Munich-based arthouse distribution company Prokino Filmverleih has locked German-language and Swiss rights for the unconventional Icelandic road trip film “Driving Mum” from production-distribution outfit Alief (“Matadero”).
The project won the Grand Prix Prize for best film at the Tallinn Black Night Film Festival, earning additional accolades for its affecting score. It was also chosen as an Industry Select title at 2022’s Toronto Festival.
The deal, brokered between Miguel Angel Govea, a partner at Alief, and Ira Von Gienanth, managing director of production, acquisitions & sales at Prokino, comes ahead of the feature’s European Film Market screenings in Berlin.
“We’re thrilled to close German rights with Prokino. Ira and the team are a perfect match for Hilmar’s sentimental yet quirky tribute to motherhood,“ Govea remarked in a statement.
Directed by Reykjavík native Hilmar Oddsson (“December”), “Driving Mum” takes a wryly solemn look at isolation, despair and self-discovery as Jon (Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson) is goaded into fulfilling his mothers’ (Kristbjörg Kjeld) final wish: to be buried in her hometown, clear across a desolate Iceland. Loyal dog in tow, the three wind shoreside through the country. Grief over a life he never took advantage of comes to the surface amidst sardonic commentary from a matriarch who haunts him from beyond the grave.
“Just after Tallinn and reading some great reviews, we took a trip with Jon, his mother and the dog Bresnef and never looked back,” stated Von Gienanth. “We hope that our audiences will be as beguiled as we are with this wildly funny and magical ride through the vastness of Iceland. It caters to audiences who’ve loved ‘Woman At War’ and ‘Rams.’
“We simply love ‘Driving Mum’ and were moved by the ending,” she added.
An Icelandic-Estonian co-production from Hlin Johannesdottir (“The Swan”), founder of Iceland’s Ursus Parvus production house, the film tackles obligation, regret and awakening with a reflective plot that’s eclipsed only by the astounding scenery that accompanies each stylistically sound black and white shot.
Rounding out the cast are Hera Hilmar (“Mortal Engines”) and Tómas Lemarquis (“Blade Runner 2049”).
With its recent Scandinavian bow at Goteborg, the dark comedy is set for its U.K. premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival. Eyeing a broader trajectory, Von Gienanth relayed that after a successful festival run, Prokino will open the film theatrically, late summer 2023. Prokino will release the film in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Alto Adige, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.