The Markell brothers - Filmography

Thorkell Hardarson and Örn Marinó Arnarson joined forces in 2001. They were working side by side for a long time in the Icelandic film industry, enjoying each others company – mainly through elaborate gourmet cooking experiments and subsequent dinner parties.


Örn Marinó Arnarson - Markell Brother #1

They founded Markell Productions in 2001 and have not looked back since then – now they are known as the Markell brothers in the field of cinema.

Thorkell Hardarson - Markell Brother #2

The brothers have been producing in-depth feature length creative documentaries on various subjects. Starting out by exploring the world of the legendary rock band HAM (HAM - living dead, 2001) they went on to dissect the phenomena of Punk in Iceland in 2004.  After that they went on a 6 year long journey into the black hole of Geopolitics, War on Terror and Falcon smuggling. The Markell brothers surfaced at Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010 with the intriguing and controversial Feathered Cocaine, stating the US administration and its various Intelligence agencies had proper knowledge of the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden who had not been seen for 7 years by then. One year and one week after the premiere of Feathered Cocaine, Bin Laden was killed in Abbottobad.

Feathered Cocaine was screened at some of the World’s most prestigious film festivals, including Tribeca Film Festival (World Premiere), Hot Docs and IDFA (where it received a nomination). Feathered Cocaine won the Edda 2011 Awards (the Icelandic Film and TV Academy Awards) - for the best documentary.

Having had their share of the international intrigue of geopolitics and the money powered carrousel of the War on Terror, the Markell brothers moved on to make a lyrical wildlife documentary on the North-Atlantic Salmon – The North-Atlantic Miracle, 2012.

In my dreams I have arms is a feature length doc where they follow Mr. G. Felix Gretarsson – who lost both his arms in a high-voltage accident in 1998. Thanks to cutting-edge technological breakthroughs in Lyon, France, Mr. Gretarsson is undergoing a double arm transplant. An operation that has never been done before in the World on such a large scale. This film is produced by Ljosop’s veteran producer Gudbergur Davídsson – and co-produced by Markell Productions as well as being directed by the Markell brothers. Other co-producers in this film are Dom Barneaud for Bellota films, France.

In Trend Beacons, the Markell brothers take on the fashion and design industry, and follow some of the most prestigious Trend Forecasters in the World: Christine Boland, David Shah and the RAVAGE duo: Clemens Rameckers and Arnold van Geuns. They look at the phenomenon of how certain people can predict upcoming trends in the fashion and design industry – two years ahead of their physical manifestation. Produced by Markell Productions – directed by the Markell brothers. Co-produced by AVRO, Holland. World Premiere at CPH:DOX - Copenhagen, Denmark. Trend Beacons was nominated in 2015 for the EDDA awards (the Icelandic Film and TV Academy Awards) as the best documentary.

The twelve episode TV series about The history of Pop and Rock music in Iceland - Rock Islandica / Popp- og Rokksaga Íslands) - is a massive homage to the Icelandic Popular music through time. The series was premiered in 2015 and 2016 in two parts that became by far the most popular factual material in Icelandic TV for two consecutive years. The local 12 hour version - Popp og Rokksaga Íslands - was then shaped into a 2 hour international version called Rock Islandica. This monumental task was done in co-operation with Dr. Gunni (Gunnar Lárus Hjálmarsson) the Head Rock Historian in Iceland. Produced by Markell Productions – directed by the Markell brothers. Co-produced by RÚV – Iceland, YLE - Finland, SVT - Sweden, DR - Denmark and NRK - Norway. Popp og Rokksaga Íslands was nominated in 2015 for the EDDA awards (the Icelandic Film and TV Academy Awards) as the best documentary.

Swerving away from pop music to the cultural treasures of the big encyclopedic museums of the west, the Markell Brothers are premiering the 3 hour documentary mini series called NEFERTITI - The Lonely Queen / Stolin list in 2019. The brothers research how the museums of the west - the former colonial superpowers - have hoarded cultural treasures and cornerstones of the former colonies into their big museum. There they are on display as the crown jewels of the museums. When the former colonies want their cultural cornerstones back, they get the answer that this in not their property. How did it come to this? Is there a solution to this dilemma? The Markell brothers speak to experts that can shed a light on this quagmire of opinions and national pride in NEFERTITI - The Lonely Queen / Stolin list.

The Markell brothers have also made quite a few shorts and are developing feature films along their documentary efforts. They also produce commercials. Among their prestigious clients are the Central Bank of Iceland, Landsvirkjun - the Icelandic State Energy company and private companies of all sorts.

Filmography of the Markell brothers (Producers and directors, unless otherwise stated):



• 2019 - NEFERTITI - The Lonely Queen. Stories from the World of Looted Ancient Art a.k.a. Stolin List
3x52 min TV series
1x90 min Festival version


• 2015-2016 - Rock Islandica a.k.a. Popp- og Rokksaga Íslands
12x52 mins TV series
2x52 min International TV version

• 2015 - In my dreams I have arms
85 min festival version
58 min TV version

• 2014 - Trend Beacons
74 min international version
52 min TV version


• 2012 - North Atlantic Miracle
42 min
(co-directed with Arnar Thorisson)


• 2010 - Feathered Cocaine
82 min feature version
58 min TV version


• 2004 - Punk in Iceland
84 min feature version

• 2001 - HAM - living dead
86 min feature version
(co-directed with Thorgeir Gudmundsson)

• 2008 - The Nail
     15 min
(directed by Benedikt Erlingsson)

• 2006 - The Initiation
     10 min

• 2006 - The Beauty of small things
     1 min

• 2004 - Wine of the House
     11 min

• 2003 - Cools/Fools
     15 min

• 2003 - Full House
     10 min

• 2001 - Crime Story
     6 min