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Reykjavik Gets Spotlight as Location of 2020 European Film Awards

The Icelandic capital will become the Cannes of the North as stars and media collide for parties and presentations under the Northern Lights

Cannes getting too crowded? Reykjavik may be just the ticket. For those in search of glam, fashion, parties and the latest in film promotions, Reykjavik, Iceland will be the place to be December 2020, where the best of the best in current European film production will be given the top awards.

The 2020 European Film Awards will be hosted in Reykjavik, and it is not too early (or too late) to plan and book your future visit during that time as the Icelandic capital’s inventory of available accommodations fill up fast and way in advance – even when there is not an illustrious event. For this grand celebration, some 1400 industry people and journalists from around Europe are expected to attend the events and add to the buzz.

Among the talent will be Iceland’s best known director, Baltasar Kormákur, who has acted or directed some 22 films, including Adrift, staring Shailene Woodley and Everest with Josh Brolin and Keira Knightley.

The ceremony will take place at the architecturally acclaimed Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and graced by the juxtaposition of mountains and city life.

Reykjavík competed against two other European cities for the event and Meet in Reykjavík led the bidding process alongside stakeholders from both the public and private sectors in Iceland.,

“We can add this to a long list of Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre success stories. This unique architectural gem is the main reason why we can compete for events like the EFA awards,” said Thorsteinn Orn Gudmundsson, the Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík.

Established in 1988 to support and promote the European film industry, the awards ceremony is held every second year in Berlin. In previous years, the European Film Awards has been held in Seville, Riga, Wroclaw, Tallinn, Malta, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, Warsaw, Barcelona and London.

Icelanders are no strangers to the EFAs. Iconic pop-singer Björk has won awards for her role in Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark (2000). Ingvar E. Sigurðsson also won the People’s Choice award for Angels Of The Universe (2000). Finally, Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson won the European University Film Award 2017 for the film Heartstone.

Many Hollywood films have been shot in Iceland over the past decade, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and, of course, HBO’s Game of Thrones television series.

The location is also a great recognition of Reykjavik and Harpa as a pliable and interesting location for international events of this magnitude. It is expected that around 1,400 guests will be present at the award ceremony itself, and live broadcast will be aired both here in Iceland and throughout Europe.

The timing is perfect, as December allows room for this great number of visitors and it is expected that this will have a positive impact both on Icelandic travel industry as well as providing a good opportunity of promoting Icelandic culture and art.

The European Film Award took place in Seville, Spain last year, but it has also been held in London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Malta, Riga and Wroclaw.

December in Reykjavik is cold, but contrary to belief, it is not colder than, say, New York City during that month. Daytime temperatures average 37 degrees, but unlike New York, there is a good chance during those dark winter months of catching the Aurora Borealis in full majesty. Also, because December is an off-season time for tourism, there tend to be more vacancies and better rates, as well as promotional deals to make visiting the country more cost effective.

Information: Visit Reykjavik; ​Meet in Reykjavik