Carl Th. Dreyer Award to Nils Malmros

This week, the committee behind one of Danish cinema’s most distinguished honours singled out auteur and veteran director Nils Malmros for a lifetime of artistic excellence.

As both screenwriter and director, Nils Malmros has always maintained a strong autobiographical element in his works, in which nuances of his childhood and youth can be discerned.

Shot over several years

This is no less the case with ”Aching Hearts”, Malmros’ latest, about young adolescents in the early 1960s and their trials and tribulations in matters of the heart. A continuation of ”The Tree of Knowledge”, Malmros’ seminal work from nearly thirty years back, ”Aching Hearts” follows the same approach: Both films are shot over a period of several years, taking into account the development of the young actors to make their coming-of-age tangible and authentic.  


The Carl Th. Dreyer Award includes a cash prize of DKK 50,000 (6,702 euros) and is assigned to "young filmmakers or film professionals who have distinguished themselves within Danish cinema". The award is presented annually by the Carl Th. Dreyer Foundation, whose members include Dan Nissen (Head of DFI Archive and Cinematheque), Peter Schepelern (Senior Lecturer, Copenhagen University) and lawyer Allan Falk.

A personal vision

”A monument of life remembered and art distilled through personal experience,” the award committee writes in their motivation. ”Malmros' films constitute an impressive whole. One could say that only one other Danish filmmaker has signed a cinematic oeuvre with the same brand of artistic cohesiveness, namely Dreyer.”

The award was presented 2 February at the DFI Cinematheque in Copenhagen.