BAFTA-Winning ‘Broadchurch’ Composer Ólafur Arnalds To Exec Produce Hot Doc Title ‘Ari’s Theme’ + Trailer

EXCLUSIVE: Composer Ólafur Arnalds, who won a Bafta for his work on Broadchurch and had compositions featured on Nomadland and The Hunger Games, has boarded documentary Ari’s Theme as executive producer ahead of its world premiere at Hot Docs.

Nathan Drillot and Jeff Lee Petry’s work follows the real-life figure of Ari Kinarthy, a 34 year old music composer with the rare genetic condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, which causes his muscles to deteriorate and will shorten his life.

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By sixteen, he had lost the ability to move his arms but through a music therapy program he was introduced to composing, finding his life’s purpose.

The documentary follows Kinarthy 18 years later as he embarks on the project to create the soundtrack of the most impactful memories of his young life in a bid to leave legacy.

“We can’t ever know how long we’ll be remembered or what impact we really made. But today I’m happy with the thought that if you find yourself humming one of my melodies, you will have invoked me and my story, and you will in turn remember me,” says Kinarthy.

The production has also released the trailer for the film ahead of its Hots Docs premiere.

Drillot and Jeff Petry’s previous directorial credits include pinball champion biopic Wizard Mode, which was acquired for the U.S. by Netflix, and concert doc Tegan and Sara Get Along.

They also produced the work under their Salazar Films, with the backing of TELUS Originals. Production executives for the latter are Ken Tsui and Malcolm Oliver.

Ólafur Arnalds is an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer who is known for his solo work as well as his work composing in film.

He composed the score for the ITV series Broadchurch, for which he won the 2014 Bafta TV Craft Award for Best Original Music. He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his title theme on the Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob and was nominated in two categories at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

Arnalds has had music featured on numerous film and television soundtracks including Nomadland, The Hunger Games and has collaborated with artists including Odesza, Nils Frahm, and RY X.

The Hot Docs Festival runs April 25 to May 5.

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