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The Nordic films nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2018

The nominees for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize have been announced, with the best Nordic films of the last twelve months among the line-up.

The Nordic Council Film Prize rewards quality Scandinavian films, and the 2018 award will be the 15th time a prize has been handed out since 2002, with the first prize being rewarded to Aki Kaurismaki’s The Man Without a Past. The purpose of the Nordic Council Film Prize, which is regarded as the most coveted award in the Nordic countries, is to raise interest in the Nordic cultural community as well as to recognise outstanding artistic initiatives. The films are selected because of their high artistic quality and originality, and for the way they combine and elevate the many elements of film into a compelling and holistic work of art in Nordic culture.

The winners receive DKK 350,000 to be shared among the screenwriter, director and producer. This is to show that film as an art form is brought about through collaboration. Last year’s winner was the Finnish film Little Wing from director Selma Vilhunen. 

The Danish nominee is Winter Brothers from Hlynur Palmason. The film is a brother odyssey set in a worker environment during a cold winter. We follow two brothers, their routines, habits, rituals and a violent feud that erupts between them and another family.

The Finnish nominee is Euthanizer from Teemu Nikki, which is about a man who euthanizes animals as a side job runs afoul of a white supremacist.

The Icelandic nominee is Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson. Halla, the fifties, declares war to the local industry of the aluminum, which disfigures her country. She takes all the risks to protect the high lands of Iceland – But the situation could change with the unexpected arrival of a small orphan in her life.

The Norwegian nominee is Thelma from director Joachim Trier. A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who’s in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.

The Swedish nominee is Ravens by Jens Assur. 1970s, Sweden – Hard working farmer Agne (played by acclaimed actor Reine Brynolfsson) struggles with the harsh reality of his daily life, hoping his teenage son Klas will take over the farm and continue his legacy. Klas however, dreams of a world far away from this rural existence. Sumptuously lensed, this powerful coming of age story, written and directed by Jens Assur, paints a tangled web of shame, guilt, madness and the dreams of youth.

The winner will be announced on the 30th of October in Oslo, Norway. 

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.