Crossroad Stories

Rúnar Rúnarsson was in Cannes last year with his short "2Birds". Now the director, who will be graduating from the National Film School in June, is back with his graduation film "Anna", a story of the transition from childhood to adolescence.

"Anna" is a coming-of-age story about 12-year-old Anna who is going through a difficult patch in her life. She lives in a fishing village with her family, but her world is changing, and she is experiencing the first chaotic signs of puberty.

“Stories of crossroads are what interest me,” says director Rúnar Rúnarsson who is from Iceland. “Times in your life when things change, go from one thing to another, and you have to make some choices. Adolescence is such a transitional period. The chaotic feelings, experiencing first love, your relation to your parents – all these emotions of limitlessness that, for better or for worse, define this period in your life.”



Born 1977, Iceland. Made the documentary "Searching for Rajeev" in 2002. Will be graduating from the National Film School in June with "Anna". Rúnarsson and his team have received numerous awards for 2Birds", a contestant in Cannes 2008. "The Last Farm" (2004), was nominated for an Oscar.

Through tightly composed images, Rúnarsson conveys the feelings of Anna as she struggles with her family falling apart and her own emotional roller-coaster ride.

”Both "Anna" and my previous "2Birds" are films of youth. I want to show how it feels when everything is turned upside down. In fact, Anna could be me. I remember strongly the mixed feelings from my teenage years, and that’s what I want to recreate in my films.”

Rúnarsson is aiming at an effect one could call psychological realism. A minimalistic visual signature present in all his three short films, where tableaulike images, long takes, soft editing and a suggestive score frame the emotional depth of the narratives.

“To me, it’s very important to get the audience to sense time the same way as my protagonists. I like to give them the feeling that time stands still. A space where chronological time stops but endless things happen on an emotional level. You can communicate a wealth of emotions and moods in one single image of a face. I like to tell stories that open up to some emotional channels in people using only a few subtle means. Years back, I made a couple of films that were more in-your-face, with a clear message. Today I prefer to offer people small, subtle statements, rather than to throw a Molotov cocktail”.

Rúnar Rúnarsson foto Claudia Hausfeld