Iceland taps ‘Angels’ for Oscar entry

Fridriksson pic takes seven Edda honors

REYKJAVIK — Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s “Angels of the Universe” will be Iceland’s submission to the Oscars, it was announced Sunday evening during the Edda Awards.

The pic swept Iceland’s Edda film awards, picking up seven honors including those for picture, director and actor. Prior to the ceremony, “101 Reykjavik” by Baltasar Kormakur was the main contender, an international festival favorite, recently chosen for Sundance. Bjork was voted best actress for “Dancer in the Dark.”

“Angels of the Universe” gathered what to Iceland is a huge audience: around 90,000 people — a third of the population.

Based on a novel by Einar Mar Gudmundsson, it’s about a gifted man’s struggle with schizophrenia. It’s produced by the Icelandic Film Corp. (Iceland) and co-produced by Filmhuset (Norway), Peter Rommel Film Prod. (Germany) and Zentropa (Denmark).

Fridriksson’s “Children of Nature” was Oscar-nommed in 1992. A preselection committee nominated the candidates. The votes of the roughly 600 members of the Icelandic Film and Television Academy counted as 70% of the results, against a 30% share of the public who could vote on the Web site of Edda’s main sponsor, Morgunbladid, the biggest national newspaper in the country. The Web site garnered 7,050 votes.

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