Interview: Heiðrik á Heygum wins 2014 Faroese Film Awards

“I didn’t expect to win at all”

Faroese film maker Heiðrik á Heygum won both the Jury Award and the Audience Award at the 2014 Faroese Film Night. The award show, held for the first time two years ago, took place on 11 December at the Nordic House in Tórshavn. We congratulated Heiðrik and asked him what the award means to him.

Heiðrik, how does it feel to have won both awards at the Faroese Film Night?
It’s great. I was so surprised getting both of them because I didn’t know people were so much up for horror. I’ve heard that the audience screamed a lot during the screening – that is awesome. It also means a lot to me that the whole crew who worked with me where there. It really is our film and our award.

Why weren’t you present at the ceremony?
Unfortunately I had to be in Reykjavík because of exams. But I was there via phone.

 So you made a little thank you speech via phone?
No. Christa, my production manager, was there to represent me and I had written her a little thank you note, in case I won.

Heiðrik á Heygum - photo by Birgit á Heygum

Heiðrik á Heygum – photo by Birgit á Heygum

You have been nominated twice before at the Faroese Film Night: 2012 for the short film “A Hipstory” and 2013 “True Love”. You failed to win both times. Did you expect to make it this time?

Not at all. It is a horror film so I didn’t expect anything. It’s a very, very risky genre.

How did you come up with the idea of doing a horror movie?
I always been quite dark and melancholic in my work. I often like very morbid things and often find dark things very beautiful. I really don’t understand why others can’t see it. So I thought why not try go all the way with my dark side.

What’s the story of “Skuld”?
The film plays in the year 1961. Andrea, played by Sofía Nolsøe, works as a nurse for a dying woman, played by Rúna á Heygum, on a remote island in the Faroe Islands. She is consumed by a grief that she’s trying to forget. But when strange things start happening in the old house, and the realms of the living and the dead become intertwined, she will have to realize that there’s no escaping one’s past.

 

Still shot from "Skuld".

Still shot from “Skuld”.

It’s the second time that you worked with Sofía Nolsøe. Does she inspire you?
She is one of the best actresses around, and I’m not saying Faroe Islands. She’s getting quite big in Denmark as well. She inspires me a lot and we work very closely together. She simply is a fantastic actress. She has also a fantastic face and charisma. I wouldn’t have made the film if she said no to the role. I made it for her.

How did you get in touch?
I had seen her in some plays when she was younger. She has always fascinated me – very beautiful, yet dark. I contacted her when I made my first movie because I always wanted to work with her. After working together, we became best friends.

Faroe Film Awards 2014.

Faroese Film Night 2014.

 Now we all want to see the film, of course. How can we do that?
Well, we’re trying to get the film to as many festivals as possible. So it can’t be seen online yet. But if you go to our fan site, there we are gonna post where it’s gonna be screened.

Okay, cool. You said you were in exams when the award ceremony took place. So what are you doing in Reykjavík currently? I know that you moved to Iceland just this year after graduating from a Copenhagen film school.
I’m studying fine arts and film at the Academy of Fine Arts.

To this day, there are two full-length Faroese movies – “Atlantic Rhapsody” and “Bye Bye Blue Bird”, both directed by Katrin Ottarsdóttir. What do you think? Will there be a third one day?
I surely hope so. That’s my plan at least.

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