After having convened Monday 19 September for its final voting in the national Oscar election process, the Danish committee unanimously named Martin Zandvliet's drama "Land of Mine" as Denmark's official entry to the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards 2017.
The film was chosen from a shortlist of three titles that also comprised Thomas Vinterberg's "The Commune" and Lisa Ohlin's "Walk with Me."
Read press release Three films on Denmark's Oscar shortlist
Claus Ladegaard, Head of Film Support at the Danish Film Institute and acting chairman of the Danish Oscar committee, motivates the selection:
"All three films demonstrate a high level of quality in Danish cinema, while also shining a light on different corners of Danish history and culture that we want to learn more about. It has been an exciting task for the committee to assess and decide which of the three films would have the greatest potential to attract the attention of the Academy members.
"Martin Zandvliet's 'Land of Mine' tells a different story of WWII, based on real events in a beautifully filmed and gripping tale that at times leaves the audience hanging at the edge of their seats. Since its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last year, the film has been travelling the world, screening at the big festivals and receiving numerous awards, and it has built a fan base among film professionals who have excitedly been talking about it.
"'Land of Mine' is a film that continues a longstanding tradition of Danish Oscar entries – films with stories of high cultural value, which also testify to the quality of Danish cinema."
Read interview with Martin Zandvliet The Untold Story
US lauch by Sony Pictures Classics
"Land of Mine" had its American festival premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Bought by Sony Pictures Classics, the film is up soon for a US platform release, opening in a limited number of theatres over the next months. The American distributing giant has, over the years, backed several Oscar-winning Foreign Language titles, including Gabriel Axel's 1987 "Babette's Feast," Susanne Bier's 2011 "In a Better World" and this year's "Son of Saul" by László Nemes.
"Land of Mine" was highly commended by international film critics at its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and received equally warm reviews upon its domestic release in December, drawing 175,000 Danes to the cinema.
Winning the top award at Göteborg Film Festival in February, the film is upping its chances of receiving yet another distinguished Nordic honour as one of five nominees for the Nordic Council Film Prize, with the winning film to be announced on 1 November.
Read Nordic nomination for Land of Mine
"Land of Mine" is written by the director and shot by DoP Camilla Hjelm Knudsen. Editors are Molly Malene Stensgaard and Per Sandholt. Mikael Rieks is producing for Nordisk Film, and Munich-based K5 Media Group handles international sales.
About Martin Zandvliet
Martin Zandvliet (born 1971) made his feature film debut in 2009 with "Applause", winning Paprika Steen several awards for her performance as an actress in distress trying to restore control over her life. In 2011 came "A Funny Man," a biopic about a famous Danish comedian played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas, which became the number one Danish box-office hit of the year.
"Land of Mine" is Zandvliet's third collaboration with producer Mikael Rieks. Zandvliet has also co-written the scripts for Mads Matthiesen's two feature films "Teaddy Bear" (2012) and "The Model" (2016).
Next in the pipeline is Zandvliet's English-language debut, the US production "The Outsider", to be shot in Japan with Jared Leto in the lead.
The 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 acting chairman Claus Ladegaard (Head of Film Support, Danish Film Institute), Tivi Magnusson (Danish Producers), Anders Refn (Danish Film Directors), Jan Weincke (Danish Cinematographers), Jacob Wendt Jensen (Danish Film Critics), Kim Pedersen (Danish Cinemas) and Marianne Moritzen (head of Ficition, Danish Film Institute).
Oscars 2017 / Dates
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominations for the title as Best Foreign Language Film on 24 January. The 2017 winners will be announced on Oscar Night taking place in Los Angeles on 26 February.
10 Years of Oscar
An overview of the last decade of Danish Oscar entries in the Foreign Language category, sorted by awards ceremony year:
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
2008 The Art of Crying / Peter Schønau Fog
2007 After the Wedding / Susanne Bier / Oscar nomination
See full list of Danish Oscar films