Yesterday (August 15), the Danish Oscar committee shortlisted Danish directors Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt(photo), Michael Noer's Northwest and the Danish production by director Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing, for submission to be nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Award. The final candidate will be named on September 26 – and the 86th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 2, 2014.
This year's No 1 on the Danish charts, with 672,000 admissions, The Hunt was launched in competition at Cannes 2012, where it collected three awards, ao Best Actor for Mads Mikkelsen in the lead. Scripted by Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm, the Morten Kaufmann and Sisse Graum Jørgensen production tells the story of a 40-year-old man (Mikkelsen) in a small provincial community, who has finally recovered from a tough divorce, when a five-year-old kindergartener drops a remark that accuses him of abusing her.
A gangster movie set in Northwest, an impoverished multi-ethnic area of Copenhagen, starring newcomers Oscar and Gustav Dyekjær Giese, with Nicholas Westwood Kidd, Northwest follows 18-year-old Casper, who lives with his mother, younger brother and little sister, and struggles to make ends meet by selling stolen goods. When organised crime hits the neighbourhood, his childhood playground becomes a battlefield of drugs, violence and prostitution. Tomas Radoor and Rene Ezra for Nordisk Film Production.
The Act of Killing, which won the CPH:DOX (the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival 2012) and left this year's Berlinale with the Ecumenical and Audience awards, depicts an often overlooked genocide in recent history - the killing of more than one million Indonesians who were condemned as Communists after the 1965 military coup. It was directed with UK's Christine Cynn and Anonymous (an Indonesian filmmaker), and produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real.
Denmark was nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Oscar last year, with Nikolaj Arcel's A Royal Affair. Susanne Bier's In a Better World secured the trophy in 2010, and Her After Wedding was nominated in 2006. Only previous wins: Gabriel Axel's Babette's Feast in 1988 and Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror in 1989.
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