Four Danish films shortlisted for Oscar

OSCAR 2024. Nikolaj Arcel's 'The Promised Land' and Hlynur Pálmason's Danish-Icelandic co-production 'Godland', submitted by Iceland, have both been shortlisted for an Oscar in the International Feature Film category. They are joined by Lea Glob's 'Apolonia, Apolonia' and Lasse Lyskjær Noer's 'Knight of Fortune', shortlisted in the Documentary Feature Film and Live Action Short Film categories respectively.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has this evening announced the shortlist for 10 categories at the Oscars 2024. Four Danish films have made the lists:

'The Promised Land' by Nikolaj Arcel in the International Feature Film category (submitted by Denmark), 'Apolonia, Apolonia' by Lea Glob in the Documentary Feature Film category, 'Godland' by Hlynur Pálmason in the International Feature Film category (submitted by Iceland as the film is a co-production between Iceland and Denmark) and 'Knight of Fortune' by Lasse Lyskjær Noer in the Live-action Short Film category. In addition to these four, the Mexican submission for in the International Feature Film category, 'Totem', a Danish minor koproduction, is also shortlisted.

The final nominations for the 2024 Oscars will be announced on January 23rd.

The Promised Land by Nikolaj Arcel

At the recent World premiere in Competition at the Venice Film Festival, the film was well recieved by international critics who especially praised Mads Mikkelsen's performance and the film's epic scope. Variety highlighted Arcel's "sturdy, old-school feel for grand-scale period filmmaking" and the Hollywood Reporter called the film "a terrific story driven by skillful writing and strong performances" and further noted that "there's an art to bringing vitatity and modernity to historical drama, and Arcel shows a firm grasp of it".

In addition to Venice, 'The Promised Land' has participated in several prominent festivals including Telluride, Toronto and San Sebastian and earlier this year won three European Film Awards including a Best Actor prize for Mikkelsen. The film is produced by Louise Vesth for Zentropa and has received financial backing from the Danish Film Institute.

Apolonia, Apolonia by Lea Glob

'Apolonia, Apolonia' has been the center of international attention since its world premiere in the IDFA main competition where it won the main prize. Set against the backdrop of an anachronistic bohemian environment and the Parisian art academy, the film follows the personal and artistic development of young artist Apolonia Sokol over a period of 13 years - from the early nurturing of a young talent to her leap into the commercial art world. 

Lea Glob graduated as a documentary film director from the National Film School of Denmark in 2011, and 'Apolonia, Apolonia' is her first feature-length documentary as a solo director. Sidsel Lønvig Siersted has produced for Danish Documentary Production with support from the Danish Film Institute.

Godland by Hlynur Pálmason 

'Godland' takes place in the late 19th century, as a young Danish priest travels to a remote part of Iceland to build a church and photograph its people. But the deeper he goes into the unforgiving landscape, the more he strays from his purpose, mission and morality.

'Godland' world premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Festival and has since, in addition to San Sebastián, screened in Telluride and Toronto. Directed by Hlynur Pálmason and producers are Katrin Pors, Eva Jakobsen and Mikkel Jersin of Snowglobe, in co-production with Anton Máni Svansson of Join Motion Pictures.

Knight of Fortune by Lasse Lyskjær Noer

'Knight of Fortune'. Photo: Jalabert Productions.

Danish short film from 2022. Karl arrives at the chapel to say goodbye to his suddenly deceased wife, Karen. Karl can't bring himself to open the coffin and acknowledge his loss of his beloved Karen. He has no children and friends were something Karen took care of, so now he is alone and has no one to turn to for comfort. Karl tries to isolate himself in the bathroom, but when he meets Torben, who deals with his grief in a completely different way, openly and honestly, he sends Karl on an inner journey. But all is not as it seems. 

The film is directed by Lasse Lyskjær Noer and produced by Christian Norlyk for Jalabert Productions with support from Den Vestdanske Filmpulje. The cast includes Leif Andrée, Dick Kaysø, Jesper Lohmann, Dorte Rømer and Jens Jørn Spottag.

Danish films and the Oscars


Jacob Neiiendam
Afdelingschef, International
Tlf. +45 2618 8865

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.

For the 2023 Oscar finals, Simon Lereng Wilmont's documentary 'A House Made of Splinters' achieved a nomination in the category for Best Documentary Film and Anders Walter and Pipaluk K. Jørgensen's short film 'Ivalu' was nominated in the category Live Action Short.

Below is an overview of Danish Oscar entries in the International Feature Film category over the last 10 years (sorted by awards ceremony year):

2023 Holy Spider / Ali Abbasi / Oscar shortlist
2022 Flee / Jonas Poher Rasmussen / Oscar nomination
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