HAUGESUND, Norway — Since opening at the Berlinale to strong reviews and scooping three awards at Tribeca, Icelandic helmer Dagur Kari’s “Virgin Mountain” has attracted a flurry of distributors, becoming one of the bestselling Nordic films of the last 12 months.
Repped by Paris-based Bac Films, “Virgin Mountain” has been acquired for France (ARP Selection), Japan (Magic Hour), Southeast Asia (Astro), Spain (Surtsey films), Turkey (Bir Film), Italy (Movies Inspired), Israel (Lev Film), Hungary (Mozinet), Czech Republic (Artcam), Estonia (Estinfilm), Switzerland (Xenix Filmdistribution), Greece (One From the Heart), and Portugal (Alambique). Bac Films’ sales division has also closed various TV deals including with HBO for Eastern Europe.
Pic stars Icelandic newcomer Gunnar Jonsson as a lonely fortysomething late-bloomer whose life is shaken up and ultimately transformed by a woman.
“Distributors have responded to the subtlety and empathy that Dagur Kari infused his characters with. Kari was able to turn an outsider (Gunnar Jonsson’s character) into an unlikely yet true hero whom we root for until the end,” said Gilles Sousa, head of international sales at Bac Films. Another plus, per Sousa: “‘Virgin Mountain’ triggers strong emotions in a way that only the most talented Nordic directors can achieve.”
Produced by Agnes Johansen for Baltasar Kormakur’s RVK Studios, “Virgin Mountain” was previously picked up by Imovision (Brazil), September Films (Benelux), Babilla Cine (Colombia) and Europafilm (Norway), as well as Alamode (Germany and Austria) and MCF Megacom (former Yugoslavia).
“Virgin Mountain,” which is currently playing at Haugesund, is considered one of the frontrunners to represent Iceland in the Oscar’s foreign-language race. The movie, previously titled “Fusi,” won best actor, narrative feature and screenplay awards at Tribeca. It also nabbed the audience prize at CPH: PIX.
“Virgin Mountain” marks Kari’s most successful feature since his debut “Noi the Albino” played at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
Up next, Bac Films will present Nicolas Saada’s “Taj Mahal” at Venice’s Horizons section and David Verbeek’s “Full Contact” at Toronto’s newly launched Platform section.