“Flee” wins the 2021 Nordic Council Film Prize

02.11.21 | News
”Flugt” fick Nordiska rådets filmpris 2021

”Flugt” fick Nordiska rådets filmpris 2021

Norden.org/Magnus Fröderberg
The Danish film Flee has won the 2021 Nordic Council Film Prize for a work in which aesthetics, politics, and humane dimensions combine in something sublime and deeply artistic. This animated documentary film poses concrete and pressing questions on the current migrant debate.

Screenwriter and director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, screenwriter Amin, and producers Monica Hellström, Charlotte de la Gournerie and Signe Byrge Sørensen were presented the film prize by actor David Dencik during the live broadcast of the awards ceremony from Copenhagen on Tuesday evening.


It is not often that aesthetics, politics and humane dimensions combine in such a sublime and artistic piece of film as in Flee. In this animated documentary, the director´s childhood friend, Amin Nawabi, tells for the first time his dramatic story of being both homosexual and a child refugee from Afghanistan, at a time in which he faces a major turning point in his life: getting married. 

Flee asks concrete and shivering questions as part of our contemporary migration debate, while simultaneously making it easy for the viewer to see themselves in Amin’s relatable, existential uncertainties, which the film supports with a well-thought-through and sometimes humorous flair for detail and setting. 

The animation brilliantly resolves the two practical difficulties with anonymity and lack of physical imagery. The stylish execution delivers a soulful experience, from the depiction of the happy upbringing in Afghanistan, to the vicious flee to Europe. He ends up in Denmark and tries to find safety and a home.

We find that Flee tells a necessary, relevant and touching story about how all people, regardless of their ethnicity, background, age or sexual orientation, have the right to a happy childhood and a safe place to call home. The film was created before many people in Afghanistan recently had to flee from civil war and its relevance has only increased in the wake of these events. But the director manages to not become self-pitying or sentimental in their way of storytelling.

At Sundance, it won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary category, while at the Annecy International Animation Festival it won Best Feature Film. The film is expected to enjoy much international success in the coming year. The adjudication committee of the Nordic Council Film Prize think this is fully deserved. We therefore unanimously agree that we want to award Flee the 2021 Nordic Council Film Prize.  


Original title: Flugt

Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Screenwriter: Jonas Poher Rasmussen & Amin

Producers: Monica Hellström, Charlotte de la Gournerie, Signe Byrge Sørensen

Watch Jonas Poher Rasmussen receive the film prize in Copenhagen

About the Nordic Council prizes

The Nordic Council awards five prizes each year – for literature, film, music, the environment, and children’s and young people’s literature. Each prize of DKK 300,000 is awarded at a gala event during the annual Session of the Nordic Council.