Three potential Danish Oscar entries selected

OSCAR 2016. "A War" by Tobias Lindholm, "Men & Chicken" by Anders Thomas Jensen, and "The Look of Silence" by Joshua Oppenheimer are shortlisted for Denmark's Foreign Language entry, with the final candidate to be announced on 23 September.

Today, Thursday 3 September, the national Oscar committee named three candidates to compete for the title as Denmark's official entry for the nominations run in the Foreign Language Oscar category.

The committee, set up by the Danish Film Institute and local film industry organisations, will meet again on 23 September to elect the final Danish candidate.

The three directors behind the shortlisted films all have strong ties to recent Oscar history:

A War by Tobias Lindholm

"A War," writer-director Tobias Lindholm's third feature film, makes its world premiere on Saturday, 5 September, at the Venice Film Festival. Set in Afghanistan, Lindholm's drama illuminates the consequences of war:

Company commander Claus Michael Pedersen and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Back in Denmark, Claus' wife Maria is trying to hold everyday life together with their three children. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him – and his family back home.

The film marks yet another collaboration between Lindholm and actor Pilou Asbæk, who played the demanding lead in Lindholm's feature debut, the prison drama "R" (co-directed with Michael Noer, 2010), and was again a central character in "A Hijacking," about a cargo ship and its crew being overtaken by Somali pirates.

Lindholm has several writing credits to his name, including for TV series "Borgen" and Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt," which received an Oscar nomination in 2014.

Tomas Radoor and René Ezra produced for Nordisk Film, while international sales are handled by Studiocanal.

Read about "A War" in FILM: Consequences of War 

Men & Chicken by Anders Thomas Jensen

Mads Mikkelsen and David Dencik feature in Anders Thomas Jensen's black comedy as Elias and Gabriel, two very different brothers who learn some dark family secrets when the man they thought was their father dies. Gabriel and Elias go to the island of Ork to meet three brothers they didn't know they had. But the reunion does not go as expected.

Sweeping the local box-office at its Danish release in February, "Men & Chicken" is sought-after at festivals this fall. First stop is L'Étrange Festival in Paris (3-13 September), next Toronto (10-20 September), and finally Austin Fantastic Fest from 24 September. The film made its international premiere at the Münich Film Festival in June, and in July it took home an award at the Neuchatel Fantastic Film Festival.

"Men & Chicken" is Anders Thomas Jensen's fourth feature film. Jensen has worked as a scriptwriter on more than 30 features, including Susanne Bier's 2011 Oscar triumph "In a Better World." Back in 1999, Jensen himself joined the ranks of Oscar-winning directors with his short film "Election Night," which he wrote and directed, and for each of his two earlier shorts, "Ernst and the Light" and "Wolfgang," he received an Oscar nomination.

Kim Magnusson and Tivi Magnusson have produced for M&M Productions, with LevelK handling international sales.

Read about "Men & Chicken" in FILM: A Very, Very Odd Tale

The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheimer

Accolades rained down on Joshua Oppenheimer's first film about the Indonesian genocide, "The Act of Killing," culminating in 2014's Oscar nomination in the Documentary Feature category.

"The Look of Silence," Copenhagen-based Oppenheimer's second film about Indonesia's anti-communist purge of 1965-66, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2014, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and an additional four independent awards.

Now looking at the horrors from the victims' perspective, "The Look of Silence" follows a young man, Adi, seeking the men who killed his brother, in search for answers. In what are the film's key scenes, we see Adi, in his capacity as optician, questioning the perpetrators about the past while measuring their eyesight with optical lenses.

Since its premiere, "The Look of Silence" has garnered massive attention and won close to 40 awards. The film is produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real. Cinephil of Israel handles international sales.

Read about "The Look of Silence" in FILM: Holding a Mirror to Horror 

All three films have received funding from the Danish Film Institute.

The Danish Committee

The Danish Oscar submitting committee is set up by the Danish Film Institute and film industry organisations. The Committee consists of chairman Henrik Bo Nielsen (CEO, Danish Film Institute), Regner Grasten (Danish Producers), Janus Metz (Danish Film Directors), Jan Weincke (Danish Cinematographers), Jacob Wendt Jensen (Danish Film Critics), Kim Pedersen (Danish Cinemas) and Claus Ladegaard (head of Film Support, Danish Film Institute).

The committee members will meet again on Wednesday, 23 September, to elect the candidate to represent Denmark in the upcoming nominations run.

Oscars 2016 / Dates

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominations for Best Foreign Language film on 14 January. The 2016 winners will be announced on Oscar Night taking place in Los Angeles on 28 February.


10 Years of Oscar
Danish Oscar Entries Feature Films
/ By awards ceremony year

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
2006 Adam's Apples / Anders Thomas Jensen
2005 The Five Obstructions / Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier