“The School of Housewives” selected for BBC’s non-fiction film festival LongShots line-up

RIFF – International Film Festival Reykjavik, one of 13 International Film Festivals to co-curate the line-up for LongShots, nominated The School of Housewives along with . . .


But it was The School of Housewives that was selected to be one of 13 films screened at the festival out of 110 entries. 

The BBC has created an unprecedented alliance of 13 prestigious film festivals from around the globe to showcase the most exciting current works in non-fiction that embody this year’s motto Age of Bloom. The line-up features 13 films loved by programmers and local audiences but not yet widely distributed. Without LongShots, they would be lost to a global audience.


About this year’s selection

In the spirit of the roaring 20s, the films in our program will explore inspiring and exhilarating stories that remind us of the pleasures and joys of human existence, honoring new beginnings and the wonders of our diverse, colorful and flamboyant world. Films that make your heart jump, catch you by surprise, examine urgent themes through a new empowering lens, and above all celebrate our planet’s powerful beauty and diversity.


Quote from BBC

“It will be a festival of festivals,” said BBC Reel US Editor Anna Bressanin. “We want to offer our audience the chance to discover exciting movies that they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise unless they could travel from Reykjavik to Tel Aviv, the kind of movies that are shown and acclaimed at great festivals for a week but then disappear until some of them reach streaming services. Personally, it was amazing to co-curate our selection with international institutions that are much loved and esteemed for their programming and their commitment. This year, LongShots is our way of celebrating togetherness and the unifying power of cinema”.

Films competing in LongShots will be drawn from a long list of 110 films nominated by a network of 13 prestigious festivals around the globe, representing countries from Argentina to India, China, and Kosovo. The full list of festivals is below. From these 110 films, BBC Reel selected 13 finalists, one per each festival, to take part in this year’s selection. 


Quote from Hrönn Marinósdóttir director of RIFF about why RIFF nominated The School of Housewives

“In my opinion, this film is relevant both locally and internationally because it’s about traditions that are disappearing from modern society and how it is possible to evolve the same good concepts to meet new challenges in totally different times. The schoolmaster Margrét Dóróthea Sigfúsdóttir is a great character who has managed to change to school and honor the traditions at the same time. To keep this kind of school alive is a great achievement but she has been running the school for more the 20 years.” 


About the School of Housewives

The School of Housewives is a documentary, directed by Stefanía Thors, about the self-image of the Icelandic housewife and how the role of this school has changed over the years. In the film, the past is reflected in interviews with senior students alongside old 8mm footage that show how important role the school played to expectant Icelandic housewives around the middle of the last century. 


At the same time, recent students are monitored showing how much change has taken place in the school, regarding the role of housewives today in terms of gender role and the basic values such as all kinds of efficiency, maintenance of clothing, protecting the environment, and preventing food waste. The film is a unique contemporary documentary about the Reykjavík School of Housewives, running since 1942 and still open for those students who are interested, despite the uncertainty about the future of the school and its possible imminent closure


Selected Films
Transnistria (Transnistria)
Intimate portraits of teens in an unrecognised Soviet territory

The Viewing Booth (US, Israel, Palestine)
New insights into the most disputed videos from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

 The School of Housewives (Iceland)
The Nordic school that creates the perfect housewife

Moti Bagh (India)
The disappearing village where huge radishes grow

Dream in Silence (US/China)
Why it’s never too late to create your masterpiece

Soldier (Argentina)
The surreal life of a soldier in a country at peace

Kosher Beach (Israel)
Inside the secluded beach for orthodox Jewish women

The Swing (Lebanon)
Would you lie to your father on his deathbed?

Baronesa (Brazil)
Life in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world

Maricarmen (Mexico)
What life is really like if you are blind

The Letter (Kenya)
The intricate story of deadly witchcraft accusations

Los Reyes (Chile)
Drugs, dogs and dating in a city park

The Kiosk (France)
The disappearing Parisian kiosk that sells dreams

Participating Festivals and Institutions

  1. Docaviv (Israel)
  2. Docs Lisboa (Portugal)
  3. Dokufest (Kosovo)
  4. Encounters South Africa (South Africa)
  5. El Gouna Film Festival (Egypt)
  6. Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata (Argentina)
  7. First Look (US)
  8. Guangzhou Int. Documentary Film Festival (China)
  9. International Film Festival of Kerala (India)
  10. Jeonju IFF (South Korea)
  11. Cinema Tropical (US covering South America)
  12. Reykjavik International Film Festival (Iceland)
  13. Docs Mx (Mexico)