Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson & Sturla Brandth Grøvlen Interview — Contenders International –

Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s coming-of-age drama Beautiful creatures Debuted in the Panorama section at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Europa Cinema Label Award. The film has also been selected as Iceland’s entry for the 2023 Oscars.

The film follows Adi, a teenage boy raised by a demanding mother, who adopts a mischievous child into his group of violent misfits and begins a series of dreamlike visions. Is.


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“It’s inspired by my youth growing up in the suburbs of Reykjavík,” Guðmundsson said of the film’s origins during’s Contenders Film: International panel. “I was part of a group of boys who used their violent behavior to deal with things. It’s still a fictional story, but it originated in my neighborhood in those days.”

Beautiful creaturesAltered Innocence marks Guðmundsson’s second feature collaboration with Norwegian cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, and the film shares a similar intimate visual language with their previous work.


“We have known each other for many years and before that we did two short films together. Heart stonewhich was Guðmundur’s first film, and I think it was through the process of short films that we started to develop this very deep and intuitive way of shooting,” said Grovelin.


Guðmundsson described the process of shooting on set with Grøvlen as a “dance” between the pair and their actors.

Beautiful creatures This is also Guðmundsson’s second feature based primarily on the lives of Icelandic youth. He told that the young actors slated for the film were discovered during an open casting call.


“We’ve done open casting in Iceland because we have a limited number of kids who want to be in movies this age,” he said, “so we try to get them all in for the casting. And then it becomes a long process of finding the right group dynamic.”

Guðmundsson added that his casting process takes place a year before shooting begins, where he places young actors in a workshop where they are trained and gradually introduced to the script. He added that his critical youth shaped his interest in stories about youth.

“These are just stories that have come to me so far,” he said. “Maybe because I was a rich young man as a child. And I realized how grown-ups don’t see the world the way we do. And I often wished I could show my parents how my friends really were, good and Both sides are bad.”

Check back Monday for the panel video.


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