Back when they were brothers-in-law, married to two sisters, MITCH (Earl Lynn Nelson) and COLIN (Paul Eenhoorn) were close friends, but they drifted apart as Mitch and his wife divorced and Colin's wife died. Now Mitch, a retired surgeon who can't quite admit to being retired, recruits a reluctant Colin on a holiday to Iceland - just the ticket to perk up a pair who have endured their share of disappointments but still have a spirit of adventure in them.
Brassy, relentlessly cheery, and prone to colorfully profane language ("...this is so delicious it's like angels pissin' on your tongue!") Southerner Mitch is the live wire of the duo. Colin, a more reserved Australian, is picking up the pieces after a second marriage gone sour. For both men, aging, loneliness, and disenchantment are silent adversaries to be countered with gumption.
Women are much on the radar during their travels: in upscale Reykjavik, they hit the nightclubs with Mitch's much younger first-cousin-once-removed ELLEN (Karrie Crouse) and her friend JANET (Elizabeth McKee), who happen to be traveling through at the same time. Even though Mitch, who is something of a Dapper Dan, disapproves of the unrevealing outfits worn by the ladies (Ph.D candidates both), a good time, of sorts, is had by all.
As their rented SUV pilots them deeper into the Icelandic hinterlands, Colin and Mitch encounter fellow adventurers, get on each others' nerves, play movie trivia games, get lost on the moonless moors, grouse about their sons, smoke pot, speak of regrets, and marvel at Iceland's otherworldly beauty. The vast, haunting landscapes - moss-coated cliffs, fog-shrouded mountains, geothermal pools - form a primordial Eden, the perfect backdrop for the friends' escapades.
And as Mitch exclaims when Colin's spirits flag, "Don't get that Sunday afternoon attitude - good times are still a-comin'!" - a testament to the fact that joie de vivre can replenish us at any age.
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Australian native Paul Eenhoorn has worked in TV and film since his teenage years. He began his training in his hometown of Perth at the Mt. Lawley Academy of Performing Arts under Aarne Neeme. After moving to Sydney in the late 80's, Paul continued to train at The Actors Centre. He currently resides in Seattle and has appeared in numerous independent feature films including ZOO, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and more recently, 2013 Sundance Film Festival hit THIS IS MARTIN BONNER, which won the Audience Award: Best of Sundance NEXT as well as the John Cassavetes Award at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards. His latest feature LAND HO! premiered at Sundance 2014, and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.×
Oculoplastic surgeon and Kentucky native Earl Lynn Nelson graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in the swinging nineteen-sixties. Living most of his adult life in New Orleans, Earl Lynn mastered the art of partying and good living. When his cousin, Martha Stephens, asked him to star in her debut feature, PASSENGER PIGEONS (SXSW 2010), he thought "Why the hell not?" and inevitably stole the show. Director David Gordon Green hailed Nelson's performance as the best of 2010 and cast him in an episode of EASTBOUND AND DOWN. Earl Lynn then appeared in Stephens's subsequent features PILGRIM SONG (SXSW 2012) and LAND HO!, which was co-directed by Aaron Katz (Sundance 2014).
When he isn't on a float on Bourbon Street, Nelson enjoys kicking back with a Hallmark movie and spoiling his wife, Ann.×
Raised in the hills of Appalachian Kentucky, Martha Stephens longed to create films celebrating and investigating her native land and people. A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking, Stephens's first feature film, PASSENGER PIGEONS, premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival, and won Chicken and Egg Pictures' "We Believe In You" Award.
Stephens's second feature film, PILGRIM SONG premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival in the Narrative Competition. She won the Best Director Award at the Fantaspoa Film Festival in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and her film was awarded Best Southern Film of 2012 by Oxford American Magazine and Best Southern Film at the 2012 Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Stephens's latest feature, LAND HO!, an Iceland-set buddy comedy which she co-wrote and co- directed with Aaron Katz, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival to great critical acclaim. The film was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and named on several "Best of Sundance" lists. It will be released on July 11, 2014.
Stephens is currently developing her latest script, PAPAW EASY. The script was selected for IFP's Project Forum and the Sundance Creative Producing Lab, and won the Tribeca Film Institute's Tribeca All-Access Grant.×
Critically acclaimed writer, director, and editor Aaron Katz was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, before crossing the country to study filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Immediately following graduation, he returned with five friends to his hometown, where they filmed his feature debut, DANCE PARTY, USA, an Official Selection of the 2006 SXSW Film Festival.
