Dean's graduation speech - Spring 2024

Saturday June 29th, students from our International department graduated and our Dean gave this speech

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

A heartfelt welcome to the graduation ceremony at the Icelandic Film School in spring 2024.

This is the first graduation of foreign students at The Icelandic Film School, Kvikmyndaskóli Íslands, and I am exceedingly proud to be here handing out your diplomas, dear students.

This truly is a milestone for you, as the changes you have experienced in your life from when you started your studies until you complete them so beautifully now are significant, I believe.

It is safe to say that studying at the Icelandic Film School is a massive challenge for each and every one, but simply to complete this study confirms that you as individuals are well-suited for filmmaking. There are high demands placed on every student to excel in their personal studies as well as in their interactions with peers and the tasks they undertake in groups. Very well done indeed.

No one reaches this point except on their own merits. The pinnacle is then to create a complete graduation film.

Your graduation film is a personal film work that confirms your abilities to be driving forces in filmmaking. At the same time, you prove yourselves as professional artists in your respective fields, whether it be directing, creative technology, or scriptwriting. Dedication must also be high as the standards are demanding. For years The Icelandic Film School has scored high at the annual international competition of film schools, CILECT. In addition, the graduation films of our students have made it to festivals, received awards, and been shown on television.

With each graduation, it is a pleasant surprise for us, who work at the Icelandic Film School, to observe the quality of your films, particularly when you consider the tight conditions you work with. Do not forget that those of us working at the Film School are more or less all out there in the industry where things often go askew and progress is usually slow. But within the Film School, students are defying the laws of time, season after season, by producing films, with limited time and resources, that should not be possible to create. We have long realized that those students who make it all the way to graduation possess the dedication to constantly tackle the seemingly impossible. Like true heroes.

The Icelandic Film School is a remarkable institution and I dare to state that it is a key factor in the professional advancement of filmmaking in Iceland over the decades.

Those of you graduating here have numerous opportunities. Statistics show that former graduates of this school are highly prominent in film production here in this country, whether in cinema, at TV stations, major film companies, or in any of the many branches that have emerged. Measurements also show that a very high percentage of graduates, over 90%, branch out upon completion of their studies, and close to 50% establish themselves in the field, which is a very high rate from an arts academy.

The film industry has grown tremendously since the school's establishment, initially creating around 300 jobs per year. Today, there are between 4 and 6 thousand jobs effective yearly in the film industry and related fields. A strong service industry has developed around the sector as well and it keeps growing.

In the future, it is not far-fetched to envision the Icelandic film industry becoming a 10,000 job sector and the industry establishing itself as one of the most financially productive sectors of the nation.

This position has not come about on its own. Several important cornerstones contribute to this. One of them is the constant flow of professionals from the Icelandic Film School.

The Icelandic Film School is an institution that, for over 30 years, has supported those who wish to pursue a career in filmmaking, and now, dear graduates, you are graduating from here and spreading your wings to face the possibilities ahead, which are diverse and exciting. Congratulations on this day, dear graduates, thank you for your companionship, and may you excel to the best. We follow your journey with warmth and pride.