“Kári”, a film by Elsa G. Björnsdóttir, recently won awards at an international film festival

Elsa G. Björnsdóttir is a graduate from Acting at the Film School and has had great success with her short film „Kári“. We contacted Elsa and got to hear about the process, the idea behind the film and what compelled her to dive into the world of cinema

I do not remember myself not having a passion towards acting and film making. It is hopeless for me to answer what initially drew me in, I just remember the acting bug completely got me when I was approximately seven years old and I got a small part in the film „The House“. I truly love the work and as I have not gotten many opportunities to act in others work, I will create work for myself. The platform is perfect to tell stories in a visual manner, I only wish I could be both in front of the camera as well as behind it at the same time.

Elsa has raised a great deal of awareness for the deaf Community for years and her film is bringing even more education to the public of the situation and adversity they faced before

The short film „Kári“ is actually a collective of, on the one hand fiction, and on the other many small stories, both factual as well as from word of mouth with in the Deaf Community, where everyone recognizes the era when sign language was banned and families used home made signs for the simplest of communications. Deaf people that were located out in the country side were torn from their families without any explanation or even having an understanding of what was happening. The next of kin, in particular some parents, still feel the pain of having to send their young children away to boarding schools without even being able to give them an explanation of what was happening, and it is vital to pass those stories on to the next generation to avoid anything like that happening again.

Elsa’s experience of the film making adventure was extremely positive and she easily overcame any hindrances

The process went unbelievably well, to start with, both the preparation and the shoot went as smoothly as possible, because I had an elite group of actors and film crew, but when the money ran out after shooting and rough editing, everything stopped for a few weeks and I could not finish sound tracking and sound editing. I then thought I might give Karolina Fund a try, to see if anyone was willing to contribute to finishing the film in time for deadline of submissions for the Clin d’Oeil festival and that was amazing, especially as 2 days before the fundraising stopped, I still only had 50 % of what I needed. I actually think everything regarding „Kári“ has gone remarkably well because there were some things and scenes around the film that should not have worked but still did ! There is some potent charm attached to the film and I believe this film was supposed to become a reality, no matter what, and I truly get goosebumps when I think about this adventure as a whole.

The film has garnered some well deserved attention and will undoubtedly continue, receiving awards, both for Best Director and Best Film, at the Clin d’Oeil film festival

The films journey after finishing has started with a bang, two awards at the first film festival it was entered to, which I in no way expected as the competition was a lot harder this year. The festival had films of better quality as well as an increase of competitors, fourteen brilliant short films and fourteen directors, many of whom have much more experience than I do, and there they were competing for the same prize. I can only imagine that the future will be bright for „Kári“.

The future is bright and the journey of „Kári“ is far from finished

The film will next be submitted to a film festival in Spain, who’s deadline is in August and will then be premiered in Reykjavik in the fall as well as being booked for a festival in Stockholm in November. The plan is to find more film festivals to send it to during the next few weeks. I unfortunately did not have time until after my graduation to look into the steps forward for „Kári“, as I decided to put my Bachelors Degree studies as a priority and focus on my studies and graduating from the University of Iceland, but I truly look forward to follow through with the film now.

As mentioned before, „Kári“ will be shown in Reykjavik in the fall and it will be interesting to follow the film in the future months. We wish Elsa and „Kári“ the best of luck