QUIET CITY, his sophomore feature, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2007. Following a successful festival run both home and abroad, the Brooklyn-set romance was selected by Stephen Holden as a New York Times Critics' Pick and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the John Cassavetes Award.
Katz's third feature, COLD WEATHER, opened as a Spotlight Premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and went on to play the Los Angeles Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, and BFI London Film Festival, among several others. Released theatrically by IFC Films and dubbed by Indiewire as "2011's first great American indie," the genre-bending mystery garnered widespread praise from critics, including Roger Ebert and Manohla Dargis, and ranked on several lists among the best films of the year.
Katz's latest feature, LAND HO!, an Iceland-set buddy comedy which he co-wrote and co- directed with Martha Stephens, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival to great critical acclaim. The film was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and named on several "Best of Sundance" lists. It will be released on July 11, 2014.
Katz currently resides in Los Angeles.×
Mynette Louie is the president of Gamechanger Films, which exclusively finances women-directed narrative features. She is winner of the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award. Louie produced Martha Stephens' & Aaron Katz's LAND HO! (Sundance 2014); Marshall Lewy's CALIFORNIA SOLO (Sundance 2012); Patricia Benoit's STONES IN THE SUN (Tribeca 2012); Doug Karr's ART MACHINE (Woodstock 2012); and Tze Chun's critically acclaimed CHILDREN OF INVENTION (Sundance 2009) and crime thriller COLD COMES THE NIGHT (Sony, 2014). Louie was the consulting producer on Olivia Silver's ARCADIA (Berlin 2012); executive produced Ishai Setton's THE KITCHEN (Gen Art 2012, Closing Night); and co-produced Andrew Bujalski's MUTUAL APPRECIATION (SXSW 2006).
Louie serves as an advisor to the Sundance Institute, IFP, and A3 Asian American Artists Foundation, and has consulted for sales agent Visit Films. While working at the Hawaii Film Office, Louie authored the state's production tax credit. She was named in Ted Hope's list of "21 Brave Thinkers Of Truly Free Film" and profiled in Indiewire's "Futures" column and named "100 Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter." A native New Yorker, Louie graduated from Harvard University, where she studied Chinese literature and film.×
Sara Murphy most recently produced Martha Stephens' & Aaron Katz's LAND HO! and co-produced John Slattery's directorial debut GOD'S POCKET, both of which premiered at Sundance 2014. She was an associate producer of Philip Seymour Hoffman's directorial debut, JACK GOES BOATING (Sundance 2010). She served as head of development for the late Mr. Hoffman's company, Cooper's Town, for five years. Her other film production credits include CAPOTE, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, THE SAVAGES, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD, CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR, SYNECDOCHE, NY and DOUBT. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College.×
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin's film program, Christina Jennings produced Martha Stephens' and Aaron Katz's LAND HO! (Sundance 2014) and is currently producing Stephens' forthcoming feature PAPAW EASY, having initially served as associate producer on Stephens' second feature PILGRIM SONG. In Austin, where she currently resides, Jennings worked seasonally for South by Southwest Conference & Festivals from 2006 to 2011, having produced the SXSW Film Awards from 2009 forward. Most Recently, she served as production secretary on both David Gordon Green's JOE as well as MANGLEHORN.×
Director of Photography
After completing his studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Andrew Reed shot his first feature with a handful of friends and few expectations. That film, the Brooklyn-set romance QUIET CITY, was featured as a New York Times Critics' Pick and earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination. His following film, COLD WEATHER, was released theatrically by IFC Films, garnered widespread critical praise, and ranked on several lists among the best films of the year. Reed participated as a Director of Photography at the Sundance Institute Directors Lab and was named one of Variety's "10 Cinematographers to Watch." Most recently, Reed shot LAND HO! by Martha Stephens & Aaron Katz, which premiered at Sundance 2014.×
Keegan DeWitt has scored many films including Sundance 2014 selections LAND HO! and LISTEN UP PHILIP, Sundance 2013 selections THIS IS MARTIN BONNER and LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM, as well as the Academy Award-winning short documentary INOCENTE. DeWitt and filmmaker Aaron Katz have been longtime collaborators, bringing three films to SXSW: DANCE PARTY, USA, the Spirit Award- nominated QUIET CITY, and COLD WEATHER, released by IFC Films. DeWitt is also an established performer in his own right with a lengthy solo career and a recent LP with his band Wild Cub, which received acclaim from many publications including Vogue, Nylon, Spin, and Paste, and recently performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Conan.×