The tiny town of Húsavík, Iceland is rolling out the red carpet, literally through the center of town, in the hopes of winning an Oscar. The town was thrust into the spotlight by the Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” where much of the film is set.
As if being the central location of a film wasn’t enough, the song “Húsavík” from the movie was a surprise nomination for Best Original Song at the Oscars. The fishing and tourism community of 2,300 people has been on a publicity spree ever since in the hopes of spreading the word about their beloved town and garnering Oscar bragging rights. The town once made its living from fishing but now it relies on tourism and whale watching and has already seen an increase in tourism since the film's release.
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Húsavík has painted the Main Street red to create their own “red carpet” moments. And the Mayor has created some very creative and heartwarming videos on YouTube to share the town’s excitement. Watch “An Óskar for Húsavík” and you can see the charm and humor that likely inspired Ferrell and McAdam's characters.
“Eurovision” was released to mixed reviews on Netflix. And many people were surprised to see “Húsavík” nominated in this category. But if you look at the pedigree of songwriters it’s not that surprising at all.
The song is written by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson. Each has written for almost every Top 40 artist of this decade from Ariana Grande to The Weeknd to Britney Spears. While Rachel McAdams did sing some of the music in the film, it was Swedish singer Molly Sandén, who also goes by My Marianne, who took the lead in vocals for “Husavik.”
Of the five contenders for Best Original Song, three are featured on political dramas delving into America's troubled past, while one comes from a moving Italian film starring Sophia Loren as an aging Holocaust survivor. Then, there’s “Húsavík” with lyrics about whales and is co-performed onscreen by Will Ferrell dressed as a fisherman.
The original song nominees include "Fight for You" from Judas and the Black Messiah (nominees: D'Mile, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas), "Hear My Voice" from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (nominees: Daniel Pemberton and Celeste), "Io sì (Seen)" from The Life Ahead (nominees: Diane Warren and Laura Pausini), "Speak Now" from One Night in Miami... (nominees: Sam Ashworth and Leslie Odom Jr.) and "Húsavík" from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (nominees: Rickard Göransson, Fat Max Gsus and Savan Kotecha).
Here’s a complete list of nominees in all the categories. To see if Húsavík’s efforts pay off, tune in to the Oscars at 5pm PT on ABC.