: Isold Uggadottir
: Nominated for the Icelandic Film & TV Awards (Edda Awards) as Best Short Film; Best Short Film, Copenhagen Gay and Lesbian Film Festival; Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film, Atlanta Film Festival 2007; First Place for Alternative Spirit, Rhode Island International Film Festival 2007; Audience Award, Best Short Film, Identities Film Festival (Vienna, Austria) 2007; Best Narrative International Female Short Film, Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival; Special Jury Mention, Tabor Film Festival (Croatia); Best Women’s Short, North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2007; 3rd Prize for Narrative Film, Athens International Film + Video Festival 2007; 2nd Place, Jury Award, Connecticut LGBT Film Festival 2007;
Official Film Festival Selection includes
: 2007 Sundance Film Festival; BFI London Film Festival 2007; Sao Paolo International Film Festival (Brazil) 2007; Aspen Short Film Festival 2007; Seattle International Film Festival 2007; Los Angeles Shorts Fest 2007; Newport International Film Festival 2007; Dresden International Short Film Festival (Dresden, Germany) 2007; Prague Short Film Festival 2007; Reykjavik to Rotterdam 2007; Cork Film Festival (Ireland) 2007; Newfest (NYC) 2007; Sundance Film at BAM (Brooklyn NY) 2007; Reykjavik International Film Festival 2006; Palm Springs International Short Film Festival 2006.
New York-based Katrin is returning to her native Iceland for her grandfather’s 70th birthday. Her family in Reykjavik unwittingly engages her in discussions about marriage, children and her future – while she sneaks in phone calls to her girlfriend in New York. As she struggles with coming out, events reveal that other family members have secrets of their own.
“Family Reunion” was nominated for the Icelandic Academy Awards and was an official selection of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. It has since been invited to over 60 international film festivals, winning numerous awards.
Born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland, Isold Uggadottir came to New York City in 2001 to pursue a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. From NYU, her fascination with visual mediums lead her to the Emmy Award-winning Partisan Pictures, where she has been editing documentary films since 2003. Most recently she edited a 13-part docu-drama series about the American Revolution, which aired on the History Channel, attracting over one million viewers. Isold’s personal work has been funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Icelandic Film Centre, The City of Reykjavik, IFP in New York, Frameline Film & Video Completion Fund in Sand Francisco, the Memorial Fund of Margret Bjorgolfsdottir, and The Cultural Funds of Baugur and Landsbankinn. Most recently, Isold was selected for the Berlin Talent Campus, held in conjunction with the 2008 Berlinale Film Festival. Currently, she is in postproduction on her latest short film.
What inspired you to make this piece?
A few years ago I was at an uncle’s 70th birthday party in the Icelandic country-side. Everyone was singing and dancing to old Icelandic tunes. It dawned on me that this would be the perfect setting for a film. (I had been wanting to make a real one forever) Everyone also kept asking me whether or not I was going to have children and a family. In short: I was inspired.
Briefly tell us about how you made your film or video: what camera and format did you use to shoot your piece, and what system did you use to edit it? What is your working process? Did you use any special techniques to make this work?
Family Reunion is shot on Kodak (7218 Vision2, 500T) super 16mm film using an Arri 3 camera. It was then blown up to a 35mm film print at DuArt in New York.
In collaborating cinematographer Oskar Axelsson, we opted for a handheld approach
to the New York Scenes, and processed the film at Technicolor using the technique
“skip bleach”, to create a more grainy and grungy look. The Icelandic scenes where
shot in a more traditional fashion and were processed at “normal”, in order to communicate a sense of convention.
We edited on Final Cut Pro in my home in the East Village and completed sound design in Brooklyn, NY and Reykjavik, Iceland.
Do you have any interesting behind-the-scenes stories about the making of this particular
The scene where Katrin rides down Laugavegur in a Taxi observing happy couples is shot guerilla style where we are "stealing" shots of drunken Icelanders in the middle of the night.
What is the relationship between your work as a video/filmmaker and life in the New York
I am an Icelandic filmmaker who has been living and working in New York City´s East Village for the passed 7 years. I came to New York in 2001 and attended graduate school at NYU where I studied “Interactive Telecommunications.” – In the fall of 2008 I am beginning my MFA in film directing at Columbia University. I have also freelanced as an editor for documentary television.
What films/videos and makers have inspired you or influenced your work? And why?
Celebration by Thomas Vinterberg, Secrets and Lies, by Mike Leigh, Wasp by Andrea Arnold.
A few examples of great storytelling, convincing performances and overall authentic, inspiring films.
If viewers are interested in obtaining copies of your work for rental or purchase, whom
should they contact and at what address and phone number?
or Isold Uggadottir, 323 East 8th st. #1B, New York, NY 10009 - Tel: 917 669 6240