The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole – A Bipolar Musical Documentary with Elephants

A full feature documentary film, Internationally premiered at CPH:DOX. Directed by Andri Snær Magnason & Anní Ólafsdóttir and produced by Elsku Rut, Ground Control Productions & Ursus Parvus. Part road movie, part musical, part serious inquiry into the caverns of the mind, The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole is at once an artful, sensitive and amusing examination of mental health, told through an unexpected story of friendship.

The film follows Anna Tara Edwards, an Icelander raised in Nepal, and legendary musician Högni Egilsson, as they journey to Anna’s childhood home in the mountain jungles to explore the afflictions and superpowers that come with bipolar disorder. Delving into their respective pasts through textured archival footage and home videos, the narrative follows their present-day quest to raise awareness about the disease and come to terms with the impact it has had on their own lives.

Runtime 78 min

Nominated for 5 EDDA Awards. Best directors. Best editing. Best score. Best Script and Best Cinematography.

Icelandic premier as opening film of RIFF.

International premier at CPH:DOX

About the directors:


Anní Ólafsdóttir is a visual artist and film maker, nominated for four EDDA Awards for the Third Pole. Best script, best editing, best director and best cinematagrapher. Anní has worked as a freelance filmmaker since 2012. She has worked as a director, cinematographer, art-director and editor for a number of TV shows, music videos, short films and visual art projects. One of her recent projects as a cinematographer was Sacrifice, a collaboration of visual artist Matthew Barney and the Iceland Dance Company. She has created music videos for a number of prominent musicians, including Mammút, Oscar Award Winner Marketa Irglova, the official music video for Blk Diamond by Zebra Katz x Leila, which was selected as the best music video of the year at the Berlin Music Video Awards in 2016. Apausalypse is her second documentary in 2021, also co-directed with Andri Snær Magnason.


Andri is one of Iceland’s most celebrated writers. Among his work are novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays and he is a popular public speaker. His work has been published or performed in more than 40 countries. He is the co-director of Dreamland (2009), one of Iceland’s most influential and acclaimed documentaries, made with Þorfinnur Guðnason. Andri received the Kairos award of 2010, awarded by the Alfred Toepfer Institute and has received numerous literary prizes for his work, both in Iceland and internationally. He is the only person to win the Icelandic Literary Award in all categories, fiction, non fiction and childrens literature. His novel LoveStar recieved The Philip K Dick Honorary Mention 2014 and Le Grand Prix l’Imaginaire for best translated Sci-Fi in France 2016. Andri has created radio work for the BBC, and contributed to the Oscar Award Winning documentary Inside Job by Charles Ferguson. His latest non fiction book – On Time and Water is coming out in 30 languages in 2020/2022 and shortlisted for The Nordic Councils Literary Award 2021. Andri Snær is nominated for two EDDA awards for The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole. Director of the year and best script. Apausalypse, also codirected with Anni Ólafsdóttir premied in 2021 and was nominated for the EDDA award as best Documentary of 2022.