Danish Oscar-committee shortlist

INDUSTRY. Today the DFI-appointed Danish Oscar-committee has put forward three films, one of which will be submitted as a candidate for Best Foreign Language Film. The films are 'Submarino', 'R' and 'In a Better World'.

'R', 'Submarino' and 'In a Better World' are the three Danish films shortlisted by the Danish Oscar-committee. One film will be submitted as a candidate for Best Foreign Language Film. The final candidate will be announced Thursday 23rd September.

'Submarino' by Thomas Vinterberg

Applauded by critics when it appeared in the Berlinale Competition, 'Submarino' was described by Screen's Lee Marshall as a "downbeat feelgood movie […] This is a film which works like an emotional massage, leaving the viewer pummeled but invigorated."

'Submarino' is the story of two down-and-out brothers haunted by a tragic childhood. Troubled ex-con Nick fights painful memories and loneliness to try and reconnect with his brother, a struggling single father and heroin addict.

The cast includes Jakob Cedergren, Peter Plaugborg, Morten Rose and Patricia Schumann. Based on the novel by Jonal T. Bengtsson, 'Submarino' was written by Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg. Morten Kaufmann produced for Nimbus Film.

The film was released in Denmark to enthusiastic reviews in March, and sales have been sealed for a number of European countries, as well as territories in Asia and South America.

'R' by Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm

R_framegrab_2 Image from 'R' by Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm. Photo by Per-Anders Jörgensen.

When writer-directors Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm's behind-bars drama 'R' opened on the festival circuit, it was immediately picked up for the Rotterdam Competition, followed by Göteborg , where it won Best Nordic Film and FIPRESCI Award. In his review in Eye for Film, Andrew Robertsen writes "R is a stunning, even punishing film, a challenge to audience expectations and a treat. […] Its power is a product of unflinching attention, quasi-documentary accuracy, and what one can only call bravery."

The hard-hitting story portrays R (Pilou Asbæk) who has been sentenced to prison for violence. He's insistent on staying out of harm's way and in doing so he is faced with the challenge of navigating through prison culture with its notions of honour, hidden agendas and contracts.

Tobias Lindholm, writer on Thomas Vinterberg's 'Submarino', and Michael Noer, known for his documentaries 'Vesterbro' and 'The Wild Hearts', wrote and directed 'R'. René Ezra and Tomas Radoor produced for Nordisk Film.

Rave reviews greeted the film's domestic release in April, and recently 'R' was sold to North America and parts of Europe.

'In a Better World' by Susanne Bier

23979 Image from 'In a Better World' by Susanne Bier. Framegrab 

Critics have pinpointed that few directors have addressed the issues of the past decade as courageously as Susanne Bier, whose film 'In a Better World' will receive its international premiere in Toronto's Special Presentation. 

The story traces elements from a refugee camp in Africa to the grey humdrum of everyday life in a Danish provincial town. We follow the lives of two Danish families and watch an extraordinary and risky friendship come into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait. Soon, friendship transforms into a dangerous alliance and a breathtaking pursuit in which life is at stake.

Leading performers: Michael Persbrandt and Trine Dyrholm together with Ulrich Thomsen, Markus Rygaard and William Jøhnk Nielsen. Written by Anders Thomas Jensen and Susanne Bier, "In a Better World" was produced by Sisse Graum Jørgensen for Zentropa Entertainments.

The film sparked international interest in Cannes this year, selling to over 30 territories, including North America and countries in South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. The film will be released in Denmark 26 August 2010.