Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir

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
  • National Premiere Date
    March 30, 2012, Bíó Paradís
  • International Premiere Date
    November 5, 2011, Cinemateket, Copanhagen
  • Genre
  • 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
  • Production Countries
    Iceland, Denmark
  • Website
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant
  • Production Format
    Super 8mm, 16mm, Digital
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Color
  • Sound
  • Screening format and subtitles
    Blu Ray w/English subtitles


Company Credits


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

Television distribution

  • Iceland
    RÚV, 2012

Cinema distribution

  • Iceland
    Bíó Paradís, 2012