Three Danish films short-listed for the Oscars

The Danish Film Institute has announced the three Danish films that are short-listed for the title as Denmark’s Foreign Language entry. The three films are The Commune by Thomas Vinterberg, Walk with Me by Lisa Ohlin, and Land of Mine by Martin Zandvliet.

The Danish Oscar committee will announce the final candidate on the 19th of September. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominations on the 24th of January 2017 and the winners will be announced on Oscars Night taking place in Los Angeles on the 26th of February.

Out of the three, our pick would easily be Land of Mine by Zandvliet. Denmark has released a large number of war dramas over the last twelve months (in fact, they sent A War to the Oscars last year), but none are as tense and dramatic as Land of Mine. We loved the film and consider it one of the best from Denmark last year – read our review here.

The Commune is based on Thomas Vinterberg’s childhood memories growing up in an ‘intellectual commune’. Erik (Ulrich Thomsen) and Anna (Trine Dyrholm) are a couple of academics with a dream. With their daughter, Freja, they set up a commune in the north of Copenhagen and we are invited into their dream of a real commune. We participate in their house meetings, dinners and parties. The Commune had its international premiere in Competition at the Berlin Film Festival. The film is heading to North America next month showcasing at the Toronto Film Festival.

Walk with Me is a film by Lisa Ohlin and stars Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as Thomas, who is heavily wounded after a mission in Helmand, Afghanistan. At the local rehabilitation centre he meets Sofie, a ballerina from the Royal Danish Ballet who is helping a relative regain strength after a long-term sickness. Sofie offers to help Thomas with an intense rehabilitation plan, and he accepts. The film hasn’t had an international release yet, and is produced by Nordisk Film.


Land of Mine is based on historical events surrounding the aftermath of World War II. The film tells the story of a group of German Prisoners of War who are broguht to the Danish West Coast to remove landmines from the beaches. The film is beautifully minimal yet incredibly tense, and after the world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival the film has gone on to achieve great things.

And, courtesy of the Danish Film Institute, here are the last ten years of winners:

2016 A War / Tobias Lindholm / Oscar nomination
2015 Sorrow and Joy / Nils Malmros
2014 The Hunt / Thomas Vinterberg / Oscar nomination
2013 A Royal Affair / Nikolaj Arcel / Oscar nomination
2012 Superclásico / Ole Christian Madsen / Oscar shortlist
2011 In a Better World / Susanne Bier / Oscar winner
2010 Terribly Happy / Henrik Ruben Genz
2009 Worlds Apart / Niels Arden Oplev
2008 The Art of Crying / Peter Schønau Fog
2007 After the Wedding / Susanne Bier / Oscar nomination

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.