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COLOGNE, Germany – Three very different award-winning films — Thomas Vinterberg‘s child abuse drama The Hunt, Joshua Oppenheimer‘s Indonesia-set documentary The Act of Killing and Michael Noer‘s crime thriller Northwest — are on Denmark’s shortlist for next year’s Oscar race. The Danish Film Institute has selected the three films as candidates for Denmark’s submission for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Oscar.
It would be hard to find three more-different films to come out of the tiny Scandinavian country over the past year.
The Hunt, which premiered in competition in Cannes last year, features Mads Mikkelsen in a Palme d’Or-winning performance as a kindergarten teacher falsely accused of child abuse. Hailed as a triumphant return to form for Vinterberg, the director of the Golden Globe-nominated The Celebration (1998), The Hunt has picked up multiple honors, including a European Film Award for best screenplay and a BAFTA nomination for best foreign language film.
The Act of Killing, which took the Panorama audience award at its debut in Berlin this year, examines Indonesia’s death squads by having former squad leaders re-enact their real-life killings in their favorite cinematic genres, among them Hollywood noir films and Bollywood musicals.
Northwest, by contrast, is a realist drama about an 18-year-old boy trying to rise up in Copenhagen’s criminal underworld. Winner of the FIPRESCI critics award at this year’s Goteborg festival in Sweden, it is director Michael Noer‘s follow-up to his acclaimed 2010 debut, R.
Denmark received a foreign-language Oscar nomination this year for the period drama A Royal Affair and last won an Academy Award for Susanne Bier‘s In A Better World in 2010.
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