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WOMAN AT WAR is Iceland‘s contribution for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2018 – WINTER BROTHERS is Denmark‘s contribution

Iceland has submitted Woman at War, writer/director Benedikt Erlingsson‘s new feature, for this year‘s Nordic Council Film Prize. It will compete against four films from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Denmark‘s contribution is the Danish/Icelandic coproduction Winter Brothers by Icelandic writer/director Hlynur Pálmason. The Nordic Council Film Prize award ceremony will take place on October 30, during the Session of the Nordic Council in Oslo.

Woman at War had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won four awards in the Critics Week section, including the SACD Award for Best Screenplay. It will screen in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Winter Brothers has won a total of 18 international awards since having its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland in August 2017, where four of the awards were won. The film has also won a total of 11 awards in Denmark, with nine coming at the Robert Awards and two at the Bodil Awards.

Last year, Finnish film Little Wing by Selma Vilhunen won the award. In 2015, Icelandic film Virgin Mountain by Dagur Kári won the award and in 2014 Benedikt Erlingsson‘s debut feature Of Horses and Men became the first Icelandic film to win the award.

This year‘s jury for Iceland was comprised of Hilmar Oddsson, Börkur Gunnarsson and Helga Thórey Jónsdóttir.

Information on the five films up for this year‘s Nordic Council Film Prize and the countries jury motivations can be found below:


Woman at War, director Benedikt Erlingsson, screenwriters Benedikt Erlingsson and Ólafur Egill Egilsson and producers Marianne Slot, Benedikt Erlingsson and Carine Leblanc.


This  work  of  art  by Erlingsson and  his  team  raises  environmental  issues  to  another  level. From  the  very  outset,  the  audience's  empathy  towards  the  characters  overwhelms  its  empathy  towards  the  issue. Furthermore,  the  audience  never  fails  to  struggle  to  find  empathy  for  each  and  every  character  in  the  story.  The  audience  understands  the  characters' actions  and  is  delighted  by  excellent  camera  work, scriptwriting, and acting  throughout, in  addition  to  excellent  directing  and  casting.


Winter Brothers, director and screenwriter Hlynur Pálmason and producers Julie Waltersdorph Hansen, Per Damgaard Hansen and Anton Máni Svansson.


In  a  time  when  the  film  industry  is  characterised  by  conformity  and  secure  solutions,  Winter  Brothers is  something  of  a  breath  of  fresh  air. Director  Hlynur  Pálmason  experiments  with  strange  image  combinations  and  discomforting  soundscapes,  and  although  Winter  Brothers tells  a  story  of  some  kind,  the  experience  is  based  on  sensations,  associations,  and  dream  interpretations. What  do  we  do  with  a  story  about  two  brothers  working  on  a  lime  mill  in  a  bleak  winter  landscape? That's  up  to  us. Pálmason  invites  us on  an  excursion,  but  has  no  free  tickets  – the  audience  is  the  co-writer  of  a  journey  of  discovery  to  an  unknown  land.


Euthanizer, director and screenwriter Teemu Nikki and producers Jani Pösö and Teemu Nikki.


The  black  comedy  Euthanizer challenges  its  audience's  expectations  and  moral  standards. The  cinematography  and  locations  subtly  reflect  the  rugged  beauty  of  the  movie's  inner  world. Matti  Onnismaa's  lead  performance  is  not  only  very  convincing,  but  also  reminiscent  of  Buster  Keaton.


Thelma, director Joachim Trier, screenwriters Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier and producers Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins and Henrik Rafaelsen.


In  Thelma,  director  Joachim  Trier  uses  tools  from  horror  films  and  thrillers  to  tell  the  story  of  the  lonely,  pining,  and  carnal  Thelma  in  a  film  that  is  also  a  convincing  depiction  of  the  tension  between  oppression  and  being  oppressed.  The  forces  of  restraint  that  stand  against  penetrating  needs  are  awful  once  set  free.

A  camera  portrays  the  world  from  the  outside.  Yet  a  film  can  create  a  universe  like  no  other,  portraying  not  so  much  the  world  as  it  is,  but  a  way  in  which  to  perceive  the  world.  In  Thelma this  is  achieved  by  way  of  a  sophisticated  filmscape  that  creates  some  of  the  most  memorable  images  of  contemporary  Norwegian  cinema.


Ravens, director and screenwriter Jens Assur and producers Jan Marnell, Tom Persson and Jens Assur.


Jens  Assur's  debut  feature  film Ravens is  a  well-rounded  and  detailed  epic. Exquisite  and  varied  acting  paired  with  equally  fantastic  cinematography  elevate  this  story  about  Sweden  at  a  time  of  change. Agne,  an  ageing  farmer,  struggles  against  the  land  as  his  dreams  crumble  around  him, while  his  wife  tries  to  hold  things  together  as  their  eldest  son  yearningly  watches  over  his  beloved  ravens  in  the  forest. This  is  the  1970s – a  long  time  ago,  yet  still  close  at  hand. With  artistic  courage  and  uncompromising  consistency,  Assur  creates  a  story  with  universal  reach.

For further information about the films and the Nordic Council Film Prize, visit norden.org and nordiccouncilfilmprize.com.