Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir
Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir

Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir

At the tender age of 70 she started recording her own music – and then she just couldn’t stop! Seven years later she had 59 albums to her name. The Danish/Icelandic artist Sigrídur Níelsdóttir is an adored figure in the Icelandic music scene, and this film is a tribute to her boundless creativity, created by the young musicians and artists that she inspired.


At the tender age of 70 she started recording and releasing her own music straight from the living room. Seven years later she had 59 albums to her name with more than 600 songs – an eccentric myriad of catchy compositions mixing in her pets, found toys, kitchen percussion and a Casio keyboard.

Sigríður Níelsdóttir is her name, and before long the Icelandic/Danish musician and visual artist became an adored cult figure in the Icelandic music scene, represented here by her young apprentices Mugison, múm, and Sin Fang of Seabear who pay tribute to the grandma’s irresistibly catchy, yet eccentric pop tunes.

Shot mostly on Super-8 and 16mm, Grandma Lo-fi was created over a period of seven years by three musicians and debuting directors, capturing the most productive period in the life of Sigríður Níelsdóttir. In many ways Sigríður is like a cartoon character. Poetic moves such as taking in broken-winged pigeons that in return sing along to her tunes, or transforming a cream whisk into a helicopter, all call for animated sequences that bridge the obscure space between her exemplary imagination and a delightfully peculiar everyday existence.

Grandma Lo-fi is a cinematic tribute to an amazing musician and to her boundless creativity.

About the film

  • Type: Documentary
  • National Premiere Date: March 30, 2012, Bíó Paradís
  • International Premiere Date: November 5, 2011, Cinemateket, Copanhagen
  • Genre: Music
  • Length: 62 min.
  • Language: Icelandic, Danish
  • Original Title: Amma Lo-fi: Kjallaraspólur Sigríðar Níelsdóttur
  • International Title: Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir
  • Production Year: 2011
  • Production Countries: Iceland, Denmark
  • Website:
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant: Yes
  • Production Format: Super 8mm, 16mm, Digital
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Color: Yes
  • Sound: Mono
  • Screening format and subtitles: Blu Ray w/English subtitles



Company Credits


  • Ciranda de Filmes, 2018
  • Nordisk Panorama - Isländskt Retrospektiv, Malmö, 2015
  • Scandinavian House NY, 2014
  • Gothenburg International Film Festival, Sweden, 2013
  • Nordic Lights Film Festival (Nordic Heritage Museum), Seattle, USA, 2013
  • Edduverðlaunin / Edda Awards, 2013 - Award: Nominated for documentary of the year.
  • Helsinki International Film Festival, Finland, 2012
  • Gimli Film Festival, Canada, 2012
  • Nordisk Panorama, Shorts and Documentaries Film Festival, Finland, 2012
  • REC Festival Internacional de Cinema de Tarragona, Tarragona, Spain, 2012
  • Exposed Festival for First Films, Cologne, Germany, 2012
  • Sheffield DOC/FEST, Sheffield, UK, 2012
  • Open City Loncon Documentary Festival, UK, 2012
  • Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad, Norway, 2012
  • Docaviv Film Festival, Israel, 2012
  • IndieLisboa Portugal, International Independent Film Festival, Portugal, 2012
  • Festival Air d'Islande, France, 2012
  • Bafici Festival, Buenos Aires, 2012
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands, 2012
  • Ambulante Mexioco Documentary Travelling Film Festival, 2012
  • MoMa/Documentary Fortnight, New York, 2012
  • South by Southwest, Texas, USA, 2012
  • Flatpack Festival, UK, 2012
  • CPH: DOX, 2011 - Award: Best International Music Film.

Television distribution

  • Iceland: RÚV, 2012

Cinema distribution

  • Iceland: Bíó Paradís, 2012

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