Iceland has a long history of filmmaking, yet the country’s first feature film wasn’t created until 1949. The first Icelandic motion picture I saw was The Last Farm In The Valley, and it was released in 1950. The movie was 20 years old when I saw it, and it wasn’t all that thrilling in comparison to Roy Rogers and Batman.
Since then, Icelandic cinema has advanced significantly. It can be argued that between 1978 and 1991 marked the start of the country’s true filmmaking boom, which culminated in the Oscar nomination for the movie Children of Nature, which was seen as a major accomplishment at the time.
Several Icelandic movies are made each year, but despite its small size, the film industry is still vital to the country’s culture and other creative sectors. The art of producing television series has also advanced significantly, and Icelandic crime dramas like the superb series Trapped have found great popularity internationally. The fact that the episodes were shot in Siglufjörður, my birthplace, among other locations, made it an incredible experience for me to watch them.
One could argue that recent years have seen an even greater importance placed on other aspects of the movie industry. Games of Thrones is one example of foreign movies and TV shows that have been filmed in Iceland in the past decade. It is obvious that Icelandic nature, with its volcanoes, glaciers, and geothermal energy, can serve as the backdrop for movies and television shows. This is especially true given how many thrillers are made nowadays that work well in this context.
The Icelandic government has contributed considerable sums of money each year in tax credits to Icelandic and international film and TV production to attract the business it brings. There are major projects in this area coming up, like the upcoming season of True Detective, which will be filmed in Iceland this winter. Icelandic nature with strong financial backing is a favorable background for the dream factory.