Hot Docs 2024: Qs à la mode with… Pamela Hogan (The Day Iceland Stood Still)

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In The Day Iceland Stood Still, director Pamela Hogan revisits the historic women’s-rights protest in 1975 and some of the key players who helped bring it about. We posed our Qs à la mode to Pamela, and here’s what she shared!


If I had to describe my film using only three adjectives, they would be: Subversive, playful, moving.

I decided to make this film because: Once I discovered this unprecedented act of civil disobedience that transformed Iceland into an inspiration for us all, I couldn’t NOT make it!

The thing that surprised me most about my film’s subject/topic was: The way Iceland’s 1970s feminists used humor strategically to open people’s ears to their radical message. And it worked!

The toughest part of the shoot was: Finding a way to bring to life the intense conflict and resistance the women faced at the time, because today the revolution they sparked has so fundamentally transformed social norms.

My favorite moment/scene/sequence in my film is: A group of women sitting around the table drinking coffee and recounting the day they entered a cow in a village beauty contest to provoke critical thinking about the standards by which women were measured in the early ‘70s! “The cow was pearly white, so beautiful” one woman dreamily recalled. They were having so much fun, sparking one another’s memories and cracking each other up; it was one of those magical moments.

My most invaluable piece of doc-making equipment was/is: Our editor, Kate Taverna, and our incredible Icelandic team: collaborator Hrabba Gunnarsdóttir, DP Helgi Felixson, AP Grima Irmudottir, Story Researcher Audur Styrkársdóttir, and so many others over the seven years of production.

One piece of documentary-filmmaking advice I’d like to share with aspiring documentarians is: In the words of my mentor, pioneering filmmaker Tom Spain, “It’s a conversation, not an interview.”


Want to check out Pamela’s film, or just learn more about it?
Get the scoop, and your tickets, here!


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