Oscars: Iceland Selects ‘Beautiful Beings’ As International Film Entry

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EXCLUSIVE: The Icelandic Film and Television Academy has selected Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s Beautiful Beings as Iceland’s official entry in the Best International Feature Film category for the 2023 Academy Awards.

The coming-of-age drama world premiered in Berlin Panorama this year, where it won the Europa Cinemas Label and then went on to play over 30 festivals, winning eight awards to date. It is currently selected for the European Film Awards’ longlist.

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The feature is Guðmundsson’s second film after his award-winning debut feature Heartstone.

Set in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, the drama follows Addi, a teenage boy raised by a clairvoyant mother, who adopts a bullied kid into his group of violent misfits.

When the boys’ own aggressive behavior escalates toward life-threatening situations, Addi starts to experience a series of dreamlike visions. Will his newfound intuition guide him and his friends toward a safer path, or will they dive further into violence?

Beautiful Beings is an intimate and heart-rending story, presented in an honest and measured manner,” Iceland’s Oscar selection committee said in a statement.

“A major part of the film‘s effectiveness is the commendable and singular performance of a young and courageous cast. The tone, spirit, and emotion of the narrative utilize the film form in a remarkable way, resulting in a raw and powerful experience.”

Iceland has previously scored one Oscar nomination in this category, for 1991’s Children Of Nature by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. Baltasar Kormakur’s 2012 drama The Deep and Valdimar Jóhansson 2021 Lamb made it to the shortlist stage.

New Europe Film Sales handles international sales on Beautiful Beings and has struck deals to multiple territories, including UK, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, and Spain. US distributor is Altered Innocence.

The feature is produced by Anton Máni Svansson at Join Motion Pictures in Iceland, in coproduction with Motor Productions (Denmark), Hobab and Film i Väst (Sweden), Bastide Films (The Netherlands) and Negativ (Czech Republic).

The film was supported by the Icelandic Film Centre, Iceland’s Ministry of Industries and Innovation, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV, Sena, Danish Film Institute, DR, Scanbox, Swedish Film Institute, Film i Väst, Netherlands Film Fund, Netherlands Film Production Incentive, Czech Film Fund, Nordisk Film & TV fond, and Eurimages.

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