Directed by Hlynur Pálmason
Denmark, Iceland | 2017 | 94 min | drama Danish, English

A brother odyssey set in a rural chalk-mining community during a cold winter. We follow two brothers working in this harsh environment focusing on the younger brother Emil, who distills moonshine made from stolen chemicals from the factory. Emil is an outsider, an oddball, who made a conscious choice for loneliness and is only accepted by the mining community due to his older brother Johan. Emil longs for passion, for being wanted and loved. When a fellow worker becomes sick, the moonshine and Emil are prime suspects. Gradually a violent feud erupts between him and the tightly-knit mining community. Parallelly, Emil feels betrayed by his brother when he finds out that the neighbor girl Anna, the subject of his unfulfilled desires, chooses his older brother instead of him. Revenge, loneliness, and lack of love pervade this modern brother odyssey.

Cast & Crew

Director: Hlynur Pálmason
Screenplay: Hlynur Pálmason
Cinematography: Maria Von Hausswolff
Editing: Julius Krebs Damsbo
Cast: Elliott Crosset Hove (Emil), Simon Sears (Johan), Victoria Carmen Sonne (Anna), Lars Mikkelsen (Carl)
Production: Masterplan Pictures, Join Motion Pictures

  • Hlynur Pálmason
    Hlynur Pálmason

Festivals & Awards
Locarno Film Festival – Pardo for best Actor, Best European Film, Junior Jury Award – First Prize, Ecumenical Jury Special Mention
CPH:PIX – Grand Prix
Toronto International Film Festival (Discoveries)
BFI London
Busan International Film Festival

press quotes

Pálmason has constructed a beautiful, consciously dramatic film… it’s difficult not to applaud this exhilarating work.
The Upcoming

Impressively original debut (…) Strange, exceptionally crafted (…) “Winter Brothers” can sometimes recall the Greek Weird Wave work of Yorgos Lanthimos.

a solid cinematographic debut that is both visually and narratively remarkable (…) a delicate, edgy work of art with a strong heart

Hlynur Pálmason

Hlynur Pálmason is an artist / filmmaker born in 1984 in Iceland. He started out as a visual artist and continued his career in filmmaking by pursuing education at the Danish National Film School. His graduation film, A PAINTER (2013), won best short film at Odense IFF, Reykjavík IFF and was nominated for The Danish Film Academy. His latest short film, SEVEN BOATS (2014) premiered at Toronto IFF. His debut film WINTER BROTHERS will premiere in the main competition in Locarno in 2017. Hlynur lives in Copenhagen with his fiancé and three children and is currently working on his second feature, A WHITE, WHITE DAY, parallel with exhibiting art work and video installations.

2019 A White, White Day
2017 Winter Brothers, feature
2014 Seven Boats, short
2013 En Maler / A Painter, short
2012 En Dag Eller To / A Day Or Two, short