A well known Icelandic cultural figure, journalist, critic, writer, translator, festival director, film producer, TV and media producer.
Apart from being a productive playwright, librettist, film-writer and producer of two full length feature films (one of which, The Atomic Station, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight Cannes Film Festival), Arnason has written travel books, biographies and social satire, some of which became best-sellers.
Arnason has translated dozens of plays for the Icelandic stage and media, including works by Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Arnold Wesker, Peter Shaffer, Buero Vallejo and Garcia Lorca.
In recent years Arnason has enjoyed popularity as a producer of radio programmes for the Icelandic Broadcasting Service’s Channel 1 on his travels in various parts of the world, e.g. his impressions of the Gypsies of Andalucia, the Berbers of Morocco and life in Latin America, South East Asia etc. etc.
For many years Arnason was in charge of the Reykjavik Arts Festival. For the same period he was also Director of the Reykjavik Film Festival.
Some other posts held by Arnason:
President of the Union of Icelandic Dramatists, 1975-1986.
President of the Union of Nordic Dramatists (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), 1980-1982.
Vice-President of the Permanent Playwrights' Committee of the International Theatre Institute of UNESCO 1981-1985.
Sectretary of the Icelandic State Board for Theatre, 1978-1985.
Managing Director of Odinn Film Productions Ltd. from 1980 and Odinn Media Productions Ltd. since its foundation in 2003.