Norwegian Oscar hopeful Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester), directed by Hans Petter Moland, won Best International Literary Adaptation at the Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards on Saturday against competition from The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão by Karim Aïnouz, The Master Butcher by Ulrich Edel, Animals by Sophie Hyde, and The German Lesson by Christian Schwochow.
Winner of five Amanda Awards, Out Stealing Horses tells the story of widower Trond (Stellan Skarsgård) who moves to a small rural community after losing his second wife and plans to celebrate the millennium alone. But he discovers that his neighbour knew him back in the summer of 1948 when he was 15 years old. It was the summer his father disappeared for good and the first time he felt close to a woman.
The jury said in their deliberation: “Director Hans Petter Moland, who was able to get the author Per Petterson to collaborate on the screenplay, tells his congenial cinematic adaptation in flashbacks, like the book on which it is based. He succeeds superbly above all in transposing into physically powerful images the relentlessness and wildness of the landscape of eastern Norway.”
Director of the Norwegian Film Institute, Stine Helgeland, said: “Out Stealing Horses marked the start of a big international push in Germany when the film took part in the main competition at the Berlin Film Festival in February and won the award for Best Cinematography.”
“The film has shown that it works well for an international audience, and a broadly composed and highly qualified jury was unanimous in their decision. Now we have our fingers crossed for a good Oscar run.”
A shortlist of ten films will be announced in December for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, with the final five nominations to be revealed on 13th January. The Oscars ceremony takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 9th February 2020.