Iceland is a nation well-known for its breathtaking natural landscapes and formations, which Icelanders hold dear to their hearts. This is why a recent road construction project has caused people to fight back. This new road will run from the Alftanes peninsula, where the presidential office is, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer; the projected plan involves the road cutting directly through the largest lava field in the Reykjavik area. Icelanders of all walks of life, from artists to musicians to elf “seers” are protesting the construction of this road, arguing that the new road is unnecessarily destroying Iceland’s natural beauty. During the fall of 2013, dozens of “friends of lava” (an environmentalist group) gathered around the lava rocks every day, sitting and singing songs to peacefully protest the construction of this road. One day, the friends of lava were confronted with the “biggest bulldozer in Iceland” and over 50 police officers. After not backing down to the officers’ requests to leave the lava field, protesters were physically removed from the area and 9 were arrested and sent to jail. Since that day, the 9 arrested were sent to court for a hearing, but they continue to fight for the preservation of this lava field.
Our documentary will follow the story of this road construction project and the passionate protesters who are fighting to save the land. While the personal stories that will be shared through the film are specific to this cause, the broader issue to be explored is the constant struggle between preserving nature and the expansion of a nation. This documentary will take you into the lives of passionate Icelanders and give a whole new perspective on environment vs. economy.
Ashley Moradipour and Katie Wise are senior documentary film students attending Chapman University located in Orange, California. Katie, co-director and cinematographer, is from Northern California in a town 30 minutes north of Sacramento. Ashley, co-director and editor, is from Nashville, Tennessee.
- Ashley and Katie met in a French class their Sophomore year
- Both love to pet puppies as a way to relax and de-stress
- Both have a mutual obsession with nice-smelling candles
- Ashley and Katie share a passion for telling peoples stories and sharing them through the art of documentaries
Risks and challenges
Honestly, one of the biggest challenges of this film is going to be the weather in Iceland. When we were there in January we experienced rain, snow, and over 80mph winds in just a weeks time. Because of this it was very hard to make a set shooting schedule as when it was nice outside we had to make sure we were getting the outside shots we needed and when it a rainy day it would mean trying to set up an interview as quickly as possible.
This time around we are also going for a very limited time so we will need to make sure that we have multiple backups plans each day if the weather decides to not play nicely.
- (25 days)