Iceland’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð), has been awarded the 2018 Nordic Council Film Prize, against stiff competition from Winter Brothers, Euthanizer, Thelma and Ravens.
In Woman At War, Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is an independent woman who declares war on the local aluminium industry. She resorts to sabotage and is willing to risk everything to protect the Icelandic highlands, until a Ukrainian orphan enters her life.
The jury said: “Director Benedikt Erlingsson is as bold as his protagonist. The jury appreciates how he confidently mixes action scenes and intimate moments with atmospheric Verfremdung, placing live musicians in his frames and having them be the interpreters of the moods and feelings of the characters.
“The result is an exhilarating film, as funny and free-spirited in its handling of geopolitical matters as of the private life of the 48 year old woman that is the unexpected action hero at its core. And the love which is at the centre of it all, for nature and for a lonely child, comes shining through.”
The Nordic Council Film Prize aims to raise interest in the Nordic cultural community and recognise outstanding artistic initiatives. Its nominees must have deep roots in Nordic culture, be of high artistic quality, and distinguish themselves by their artistic originality.
A prize of DKK 350,000 is awarded to the winning film to be shared equally between the screenwriter, director and producer, underlining how film as an art form is a collaborative effort.