Northern Comfort (Iceland / UK / Germany, 2023) will open the 22nd edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival (9 - 18 June 2023). Directed by Icelandic filmmaker Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, the film is part of Nordic Focus, a complex programme of Transilvania IFF.22 that will include more than 40 films, concerts and cine-concerts from Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.
On Friday June 9th, starting 8:45 PM, thousands are expected to join the film cast & crew and other special guests in Unirii Square to celebrate the start of a new Transilvania IFF edition, in an evening full of surprises. Tickets for the Opening Gala are on sale online - https://tiff.eventbook.ro/film/bilete-tiff-2023-gala-de-deschidere?lang=en
Sigurðsson tests his dark humour in English for the first time. Nordic Comfort is his first departure from the Icelandic comfort zone, though much of the story still takes place there. Filmed in England, France and Iceland, the comedy is a race against time through the air and through the snow, an improbable adventure where anxiety is contagious, and paranoia lurks around the corner.
The fear of flying can be cured by a long flight under the supervision of a guide. At least that's what this exclusive course, which is attended by a diverse group of anxious people, says. But problems quickly arise and escalate to surprisingly absurd levels. The cast is a standout, first because each of the characters are at the centre of their own universe, and second because we're dealing with such exceptional names as Timothy Spall (one of director Mike Leigh's favourite actors, starring in Secrets and Lies and All or Nothing, winner of a Cannes acting award for Mr. Turner, but known to the general public thanks to the character of Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter series), Lydia Leonard, an English theatre and film actress (The Crown, Ten Percent), Sverrir Gudnason and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson.
The film had its world premiere in March at the SXSW Film Festival (USA) and marks Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson's return to Cluj. His first films, Either Way (2012) and Paris of the North (2015), competed for the Transylvania Trophy, and in 2017 the Icelander returned to Transilvania IFF with Under the Tree, a dark comedy that premiered in Venice about the struggle for territory in a bourgeois Icelandic suburb. "It's by far one of my favourite festivals. I fell in love with Transilvania IFF more than ten years ago when I came to Cluj with my debut film. Thank you to the festival for trusting me and for this long-lasting relationship."
Northern Comfort’s film distributor in Romania will be Transilvania Film.
The film is screened at Transilvania IFF with the support of Scandinavian Films and Icelandic Film Centre.