“Husavik” nominated for an Oscar

Svanhildur Sif Halldórsdóttir

Svanhildur Sif Halldórsdóttir

Iceland has made its mark on this year’s Academy Awards. Earlier today, it was announced that “Húsavík”, the song named after a North-Iceland town, was nominated for Best Original Song at the 93rd Academy Awards. Furthermore, “Yes-People”, an animated short by Icelander Gísli Darri Halldórsson, was nominated for Best Animated Short.

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The song “Húsavík” is from the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The movie follows two hopeful locals from the town of Húsavík, Lars and Sigrit, pursuing their dream of competing in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. 

The film stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Lars and Sigrit, as well as Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato.

The song, “Húsavík” is an ode to the main characters’ hometown and performed in the movie by Sigrit and Lars. In actuality, the song is performed by Will Ferrell and Swedish singer Molly Sandén, performing under the stage name My Marianne. “Húsavík” was written by Savan Kotecha, Rickard Göransson, and Fat Max Gsus. 

The North Iceland town of Húsavík with its iconic church in the centre.
The town of Húsavík. Photo: Orly Orlyson via Flickr

Since the release of the movie on Netflix last year, the small town of Húsavík, and its 3,000 residents, has received worldwide attention which they seem to relish. The town has now built the little Elf Village seen in the movie, and opened a bar named JaJa DingDong (after another song in the film).

They even created a video, urging the academy to nominate the song, after it appeared on a shortlist of nominations earlier last month. 


Unfortunately for the people in Húsavík, if the song wins an Oscar, the award will not end up in Iceland. Though an Icelander (Atli Örvarsson) composed music for the film, he did not write the song “Húsavík”. 

However, there is still a chance an Oscar will end up in Iceland. Filmmaker Gísli Darri Halldórsson was nominated in the category Best Animated Short for his film “Yes-People”. 

Two animated character sitting by a table.
Photo: Icelandic Film Centre

The story follows people living in an apartment block. You’ll see their routine take over in the morning and as the movie progresses, their character traits are revealed through their habits. 

Only one word appears in the short, the word “yes” which is repeated with countless tonal inflections.

The movie won Best Icelandic Short at the Reykjavik International Film Festival in September of last year. It also won prizes in Spain, Sweden, and at the Nordic festival, Nordisk Panorama.

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