'Godland' nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize

NOMINATION. 'Godland' makes the past come alive for us, says the jury electing Hlynur Pálmason's historical drama as Denmark's candidate for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2022. The winner will be revealed on 1 November.

Hlynur Pálmason's 'Godland' has the chance to win one of the Nordic region's most coveted film honours.

The historical drama is elected as Denmark's nominee for the Nordic Council Film Prize, alongside the candidates from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

'Godland' world premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Festival, receiving praise for its narrative about a Danish priest traveling to a remote part of Iceland in the late 19th century to build a church and photograph its people. But the deeper the priest, Lucas, goes into the unforgiving landscape, the more he strays from his purpose, mission and morality.

In accordance with the collective spirit of the Nordic Council Film Prize, the nomination goes to the director-writer-producer team – that is, to director and scriptwriter Hlynur Pálmason as well as to producers Katrin Pors, Eva Jakobsen and Mikkel Jersin of Snowglobe and Anton Máni Svansson of Join Motion Pictures.

Jury's comment

'Godland' 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:

"At a time when many nations have to examine their past with a magnifying glass, director Hlynur Pálmason’s new film is both a grandiose and intimate human reflection on Denmark’s missionary past in Iceland.

A Danish priest travels through the rugged Icelandic landscape armed with good intentions, but soon succumbs to his own physical and mental weaknesses, and the Danish-educated Icelandic director depicts his journey with a unique mix of Carl Th. Dreyer’s calm, liberatingly twisted sense of humour, and a nuanced gaze at the dark side of religion and the difficult encounter between the two cultures.

The film is based on the first photographs found in Iceland, and unlike the priest, Pálmason does succeed in his difficult mission: To make the past come alive for us with an unpredictable story and beautiful images, the encapsulation in 4:3 format makes the landscapes stand out in a new light.

Pálmason brings together the themes of masculinity and his incredible aesthetic sense from the previous films in his career’s largest and most thought-provoking work to date."

'Godland' will be in competition with the four other Nordic candidates 'The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic' by Teemu Nikki (Finland), 'Lamb' by Valdimar Jóhannsson (Iceland), 'The Worst Person in the World' by Joachim Trier (Norway) and 'Clara Sola' by Nathalie Ávarez Mesén (Sweden).

Read press release from Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Nordic Council Film Prize

The Nordic Council Film Prize was awarded for the first time in 2002. Danish films have received the award seven times:

'Flee' (2021) by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, '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.