"Who is Dís? She is a charming young woman in her early twenties, sharing a flat with her best friend, Blaer - and she is troubled by the thought that she is 'abnormally normal' - a mere photocopy of a long lost original," explained Silja Hauksdóttir, who has based her feature debut on the novel 'Dís', which was published five years ago.

The film is set in Reykjavik during the summer of 2000, when Dís has taken a summer job as a receptionist at Hótel Borg.

She has decided to give the university a third try - this time for anthropology - but after meeting a US superwoman-photographer, who offers her the job as her assistant, she prepares to move to New York.

She also meets the eccentric Gaui, who has an admiring fixation on former Icelandic president Vigdis Finnbogadóttir - and she gets romantically involved with two men, a hotel manager, Jón Ágúst, and Lalli.

She has a passionate affair with the latter, which reaches its climax during an earthquake that rattles Reykjavik on Iceland's Independence Day.

By the end of the summer the American photographer retracts her job offer, and Dís is devastated. Gaui dies, and Dís invites Finnbogadóttir for the funeral.

Blaer, who has been dating identical twins, finds out she is pregnant - but which one is the father? Dís, however, seems happier and more determined to find out what the future has in store for her.

"In the beginning Dís has the feeling that everybody around her really knows where they are heading. She has tried various odd jobs, and although she has started at university more than once, she has still not found out what she really wants to do with her life," said Hauksdóttir of her main character.

"On one side she has lively and bohemian Blaer - they are very different, but they share the same sarcastic humour as well as interests in the TV series Dallas and in the opposite sex. On the other side she has her childhood friends with their middle class lifestyle that does not really appeal to her. In the end she is ready to go her own way."

Director: Silja Hauksdóttir

Silja Hauksdóttir's first professional film experience was when she played the lead in Icelandic director Ásdís Thoroddsen's 1995 feature, 'Draumadísir' ('Dream Hunters').

Finishing her university degree in philosophy, she began working as a production co-ordinator/assistant, script supervisor and casting assistant for the production house, Saga Film, joining the local crew for the Bond movie, 'Die Another Day', which was partly shot in Iceland. At the same time she started co-writing the novel Dís with Birna Anna Björnsdóttir and Oddny Sturludóttir, which was published in 2000. Hauksdóttir has studied filmmaking at Prague's film school, FAMU.

Scriptwriters: Birna Anna Björnsdóttir, Oddny Sturludóttir, Silja Hauksdóttir

Silja Hauksdóttir co-wrote the script for Dís with Icelandic author-journalist Birna Anna Björnsdottir and Oddny Sturludottir, who is a writer as well as a pianist.

Producer: Baltasar Kormákur

A drama school graduate, Baltasar Kormákur worked as an actor both in Iceland and abroad. Starring roles in films include Fridrik Thór Fridriksson'z 'Djöflaeyjan' ('Devil's Island/'1996) and 'Englar Alheimsins' ('Angels of the Universe'), the Icelandic contender for an Oscar nomination.

After his feature directorial debut, '101 Reykjavik' - starring Spanish actress Victoria Abril - had shown at Sundance 2001, he was included in Variety's list of 'Ten to Watch'. As well as directing ('Hafid'/'The Sea', 'A Little Trip to Heaven'), Kormakur has started his own production house, Blueeyes Productions.


Silja Hauksdóttir


Birna Anna Björnsdóttir, Oddny Sturludóttir, Silja Hauksdóttir; based on their novel which they co-wrote.


Baltasar Kormákur, Blueeyes Productions/Sögn

Principal cast:

Álfrún Helga Örnólfsdóttir, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Árni Tryggvason, Þórunn Erna Clausen, Ylfa Edelstein, Gunnar Hansson

Local distributor:

Blueeyes Productions.