The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected Martin Zandvliet's postwar drama "Land of Mine" as one of the nine titles to receive a shortlisting in the Foreign Language Film category. The five films to be elected as the final nominees will be presented on 24 January, with the Oscar fest taking place on 26 February.
The Academy picked these nine films from a field of 85 candidates submitted for consideration:
Australia / Tanna / Dir. Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Canada / It's Only the End of the World / Dir. Xavier Dolan
Denmark / Land of Mine / Dir. Martin Zandvliet
Germany / Toni Erdmann / Dir. Maren Ade
Iran / The Salesman / Dir. Asghar Farhadi
Norway / The King's Choice / Dir. Erik Poppe
Russia / Paradise / Dir. Andrei Konchalovsky
Sweden / A Man Called Ove / Dir. Hannes Holm
Switzerland / My Life as a Zucchini / Dir. Claude Barras
EFA Awards, Best Nordic Film and more
Martin Zandvliet's war drama, looking at a dark chapter in Danish history when young German POWs were forced to remove millions of landmines from Denmark's west coast, took home three prizes at the European Film Awards earlier in December – for cinematography, costumes and hair & make-up. Also among the film's recent achievements is an Audience Award at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles. At the year's beginning, the film screened at Sundance and was rewarded at Göteborg Film Festival with the top prize as Best Nordic Film.
Young actor Louis Hofmann, playing one of the German POWs facing the dire realities on the Danish beaches, has reaped awards at the festivals in Bavaria, Beijing and Tokyo, the latter being shared with the film's second main character, Roland Møller, who embodies the Danish sergeant in charge of the young men. Hofmann was recently selected as Germany's Shooting Star for his role.
"Land of Mine" has garnered striking reviews since its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2015. Zandvliet's script and direction "avoid milking an innately loaded situation for excess melodrama or pathos," Variety wrote, while Screen pointed at how cinematographer Camilla Hjelm Knudsen "evokes a desert-like vastness reminiscent of a David Lean landscape for boys forced into a labour of futility." Read our press roundup.
The film is produced by Nordisk Film, Camilla Hjelm Knudsen is cinematographer, and Molly Malene Stensgaard and Per Sandholt have edited. Mikael Rieks produced for Nordisk Film with support from the Danish Film Institute. The film is distributed in North America by Sony Pictures Classics.
Read our interview with the director The Untold Story.
About Martin Zandvliet
Martin Zandvliet (born 1971) made his feature film debut in 2009 with "Applause", winning Paprika Steen several awards for her performance as an actress in distress trying to restore control over her life. In 2011 came "A Funny Man," a biopic about a famous Danish comedian played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas, which became the number one Danish box-office hit of the year.
"Land of Mine" is Zandvliet's third collaboration with producer Mikael Rieks. Zandvliet has also co-written the scripts for Mads Matthiesen's two feature films "Teaddy Bear" (2012) and "The Model" (2016).
Next in the pipeline is Zandvliet's English-language debut, the US production "The Outsider", to be shot in Japan with Jared Leto in the lead.
Silent Nights on shortlist
Aske Bang and M&M Productions' "Silent Nights" is one of ten short films on this year's shortlist for an Oscar nomination. Read our update.
Oscars 2017 / Dates
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominations for the title as Best Foreign Language Film on 24 January. The 2017 winners will be announced on Oscar Night taking place in Los Angeles on 26 February.
10 Years of Oscar
An overview of the last decade of Danish Oscar entries in the Foreign Language category, sorted by awards ceremony year:
2017 Land of Mine / Martin Zandvliet / Oscar shortlist
2016 A War / Tobias Lindholm / Oscar nomination
2015 Sorrow and Joy / Nils Malmros
2014 The Hunt / Thomas Vinterberg / Oscar nomination
2013 A Royal Affair / Nikolaj Arcel / Oscar nomination
2012 Superclásico / Ole Christian Madsen / Oscar shortlist
2011 In a Better World / Susanne Bier / Oscar winner
2010 Terribly Happy / Henrik Ruben Genz
2009 Worlds Apart / Niels Arden Oplev
2008 The Art of Crying / Peter Schønau Fog
2007 After the Wedding / Susanne Bier / Oscar nomination
See full list of Danish Oscar films