Sweden selects ‘Border’ for the Academy Awards

The Swedish Film Institute has announced its selection for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, with the honour going to Ali Abbasi’s Border.

Border follows a customs officer who has a unique ability to smell human emotions, a skill that makes her one of the best officers at catching smugglers. However, one day she smells someone with a unique scent, and it changes her perception of her job as well as mankind. The film is described as a unique take on Nordic fairytales with the aim of depicting the experience of being a minority. 

Border was the winner of this year’s Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival, so it’s unsurprising that Sweden would choose the film as its Academy Award representative. 

When it comes to Sweden at the Oscars, it is only Ingmar Bergman who has been able to win a prize – with The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961) and Fanny and Alexander (1983) all winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Sweden has been nominated sixteen times, most recently for Ruben Östlund’s The Square. Östlund’s Force Majeure wasn’t nominated, and he recorded himself reacting live to the news (you can watch that here). 

The last ten years of Swedish Oscar winners

2017 – The Square – nominated

2016 – A Man Called Ove – nominated

2015 – A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

2014 – Force Majeure – shortlisted

2013 – Eat Sleep Die

2012 – The Hypnotist

2011 – Beyond

2010  – Simple Simon – shortlisted

2009 – Involuntary

2008 – Everlasting Moments – shortlisted

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.