New short film: Among the Living – by Marketa Irglová

Sometimes saying yes leads you to unexpected places. So when Högni Egilsson asked me to join him on a trip to Nepal with Anni Ólafsdóttir to film a concert in Kathmandu I said yes. And five years later we had a full feature documentary film: The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole – A Bipolar Musical Documentary with Elephants. Marketa Irglová saw the film and asked us if we could do a video to her new song – Among the Living – and of course we said yes. Among the living is a long and rich song by Marketa Irglová, written and composed during a special time in human history, when a pandemic swept across the globe. The song is dedicated to the millions of people that have suffered from loneliness, sickness, loss and grief. But it was quite a challenge, the song is 15 minutes long, so the task is closer to making a short film, rather than a traditional music video. Now the film is ready and we are super happy to show it to the world. Anni Ólafsdóttir is the main director, I am producer and co-director.

Director Anni Ólafsdóttir has long been fascinated by the term Tarantism: “To overcome melancholy with the uncontrollable urge to dance.” Marketa had already spoken to two dancers, Ale a gaga dancer from Paraguay and Yannier a classical ballet dancer born in Cuba, living in Iceland. Anni had a favourite contemporary dancer from Latvia, Klāvs Liepiņš that added the third element of dance and movement art to the piece. Each dancer created his own response to the song and then they rehearsed together to synchronise their emotions and know each others movements. The song is an emotional journey almost 15 minutes, so the challenge is to make a short film, that keeps the arch of emotion, loss, love, and hope so the audience looses track of time. The story is open for anyone to interpret in his own way and Markéta’s text gives some guidance as well. We have elements of religion and grace, elements of despair, of being lonely among others, elements of water, symbols of the steps of grief and some symbols of hope. The characters are stuck in certain spaces but the movements show us that despite everything, hardship and grief does pass. Just like a dancer turns, the world keeps on turning and life continues and makes room for your next steps. This take on tarantism: to overcome melancholy through an uncontrollable urge to dance – will hopefully reach those that need it – inspire, maybe help and heal.

You can see our documentary films by clicking here: Apausalypse and the Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole:

Credit list for Among the Living:

Director: Anni Ólafsdóttir

Co-director: Andri Snær Magnason                                             

Producer: Andri Snær Magnason

Producers on set: Hanna Björk Valsdóttir & Sturla Míó Þórisson  

Executive Producers: Markéta Irglová & Sturla Míó Þórisson

Performers Dancers: Ale Jara, Yannier Oviedo, Klavs Liepins

Singer: Markéta Irglová

Church Organ: Björn Steinar Sólbergsson

1st Violin: Una Sveinbjarnadóttir 2nd Violin: Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir Viola: Þórunn Ósk Marínósdóttir Cello: Sigurður Gunnarsson

Crew Director of Photography: Anton Smári Gunnarsson

Focus Pullers: Hjálmar Þór Hjálmarsson Róbert Magnússon 2nd AC : Rúnar Vilberg Hjaltason

DIT: Eva Lind Höskuldsdóttir Gaffer: Halldór Kristinsson Best Boy: Bjarki Heimisson

Key Grip: Tómas Freyr Jóhannsson

Speciality Rig & Drone: Gunnar Steinn

Editors: Anni Ólafsdóttir Eva Lind Höskuldsdóttir Color Grading: Bjarki Guðjónsson at Trickshot Production Designers: Dröfn Ösp Snorradóttir Johnny Rozas

Costume Designer: Ellen Loftsdóttir

Costume Assistant: Arna Engilbertsdóttir

Make-Up Artist: Flora Buenano

Graphic Design: Helsinki Studio

Music Written by: Markéta Irglová

Produced by: Sturla Mio Thorisson

Performed by: Markéta Irglová Siggi String Quartet Aida Shahghasemi

Recorded, mixed & mastered by: Sturla Mio Thorisson at Masterkey Studios 2021

Extras: Guðmundur Eiríksson Elín Guðmundsdóttir Einar Ólafsson Guðrún Helga Jónasdóttir Anna María Bogadóttir Gunnlaugur Friðriksson

Special Thanks: Kukl Trickshot Hótel Saga Ingibjörg Ólafsdóttir Birgir Örn Brynjólfsson Kiley Rene Larson Sigtryggur Ari Jóhannesson Hrönn Egilsdóttir Sigríður Hjálmarsdóttir Hallgrímskirkja Hrafnkell Sigurðsson Ámundi Sigurðsson Pajonka Swimslow Spuutnik Vilborg Árný Valgarðsdóttir Berglind Jóhannesdóttir Šárka Veronika Cat Gundry-Beck Freyr Karel Branolte Sigurður Þór Helgason DJI Iceland

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