'Flee' in the run for big Nordic prize

NOMINATION. Jonas Poher Rasmussen's 'Flee' tells a pertinent, relevant, and touching story, says the jury selecting the acclaimed refugee story as Denmark's candidate for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2021. The winner will be revealed on 2 November in Copenhagen.

Jonas Poher Rasmussen's refugee story 'Flee' is annouced as the Danish candidate for the Nordic Council Film Prize, one of the Nordic region's most coveted film awards. 

'Flee' offers a gripping account of how the director's close friend Amin arrived in Denmark as a young refugee from Afghanistan 25 years ago.

The film was widely praised by international critics such as the Guardian, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. In his A-review, Eric Kohn from IndieWire wrote: "There have been countless movies about the immigration crisis, but none of them have the sheer ingenuity of 'Flee'".

The film plots a concrete, soul-shattering fate for the refugee debate of the time, but also enables the viewer to easily get acquainted with Amin’s general and existential doubts.

- Jury motivation

A "sublimely artistic whole"

'Flee' is selected by a national jury consisting of Associate Professor Heidi Hilarius-Kalkau Philipsen, film critic Jacob Ludvigsen and director Amalie Næsby Fick

Their motivation reads:

"It is rare that the aesthetic, political, and human dimensions merge into such a sublimely artistic whole as in Flee. In the animated documentary film, the director’s childhood friend, Amin, tells for the first time his dramatic story as a homosexual refugee from Afghanistan at a time when he is facing a major turning point in his life in Denmark: He is getting married.

The film plots a concrete, soul-shattering fate for the refugee debate of the time, but also enables the viewer to easily get acquainted with Amin’s general and existential doubts, which the film uncovers with a delicate and at times funny sense of details and moods.

The animation brilliantly solves two practical challenges of anonymity and lack of visual material. The stylish execution both elevates the narrative to a sensuous experience, from the depiction of a happy childhood in Afghanistan to the brutal fleeing to Europe.

Flee tells a pertinent, relevant, and touching story that all people, regardless of their ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation, deserve a happy childhood and a safe country to live in."

The nomination is given collectively to the film's director and screenwriter Jonas Poher Rasmussen and co-author 'Amin' as well as to producers Monica Hellström and Signe Byrge Sørensen from Final Cut for Real and Charlotte de la Gournerie from Sun Creature.

'Flee' won the international jury award at Sundance Film Festival and received the Official Cannes Selection stamp in 2020. The film premiered in Denmark on 17 June.

'Flee' will be in competition with the four other Nordic candidates 'Any Day Now' by Hamy Ramezan (Finland), 'Alma' by Kristín Jóhannesdóttir (Iceland), 'Gunda' by Victor Kossakovsky (Norway) and 'Tigers' by Ronnie Sandahl (Sweden).

Read press release from Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Nordic Council Film Prize

The Nordic Council Film Prize is awarded this year for the 18th time – six times to a Danish film:

'Queen of Hearts' (2019) by May el-Toukhy, 'The Hunt' (2013) and 'Submarino' (2010) by Thomas Vinterberg, 'Antichrist' (2009) by Lars von Trier, 'The Art of Crying' (2007) by Peter Schønau Fog and 'Manslaughter' (2005) by Per Fly.

The purpose of the prize is to raise interest in the Nordic film community and to recognise outstanding artistic achievements. The selection is based on the film's artistic quality and originality and the way it combines the aesthetic elements into a compelling work of art in Nordic culture.

The DKK 300,000 prize (EUR 41,000) is shared equally among the screenwriter, director and producer, underscoring how film as an art form is the result of a collective endeavour.