at The Film School, are more or less all working in the business where things move at different speeds and always too slowly for us. But within The Film School, students are breaking the laws of time semester after semester with the production of films, which given the time limit, manpower, quantity and quality, should not be possible to make. We have long since realized that the students who make it all the way to graduation have the determination and endurance to constantly struggle with solving the impossible. Like true heroes.

The Icelandic Film School is a remarkable institution and, I dare say, a key element in the professional development of filmmaking in Iceland for decades.

Those of you who are here to graduate have numerous options. Regular measurements show that the former students of The Film School are very prominent in film production in this country, whether it is in movie production, at the television stations, the big film companies or in any of the numerous spin-offs that have been created. Measurements also show that a very high percentage of graduates, or over 90%, work in the industry after completing their studies and close to 50% establish themselves, which is a very high percentage from an art academy.

The film industry has grown enormously since the school was founded, which produced around 300 annual works. Today, there are 4-6 thousand annual works in the film industry and secondary jobs. A powerful service industry has sprung up around foreign film companies, but Icelanders also break world records every year with the number of premieres of domestic films based on the much-vaunted per capita figure.

In the future, it is not unreasonable to imagine that the Icelandic film industry can grow to 10 thousand annual works and the industry can establish itself among the nation's most currency-generating productions.

This situation has not arisen by itself. There are several important basic posts. One of them is the steady flow of professionals from The Icelandic Film School.

The Icelandic Film School is an organization that for over 30 years has supported those who want to pursue a career in films and now, dear students, you graduate from here and spread your wings to meet the possibilities that are available, they are both diverse and exciting.

Happy graduation day dear students, thank you for your companionship and the best of luck to you. We will follow you with warmth and pride.