Denmark Shortlists Three Films For Oscars

The Danish Oscar Committee has announced a shortlist of three films to be considered for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards: Queen of Hearts by May el-Toukhy, Before the Frost by Michael Noer and Daniel by Niels Arden Oplev and Anders W. Berthelsen.

Chairman of the Danish Oscar Committee, Claus Ladegaard, said: “For the first round we have chosen three films that we believe have obvious Oscar qualities. They are strong and well-told stories that each hold up a mirror to us, entertain, and make one think. It is a pleasure to be able to choose three candidates that emphasise in such a magnificent way the broad scope of Danish film.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the final five nominations on 13th January, with the Oscar to be presented during a gala ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 9th February 2020. Denmark’s final submission will be announced on 24th September.

Queen of Hearts | Dronningen

Anne, a brilliant lawyer specialising in vulnerable children and young adults, lives an idyllic life with her husband their twin daughters. But when her estranged teenage stepson moves in with them, Anne’s escalating desire leads her down a dangerous rabbit hole which unleashes a series of events that destroy her world.

Directed by May el-Toukhy, Queen Of Hearts took home the audience award at its world premiere in Sundance, and picked up three prizes at Göteborg, including Best Nordic Film and Best Actress for Trine Dyrholm.

Before the Frost | Før frosten

As winter approaches in rural 1850s Denmark, Jens and his family face starvation so Jens agrees to a marriage between his daughter and the son of a neighbouring family. But when a rich farmer offers to buy his land, Jens must decide whether the short-term gain is worth losing his family’s only means of survival.

Directed by Michael Noer, Before The Frost earned Best Actor awards in Chicago and Tokyo for Jesper Christensen as farmer Jens, and Michael Noer picked up the Special Jury Award in Tokyo.

Daniel | Ser du månen, Daniel

Directed by by Niels Arden Oplev and Anders W. Berthelsen, Daniel is an adaptation of Puk Damsgård’s novel about Danish photojournalist Daniel Rye who was held hostage by Islamic State along with other foreign nationals for 398 days in Syria.

Written by Anders Thomas Jensen, who was behind Susanne Bier’s 2011 Oscar winner In a Better World, the film follows Daniel’s struggle to survive in captivity, his friendship with American journalist James Foley, and how his family coped with the fear that they may never see their son alive again.