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    Directed by

    Iceland, Denmark


    99 min

    • Icelandic


    Toronto IFFIceland's submission for the Academy Awards

    SPARROWS is a coming-of-age story about the 16-year old boy Ari, who has been living with his mother in Reykjavik and is suddenly sent back to the remote Westfjords to live with his father Gunnar. There, he has to navigate a difficult relationship with his father, and he finds his childhood friends changed. In these hopeless and declining surroundings, Ari has to step up and find his way.

    SPARROWS is a journey from innocence to adulthood. It is a film about a father and son relationship, which has broken down, about adolescents and love. SPARROWS takes place during a summer in a remote, Icelandic fishing village, which is in decline. During the nights at this time of the year, it is a place where the sun does not set. It stays low on the horizon, casting a constant magical light on the surroundings. And thus a magical and thematically poignant place to portray a story of change.


    • Silver Hugo (New Directors) - Chicago IFF
    • Best Film (1-2 Competition) - Warsaw IFF
    • Golden Shell for Best Film - San Sebastián IFF
    • Artistic Achievement Award - Thessaloniki IFF
    • Dragon Award Best Nordic Film, FIPRESCI Award - Göteborg FF
    • Special Jury Prize - Transilvania IFF


    Labels & Line Ups


    Atli Óskar Fjalarsson
    Ingvar E. Sigurðsson
    Kristbjörg Kjeld
    Rade Šerbedžija
    Rúnar Rúnarsson
    Sophia Olsson
    Jacob Secher Schulsinger
    Kjartan Sveinsson


    Icelandic helmer Runar Runarsson's soph feature is a thoughtful coming-of-age that confirms his talent.

    Guy Lodge, Variety

    Rúnar Rúnarsson

    Rúnar Rúnarsson


    That feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff and having to reach the other side. When a character has to make an important decision or is forced to act, for better or for worse, he sets off big changes in his life. It's not just fiction. We all have to go through a transitory period like this.

    Born in Reykjavik Iceland, Rúnar Rúnarsson graduated from the Danish Film School in 2009. He returned to Iceland to direct VOLCANO (2011), his first feature film. Rúnar is an acclaimed screenwriter and director, with around 90 International awards under his belt for his previous films. His film SPARROWS (2015) was awarded the Golden Shell at the 63rd San Sebastián IFF. His latest work is the film ECHO (2019), which had its world premiere at Locarno FF.

    Selected Filmography