04/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/21/2021 09:18
When the nominations for the 2021 Oscars were announced in March, there was a lovely local addition: in the Best Animated Short Film category is Yes-People (in Icelandic, Já-fólkið), a whimsical 8.5-minute film created by Icelandic director Gísli Darri Halldórsson.
In Yes-People, the story revolves around a winter day's routine for the inhabitants of an apartment block. Intriguingly, the only dialogue is the Icelandic 'já' (pronounced yow), which means 'yes' and can convey many different meanings depending on tone. (For a fun introduction into this quirk of the local language, check out this clip from The Reykjavík Grapevine.)
When asked how he explains the many moods of the Icelandic 'já' to non-Icelanders, Gísli says, 'It's one of those words that has several functions in the Icelandic everyday. Sometimes meaningful, sometimes contradictory and sometimes just a filler of silence. It's a musical word and to me it solidifies the importance of attitude.'
Watch the official trailer for Yes-People here:
To watch the full film, visit Vimeo on Demand.
US audiences can watch the film free on YouTube.
Travel to the Oscars with Yes-People
Follow the stars of Yes-People on their way to the Oscars this weekend on our Instagram stories.
Icelandic film recommendations
We asked Gísli for recommendations for films that deliver the spirit of Iceland, and this is his reply and his list:
'To feel the spirit of Iceland you should watch one Icelandic film a day for at least a week!'
Monday: Noi the Albino directed by Dagur Kári Pétursson
Tuesday: Sigur Rós: Heima directed by Dean Deblois
Wednesday: Lalli Johns directed by Þorfinnur Guðnason
Thursday: Stella í Orlofi directed by Þórhildur Þorleifsdóttir
Friday: Rams directed by Grímur Hákonarson
Saturday: Í Skóm Drekans directed by Hrönn Sveinsdóttir and Árni Sveinsson
Sunday: Angels of the Universe directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson