After gathering on Monday, 27 August, the Danish Oscar committee announced a shortlist of three films that have a chance to move forward and become Denmark's official entry for the 2019 Foreign Language Oscar category.
The three films are Nordisk Film and Bille August's 'A Fortunate Man,' Nordisk Film Spring and Gustav Möller's 'The Guilty' and Masterplan Pictures and Hlynur Pálmason's 'Winter Brothers.' The latter two are debut features, produced with support from the Danish Film Institute's talent programme New Danish Screen.
The committee will be convening again on 20 September to elect the final candidate.
A Fortunate Man
'A Fortunate Man' is written by Bille August and Anders Frithiof August, based on a classic nineteenth-century fin de siècle novel by Henrik Pontoppidan about a clergyman's son who seeks happiness in the modern industrialised world. The film is produced by Karin Trolle and Thomas Heinesen for Nordisk Film.
In 1989, Bille August won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for 'Pelle the Conqueror,' an adaptation of another turn of the century Danish classic written by Martin Andersen Nexø. Domestic release is 30 August.
'The Guilty' takes place over one single night at an emergency call center, following a policeman's race against time to save a kidnapped woman, with the phone as his only tool. The film won the Audience Award at its world premiere at Sundance and has since met with a warm critical reception across the board.
More than 137,000 tickets have been sold in Denmark since it premiered on 14 June, and in France, so far 190,000 cinemagoers have seen the thriller. The film is to be released in US theatres 19 October by Magnolia Pictures. Gustav Möller wrote the script with Emil Nygaard Albertsen, and producer is Lina Flint for Nordisk Film Spring.
'Winter Brothers' is a drama about two brothers in conflict with themselves, each other and their co-workers at a desolate limestone factory. The film, premiering 7 December last year, is freshly nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize in October. It was named Best Film at the two prominent Danish Robert and Bodil Awards and also took home the top CPH PIX award.
Internationally, the drama was off to a good start, winning four awards at its world premiere at the Locarno Festival 2017. Touring at several more prominent festivals, the film has also sold for distribution to such major territories as the US, England and France. Hlynur Pálmason wrote the script, and producers are Julie Waltersdorph Hansen and Per Damgaard Hansen for Masterplan Pictures, co-producing with Anton Máni Svansson from Icelandic Join Motion Pictures.
Danish Oscar Committee
The Danish Oscar submitting committee is set up by the Danish Film Institute and national film industry organisations.
The Committee consists of chairman Claus Ladegaard (CEO, Danish Film Institute), Tivi Magnusson (Danish Producers), Mette-Ann Schepelern (Danish Directors), Jan Weincke (Danish Cinematographers), Nanna Frank Rasmussen (Danish Film Critics), Mette Schramm (Danish Cinemas) and Marianne Moritzen (Head of Fiction, Danish Film Institute).
The committee members will be announcing the final candidate to represent Denmark in the nominations run in the Foreign Language Oscar category after their next meeting on 20 September.
Oscars 2019 / the dates
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominations for the title as Best Foreign Language Film on 22 January. The 2019 winners will be announced on Oscar Night taking place in Los Angeles on 24 February.
10 years of Danish films and the Oscars
Below is an overview of the last ten years of Danish Oscar entries in the Foreign Language category (by awards ceremony year):
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
2010 Terribly Happy / Henrik Ruben Genz
2009 Worlds Apart / Niels Arden Oplev