CATEGORIES Foreign Language, Independent, Deals, Mystery & Suspense, IFC, Festival Reports, Distribution, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie, Toronto Film Festival, Movie News, CinematicalGood news for fans of Icelandic cinema: IFC has picked up the cop thriller Jar City in what is apparently the first buy of this year's Toronto International Film Festival. (Variety calls it the "first official buy"; The Hollywood Reporter calls it "one of the first sales." The point is, the fest only started yesterday and already the cash registers are ka-chinging.)
Peter Martin told us last week about the film's fast-rising profile. It's Iceland's highest-grossing film of all time, and it won the Grand Prix competition at the Karlovy Vary fest in July. It picked up more steam when it played at Telluride last week. Based on a novel, it is the fourth film from writer/director Baltasar Kormakur, and the fourth to play at Toronto. I saw (and adored) his first two, 101 Reykjavik and The Sea; the third one, A Little Trip to Heaven, which I have not seen, was filmed in English and starred Forest Whitaker and Julia Stiles.
Kormakur returns to his native tongue in Jar City, which focuses on two connected plots. In one, a man tries to determine how his daughter could have contracted a rare genetic disease that no one in his family has ever had; in the other, a cop looks for a murderer. They cross paths; mysteries unfold; thrillarity ensues. IFC's First Take division will distribute the film theatrically in North America. No word yet on when that will be, or how much IFC paid for it.