From the Icelandic Film Centre:

Of Horses and Men, by Benedikt Erlingsson, won the Nordic Council Film Prize at a gala ceremony in Stockholm last night. Four other films were up for the award – Nymphomaniac,from Denmark; Force Majeure, from Sweden; Blind, from Norway; and Concrete Night, from Finland.

This is the first time that an Icelandic film has received the award, making this a great honor for both the filmmakers and the Icelandic film community as a whole. The award comes with a monetary prize of 350,000 Danish kroner (about 47,000 euros). Of Horses and Men continues to enjoy an especially successful festival run, having already won many awards along the way.

The writer and director of the film, Benedikt Erlingsson; the producer, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson; and the lead actress, Charlotte Bøving were in attendance at the ceremony.

The jury’s reasoning for granting the award to Of Horses and Men reads as follows: “Of Horses and Men, a strikingly original film with its roots in the laconic humour of the Icelandic saga tradition, deals with the strong bonds connecting humankind and nature. At the heart of the film’s interconnected tales is humankind’s eternal attempts to control nature and pathetic failure to do so, often with disastrous consequences.

“The director demonstrates a profound understanding of the primal side of both horses and humans. Using the animal’s point of view to depict tragicomic human behaviour endows Of Horses and Men with a distinctive lyricism as well as a darkly comic tone.

“Director Benedikt Erlingsson combines powerful visuals, editing and music in a way that makes the film itself stand out as a force of nature.”

For more information, visit the websites of the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

In the picture above: Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and Benedikt Erlingsson after receiving the prize. (Source: NN – Norden.org).