‘QUEEN OF HEARTS’ takes home the 'Audience Award' at Sundance Film Festival

By Ida Storm



We are beyond proud to let you know, that Danish director May el-Toukhy’s QUEEN OF HEARTS has been awarded with the prestigious 'Audience Award' at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where the film participated in the 'World Cinema Dramatic Competition'.

Director, May el-Toukhy comments on the award: "Winning the hearts of the audience charges me with immense joy. I'm filled with great optimism because this indicates that we, global audiences and storytellers both, are ready to take a long hard look at, and discuss, this urgent and complex matter in depth and with nuance. It might be challenging, but also much needed, I believe, at this point in time."

Actress, Trine Dyrholm on the award: "Connecting with the audience at Sundance has been an absolutely unique experience. The engagement and wit of the public and the willingness to relate to the characters in this story have touched me profoundly and is something I will never forget.”

Producer, Caroline Blanco says: "Premiering in Sundance, with such an engaged audience, continuing to Rotterdam and finally meeting the public at our second home in Göteborg, Sweden, has already made this journey overwhelming. It has been a joyful comforting discovery that our small local Danish film communicates with an international audience and it proves just how important and relevant filmmaking is.”

Besides this great acknowledgment, QUEEN OF HEARTS was awarded no less than three times at last night’s award ceremony at Göteborg Film Festival. The film won the  main prize at the festival, the 'Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film', also known as the world’s largest film prize with the amount of SEK 1 Million along with the great honor of receiving the award. The 'Audience Dragon Award Best Nordic Film' and lastly actress Trine Dyrholm took home the 'Dragon Award For Best Acting' at the ceremony in Göteborg.

Besides Sundance Film Festival and Göteborg Film Festival, the film screened this week at International Film Festival Rotterdam in the 'Big Screen Competition' and it’s safe to say that QUEEN OF HEARTS has clearly manifested itself as a high player in the arthouse cinema line-up for 2019.

Last week, international trades praised the film from Sundance. 

ScreenDaily called it “an intriguing, smartly sustained drama” and continued praising Dyrholm and Lindh’s performances “A steely Dyrholm is effortlessly unflappable and compelling but Lindh holds his ground against such an experienced screen performer.”

Variety wrote: “All these possibilities are kept afloat by Dyrholm’s fierce, fascinating performance — with an equally prickly, nuanced assist from Lindh, who can vulnerably switch gear in a single scene from precocious flirt to stunted brat.”

The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “The film maintains its edge because el-Toukhy serves up this unsavory dish cold, without any mollifying humanistic judgments or reassurances that people are actually better than this. The central character is as heartless as any treacherous double-crosser in a film noir, but without the constant stylistic reminder that we live in a nasty, dark, dog-eat-dog world. Quite the opposite, in fact, as el-Toukhy has made a point of delivering her autopsy on the human condition in a notably decorous and inviting environment, filled with walks in the woods, splashes in the lake, civilized drinks before dinner and relaxed downtime with friends and family.”

The powerful director, May el-Toukhy has indeed returned to the arthouse cinemas worldwide with this strong, female-driven film, which is a provocative and strong work within Danish cinema.


Anne, a brilliant and dedicated lawyer specializing in children and young adults, lives what appears to be the picture perfect life with her doctor-husband, Peter, and their twin daughters. When her estranged teenage stepson, Gustav, moves in with them, Anne’s escalating desire leads her down a dangerous rabbit hole which, once exposed, unleashes a sequence of events that threatens to destroy her world.

QUEEN OF HEARTS explores the making of a tragic family secret step by step, as the consequences of hubris, lust and lies conspire to create an unimaginable dilemma.

The drama offers a prominent Scandinavian cast, including Silver Bear-winning Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (YOU DISAPPEAR, 2017; THE COMMUNE, 2016; IN A BETTER WORLD, 2010), Swedish upcoming talent Gustav Lindh, winner of the Rising Star Award at Stockholm Film Festival in 2017, and internationally acclaimed Swedish actor Magnus Krepper (BEFORE THE FROST, 2018; BECOMING ASTRID, 2018; THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, 2009).

The film is produced by Caroline Blanco & René Ezra for Nordisk Film Production A/S.

Nordic distribution through Nordisk Film. With support from the Danish Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute and Nordic Film & TV Fund in collaboration with DR and SVT.

The film will premiere in local cinemas on March 28th, 2019.
For more information about the film, please click here.


Film info

Film title



May el-Toukhy




128 min


EUR 2.6 M