'Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir'
"Good news travels fast," says musician and first-time filmmaker Kristín Kristjánsdóttir of how she first learned of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir, a fellow Icelandic woman, who at age 70 started recording music in her home and amassed nearly 700 songs over a seven-year period. Níelsdóttir’s atypical style of musical composition caught Kristjánsdóttir's attention: the senior citizen would blend everyday sounds – her dogs barking, the whir of kitchen appliances – with the twinkle of her Casio keyboard intonations.
Kristjánsdóttir and her fellow filmmakers spent years getting to know their subject, and time revealed a charming character. "I don't think the film would be what it is if we had walked in there complete strangers and shot a film and released it two months later," Kristjánsdóttir says of the eight-year process. Sadly, Níelsdóttir passed away in 2011, but Kristjánsdóttir feels the film is a tribute to the woman's imaginative spirit. "It's mind-blowing to see a person's spirit wake up," Kristjánsdóttir says. "(Sigrídur) did things her own way. She just went for it."