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WOMAN AT WAR wins the Nordic Council Film Prize 2018

Woman at War, by writer/director Benedikt Erlingsson, won the Nordic Council Film Prize 2018 in Oslo tonight. This is the third time an Icelandic film receives this honor and the second time that Erlingsson wins the prize. Iceland has now won the prize three times in the last five years.

The prize is shared among Erlingsson, cowriter Ólafur Egilsson and producers Marianne Slot and Carine Leblanc. They were all in attendance at the award ceremony, held during the Session of the Nordic Council in Oslo.

The Adjudication Committee wrote:

„In Woman at War, a big, pressing issue is channeled through a big, unrelenting personality. Halla, the vigilante working secretly to preserve the world's eco-system, is played magnificently yet unfussily by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir. When Halla feels a pull which is perhaps even stronger than her idealism, the pull towards having a family, her dilemma is handled deftly and without sentimentality. In fact, director Benedikt Erlingsson, working from a script he co-wrote with Ólafur Egilsson, 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.“

Woman at War is an Icelandic/French/Ukrainian coproduction and 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 has won a total of eight international awards and has screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival, and many more.

Woman at War was recently selected as Iceland‘s entry for the 2019 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and became the first Icelandic film to be nominated for the European Parliament‘s LUX Prize. It also made this year‘s selection list for the European Film Awards.

International sales for the film are being handled by Beta Cinema (thorsten.ritter@betacinema.com).

About the Nordic Council Film Prize

This marks the 15th time the Nordic Council Film Prize is awarded to an artistically significant, Nordic-produced full-length feature film with cinema distribution. Twice before has an Icelandic film won the prize; in 2014, writer/director Benedikt Erlingsson and producer Fridrik Thor Fridriksson won the award for Of Horses and Men, and in 2015, writer/director Dagur Kári and producers Agnes Johansen and Baltasar Kormákur won the award for Virgin Mountain.

The winner of the Nordic Council Film Prize receives a 350.000 DKK cash prize, shared  equally among the screenwriters, director, and producers, underscoring how film as an art form is brought about by the close collaboration of these three main contributors. The winning film is one with deep roots in Nordic culture, is of high artistic quality, distinguishes itself by its artistic originality, and combines and elevates the many elements of film into a compelling and holistic work of art.