The Danish Oscar committee, made up of representatives from the film industry and the Danish Film Institute, elected Monday afternoon Jonas Poher Rasmussen's 'Flee' as Denmark's contender in the International Feature Film category for the 2022 Academy Awards.
'Flee' was selected from a shortlist of three films. The two other titles were 'Margrete – Queen of the North' by Charlotte Sieling and 'The Shadow in My Eye' by Ole Bornedal.
Claus Ladegaard, CEO of the Danish Film Institute who chairs the committee, says:
"'Flee' is the haunting and inventive story of a refugee and his journey. About the enormous price that people in his position pay every day, even in a safe haven. Jonas Poher Rasmussen directs with tremendous empathy, and Amin’s story is hard to shake. The film’s finely balanced use of animation, music and live action gives us a real sense of the horror and cynicism of Amin’s journey to Europe – while not ignoring the beauty, humour and hope of his story. This makes 'Flee' an unusually nuanced film with social and existential depth.
The reception of 'Flee' has been overwhelming since it premiered at Sundance, and more prominent North American festivals have selected the film. Now, its US theatrical release is coming shortly via Oscar-winning distributor Neon. This kind of visibility and backing carries significant weight in the Oscar race. The committee is convinced that 'Flee' can continue its impressive international journey on the back of its powerful theme and original form."
Jonas Poher Rasmussen's film offers an intimate account of how Amin, the director's close friend, arrived in Denmark as a young refugee from Afghanistan 25 years ago. The film is told mostly through animation, with sections of real life footage woven into the narrative.
'Flee' was among the Official Selection titles at the Cannes Festival's digital edition in 2020. The film opened at Sundance to warm reviews, winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize. Since then, 'Flee' has received several prominent awards, including for best Nordic documentary at Göteborg and three accolades at Annecy, including the Cristal for best feature film. Currently, the film is among the nominees for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2021, announced on 2 November.
In addition to Sundance, 'Flee' has screened at a string of leading North American festivals such as Telluride, Toronto and New York. Nominations include the Gotham Awards and the Critics Choice Documentary Awards, two prominent prize ceremonies setting off the awards season.
'Flee' met with great critical praise at its Danish premiere on 17 June. The US release is set for 3 December launched by distributor Neon, the company behind 2020's Oscar-winner 'Parasite'. Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte de la Gournerie have produced for Final Cut for Real with support from the Danish Film Institute.
Danish Oscar Committee
Made up of representatives from film associations and guilds, the Danish Oscar committee consists of:
Chairman Claus Ladegaard (CEO, Danish Film Institute), Jacob Jarek (Danish Producers), Tea Lindeburg (Danish Directors), Mette Heeno (Danish Screenwriters), Jan Weincke (Danish Cinematographers), Nanna Frank Rasmussen (Danish Film Critics), Søren Søndergaard (Danish Cinema Owners) and Marianne Moritzen (Head of Fiction, Danish Film Institute).
Oscars rules and dates
Each country may submit one film for nomination in the International Feature Film category. Last year, a total of 93 titles were approved for submission.
To be eligible in the International Feature Film category, a film's release date must be no earlier than 1 January and no later than 31 December 2021. An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the US with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.
The submission deadline is 1 November. The Academy will be announcing all shortlists on 21 December, including the 15 films that have a chance to become one of the five nominees in the International Feature Film category.
All Oscar nominations will be announced on 8 February. The 93rd Oscars take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 27 March 2022.
Danish films and the Oscars
Four Danish films have won an Oscar in the International Feature Film category:
Thomas Vinterberg's 'Another Round' in 2021, Susanne Bier's 'In a Better World' in 2011, Bille August's 'Pelle the Conqueror' in 1989, and Gabriel Axel's 'Babette's Feast' in 1988.
Below is an overview of Danish Oscar entries since Susanne Bier's winning film. Sorted by awards ceremony year:
2021 Another Round / Thomas Vinterberg / Oscar winner
2020 Queen of Hearts / May el-Toukhy
2019 The Guilty / Gustav Möller / Oscar shortlist
2018 You Disappear / Peter Schønau Fog
2017 Land of Mine / Martin Zandvliet / Oscar nomination
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
See full list of nominations and awards for Danish films on our Oscar page.