In the presence of: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thór and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it's time to leave the playground and face adulthood.
"Heartstone is a personal story based on my experience growing up in a small fishing village. The core of the film is a strong, beautiful friendship between two boys, and how their environment and inner conflict drive them apart, before the bond they share manages to reunite them again. The village is a place full of contrasts, where kids discover how nature and people can be both amazingly beautiful and incredibly cruel. As a kid, I wished I could show the grown-ups around me how our world really felt, and that's what I want to show as a filmmaker: because the years of youth reflect our lives in a clear, beautiful, and sometimes harsh manner." [Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson]
Given his multi-awarded shorts, no wonder Screen International included Guðmundsson's feature about friendship and love between two boys in their 2016 Most Anticipated list. The producer reveals it's a story "in the spirit of Rob Reiner's 'Stand by Me' and Lukas Moodysson's 'Fucking Åmål'." (R.D.)
In 2013 director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson won the award for Best European short here in Ghent, for his film Whale Valley. Reason enough to have a re-run of this short in the framework of this year's Nordic Focus. The film is part of the program Nordic Shorts.