Søren Malling Filming in Iceland

NEW PRODUCTION. Icelandic director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson has just started principal photography on his feature debut "Heartstone," developed through the Cannes Festival's Résidence Programme.

Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson spent last spring and summer at the Cannes Festival's Résidence programme in Paris, a workshop for young filmmakers working on their first or second feature project. Here, Guðmundsson developed the script for his debut feature film, "Heartstone," after receiving a Special Mention at Cannes in 2013 for his short, "Whale Valley."

Now the director and his crew have started the shoot for the film in Iceland, lasting until the beginning of October. "Heartstone," a coming-of-age drama set in a remote fishing village, portrays the journey of friendship and love that two boys, Thor and Christian, go through as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend.

Actor Søren Malling, who has gathered international attention for his performances in the TV series "The Killing" and "Borgen" and films such as "The Hijacking" and "Men & Chicken," flew to Iceland earlier this week to appear in front of the camera as a Danish immigrant, Sven, who plays a vital role in the drama between Thor and Christian. These are played by Baldur Einarsson and Blær Hinriksson, two young first-time actors discovered through extensive casting sessions in Iceland.

In addition to receiving a Special Mention at Cannes, Guðmundsson's short film "Whale Valley" was nominated for a European Film Award, among other accolades, and the director also took home a string of prizes for his short film "Ártún."

"Heartstone" is written by Guðmundsson, and cinematographer is Sturla Brandth Grøvlen. Anne Østerud and Janus Billeskov Jansen will be editing. Working on the score and sound design is Kristian Eidnes Andersen, renowned for his work on films by Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and Nicolas Winding Refn. 

Jesper Morthorst and Lise Orheim Stender are producing for SF Film Production, in a close co-production setup with Anton Mani Svansson of Icelandic company Join Motion Pictures. The film has received a grant from Eurimages and is backed by the Icelandic Film Center and the Danish Film Institute.

See more at heartstone-thefilm.com