Rúnarsson Shooting Sparrows

IN PRODUCTION. Rúnar Rúnarsson, who brought his feature debut "Volcano" to Cannes Directors' Fortnight in 2011, is preparing his second feature "Sparrows" set in Iceland's spectacular Westfjords.

Rúnar Rúnarsson, a graduate from the National Film School of Denmark, will start shooting his coming-of-age drama "Sparrows" from July 14 in his native Iceland.

The story follows Ari, 16, who lives with his mother in Reykjavik. When she goes abroad to start a new job, Ari is forced to move back with his father in the desolate Westfjords far from the city. There he has to navigate a difficult relationship with his father, and he finds his childhood friends changed, especially Laura, whom he falls in love with.

"For some reason, I have this urge to make films about myself and the people I know and love," Rúnarsson tells Screen Daily. "The Westfjords and their beautiful surroundings and worn towns that are fighting for survival, even before the financial crisis, is a magical and thematically poignant place to portray a story of change. A place I consider my second home." Read Screen article.

The story strikes the singular note that has become a Rúnarsson hallmark: his urge to depict people at vulnerable crossroads in life. Other fateful junctures are found in his Oscar-nominated short "The Last Farm" (2004) and his two award-winning student films, "2Birds" (2008) and "Anna" (2009), both in Cannes, as well as his critically acclaimed debut feature "Volcano" (2011) about a retired janitor, Hannes, who faces the decision of his life when his wife turns ill.

Mikkel Jersin is producing for Nimbus Film and the newly created Nimbus Film Iceland. The director has teamed up once again with DoP Sophia Olsson and editor Jacob Schulsinger, both on the crew of "Volcano".

The film has received support from the Danish Film Institute's Film Commissioner Scheme (read more) and is expected to release in 2015.