OSCAR 2017. Martin Zandvliet and Nordisk Film's "Land of Mine," shedding light on a lesser known chapter of WWII, is Denmark's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category.
ACTOR AWARD. Roland Møller delighted the jury of the Tokyo Film Festival with his performance as a sergeant in charge of young German POWs forced to dig up land mines on Danish beaches.
After having convened Monday 19 September for its final voting in the national Oscar election process, the Danish committee unanimously named Martin Zandvliet's drama "Land of Mine" as Denmark's official entry to the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards 2017.The film was chosen from a shortlist of three titles that also comprised Thomas Vinterberg's "The Commune" and Lisa Ohlin's "Walk with Me."
Claus Ladegaard, Head of Film Support at the Danish Film Institute and acting chairman of the Danish Oscar committee, motivates the selection:
"All three films demonstrate a high level of quality in Danish cinema, while also shining a light on different corners of Danish history and culture that we want to learn more about. It has been an exciting task for the committee to assess and decide which of the three films would have the greatest potential to attract the attention of the Academy members.
"Martin Zandvliet's 'Land of Mine' tells a different story of WWII, based on real events in a beautifully filmed and gripping tale that at times leaves the audience hanging at the edge of their seats. Since its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last year, the film has been travelling the world, screening at the big festivals and receiving numerous awards, and it has built a fan base among film professionals who have excitedly been talking about it.
"'Land of Mine' is a film that continues a longstanding tradition of Danish Oscar entries – films with stories of high cultural value, which also testify to the quality of Danish cinema."
US launch by Sony Pictures Classics
"Land of Mine" had its American festival premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Bought by Sony Pictures Classics, the film is up soon for a US platform release, opening in a limited number of theatres over the next months. The American distributing giant has, over the years, backed several Oscar-winning Foreign Language titles, including Gabriel Axel's 1987 "Babette's Feast," Susanne Bier's 2011 "In a Better World" and this year's "Son of Saul" by László Nemes.
"Land of Mine" was highly commended by international film critics at its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and received equally warm reviews upon its domestic release in December, drawing 175,000 Danes to the cinema.
Winning the top award at Göteborg Film Festival in February, the film is upping its chances of receiving yet another distinguished Nordic honour as one of five nominees for the Nordic Council Film Prize, with the winning film to be announced on 1 November.
"Land of Mine" is written by the director and shot by DoP Camilla Hjelm Knudsen. Editors are Molly Malene Stensgaard and Per Sandholt. Mikael Rieks is producing for Nordisk Film, and Munich-based K5 Media Group handles international sales.
About Martin Zandvliet
Martin Zandvliet (born 1971) made his feature film debut in 2009 with "Applause", winning Paprika Steen several awards for her performance as an actress in distress trying to restore control over her life. In 2011 came "A Funny Man," a biopic about a famous Danish comedian played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas, which became the number one Danish box-office hit of the year.
"Land of Mine" is Zandvliet's third collaboration with producer Mikael Rieks. Zandvliet has also co-written the scripts for Mads Matthiesen's two feature films "Teaddy Bear" (2012) and "The Model" (2016).
Next in the pipeline is Zandvliet's English-language debut, the US production "The Outsider", to be shot in Japan with Jared Leto in the lead.