The Rector's graduation speech, May 27th, 2023

At a ceremony yesterday, the Rector of The Film School, Börkur Gunnarsson, gave a speech to our graduating students

This winter, The Icelandic Film School celebrated its 30th anniversary. It was in the fall of 1992 that the school began its journey, in 2003 the Ministry of Education officially recognized the school as a two-year program, and in 2007 it received recognition in three special fields. In 2012, the school went through an assessment by CILECT, the international association of film universities, and was subsequently accepted into the association.

It has been three and a half years since The Icelandic Film School officially applied to move up to the university level and with it from the Ministry of Education and Children's Affairs and to the Ministry of University Affairs, which Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir is now leading. Last fall, an international evaluation of The Film School took place, which ended with a satisfactory result. The committee that took the school out was composed of Dr. Stephen Jackson, United Kingdom, Dr. Christina Roznyai, Hungary and Ralph A. Wolff from the USA, all of whom are experts in university quality systems. The result of the evaluation was that the committee confirmed that learning and teaching are at university level. However, the committee did not believe that the school was ready to be called a university until certain conditions were met, which The Film School has spent the last months working to fulfill.

The success of the Icelandic Film School in recent years is mainly due to the energy and creativity of teachers and students. The best people in the country have been chosen for teaching and the most promising filmmakers have come to study. Every year, the main Edda Award is given to people who have gone through this school, either as teachers or students.

Since 2004, The Icelandic Film School has graduated about 600 students. According to studies commissioned by the school, over 90% of graduated students have worked in filmmaking after graduation, and around 40% of them have done so all the time since graduation. The Icelandic Film School has, together with The Film Center, become one of the two most important pillars of the film industry in Iceland.

You can say to students who are graduating with a degree in more traditional subjects that they have an exciting project waiting for them. But nothing is waiting for you, you are going out to create a project for yourself. Create an exciting project. You have shown it with your creativity and I hope you can do it.