A shortlist of three films was announced on Monday, as the Danish Oscar committee convened for the first part of their submission process.
The three films are 'Holy Spider' by Ali Abbasi, 'Forever' by Frelle Petersen and 'As in Heaven' by Tea Lindeburg.
Which of the three films will become Denmark's candidate in the International Feature Film category for the 95th Oscars will be decided on 27 September.
About the films:
'Holy Spider' by Ali Abbasi is set in Iran and is inspired by the true story of a serial killer, who in 2000-2001 "cleaned" the streets of female sex workers. At the centre of the story is a female journalist who descends into the dark underworld of Mashhad, Iran's holiest city, to investigate the murders.
'Holy Spider' attracted strong interest at its world premiere in Cannes Competition, where Zar Amir Ebrahimi received the Best Actress award for her performance. The film is currently selected for several prominent festivals, including in Toronto, Austin and London, and has been picked up by US distributor Utopia.
Iranian-born Ali Abbas graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2011. He made his feature film debut with the horror film 'Shelley', selected for the Berlinale. His second feature film, the Swedish-Danish fable 'Border', won the main prize in 2018 in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. 'Holy Spider' is produced by Jacob Jarek for Profile Pictures in co-production with German One Two Films by Sol Bondy. Danish theatrical release is set for 13 October.
'Forever' by Frelle Petersen was highly praised at its domestic release on 7 July. Later this month, the film will be celebrating it international premiere in Competition at the San Sebastián Film Festival.
'Forever' is the story of a close-knit family struck by grief. When Lily loses her brother, and Egon and Maren their son, the family is thrown into a deep crisis. Now the three of them need to find their way back to life and to reconstitute their family.
Frelle Petersen made his breakthrough with 'Uncle' (2019), which took home the Tokyo Grand Prix Award. He wrote the script for 'Forever', which is produced by Jonas Bagger for Zentropa.
As in Heaven
'As in Heaven' by Tea Lindeburg opened at Toronto Film Festival in 2021 and went on to win two Silver Shells at San Sebastian – for Best Director to Tea Lindeburg and for best leading performance to Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl. At Göteborg Film Festival, the film won the Dragon Award for best Nordic film.
The story takes place at the end of the 19th century, where we follow a young girl, Lise, over the course of a day, whose life and dreams change forever as her mother goes into labour.
The film received rave reviews at its Danish release in February. The script is by Tea Lindeburg, with Lise Orheim Stender and Jesper Morthorst producing for Motor. Juno Films has bought the film for US distribution.
All three films are produced with support from the Danish Film Institute.
Danish Oscar Committee
Made up of representatives from film associations and guilds, the Danish Oscar submitting committee consists of:
Chairman Claus Ladegaard (CEO, Danish Film Institute), Kim Magnusson (Danish Producers), Søren Balle (Danish Directors), Mette Heeno (Danish Screenwriters), Jan Weincke (Danish Cinematographers), Nanna Frank Rasmussen (Danish Film Critics), Line Bjørn Daugbjerg Christensen (Danish Cinemas) and Marianne Moritzen (Head of Fiction, Danish Film Institute).
Oscars rules and dates
Each country may submit one film for nomination in the International Feature Film category. Last year, a total of 92 titles entered the race.
To be eligible in the International Feature Film category, a film's release date must be no earlier than 1 January and no later than 30 November 2022. An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the US with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.
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