Prize winner 2009

Lars von Trier
The Danish film director Lars von Trier and producer Meta Louise Foldager win the Nordic Council Film Prize 2009.

The jury summarises its choice of winner:

”Lars von Trier’s Antichrist is a wild, visually beautiful and shockingly violent film about sorrow, rage and guilt. Disturbing and moving at the same time it explores the chaos that invades the two characters’ lives following the death of their young son. It is a passionate account of the irrational forces of emotions and nature, which neither reason nor cognitive therapy can master. It breaks down the boundaries between inner and outer realities, as it digs deep into the innermost beings of its protagonists.

With total freedom of expression Lars von Trier stages the couples’ dream/nightmare as precisely as possible, and mercilessly plays with the disruption of the delicate gender balance in their relationship. Perfectly phrased in the imagery and acting, with a richness in its cultural references, ANTICHRIST puts the cinematically, psychologically and physically familiar into a challenging and unfamiliar context.

Out of this visionary work rises a darkness without contours, a chilling loneliness, as well as pain as the primal force of human survival. In his unmistakably, deeply personal way Lars von Trier questions convenient religious thought and attacks accepted rational and controlling ambitions, pushing the viewers towards the edge of their own deepest fears.”

The Nordic Council Film Prize Jury 2009: Senior lecturer Anne Jerslev (Denmark), editor Johanna Grönqvist (Finland), author Sjon (Iceland), film critic Le LD Nguyen (Norway), film critic Eva af Geijerstam (Sweden).

ANTICHRIST had its premiere in Cannes 2009, where it competed in the main feature films competition, and in which Charlotte Gainsbourg won the prize for the best actress. The film which has since taken part in festivals around the world had its Danish premiere in May 2009 with subsequent premieres in Italy, Poland, France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, Germany and Belgium. ANTICHRIST has its premiere in the USA on 23 October and after that it will open in Holland and Austria, amongst others.

”It is with a great sense of pride, pleasure and honour on behalf of the film that I thank the Nordic Council for this recognition for Antichrist. I also want to thank all the brave and sound investors, institutions and people who have helped bring Lars von Trier's Antichrist into the world.

We, in the Nordic countries, are among the few people in the world who have such surplus energy that I believe there is a duty that comes with all these privileges to explore art and to expand creativity. There are not very many places in the world where artists have such great freedom as here in the Nordic countries, where financial funding and support is even given by the state and, public institutions. It is absolutely crucial for our artistic freedom and creative development as human beings. If we do not take this on we do not have the right to be so privileged. So I believe that we must take the jury’s choice as a challenge to continue to live up to our Nordic cultural heritage, with our special privileged status, and make sure that we are constantly those who can and will widen our cultural horizons and raise the creative bar!" says the film's producer Meta Foldager.

The Nordic Council Film Prize is awarded to a feature film of cultural value produced in the Nordic countries and is divided equally between the film's director, scriptwriter and producer, which underlines that film as an art form is the result of close co-operation between these three main functions. The prize is worth DKK 350,000 and will be presented in conjunction with the Nordic Council's Session in Stockholm on 27 October.

The Nordic Council Film Prize is just one of several prizes awarded by the Nordic Council. It also gives out a literature prize, a music prize and a nature and environment prize every year. The objective of these prizes is to increase interest in literature, language, music and film between the Nordic countries.

The film prize was awarded for the first time in conjunction with the Council's 50th anniversary in 2002 and went to the Aki Kaurismäki for the Finnish film THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST. The Nordic Film Prize has been an annual recurring event since 2005 and has gone to Per Fly (2005) for the Danish film MANSLAUGHTER, Josef Fares (2006) for the Swedish film ZOZO, Peter Schønau Fog (2007) for the Danish film THE ART OF CRYING, and was awarded last year to Roy Andersson for the Swedish film YOU, THE LIVING.

Five Nordic films competed for this prestigious prize in 2009. Apart from ANTICHRIST the other films were; SAUNA (Finland), THE AMAZING TRUTH ABOUT QUEEN RAQUELA (Iceland), NORD (Norway) and LJUSÅR (Sweden).

Press photos from the winning film as well as new photos of the two prize winners, who have received the jury’s motivation today, can be downloaded from www.nordiskrådsfilmpris.com, where there are also trailers, descriptions and photos of the other nominated films etc.

TV interview with Lars von Trier is available for all TV stations via DR TV, Nordvision and EBU.

Filmography

Lars von Trier (director and scriptwriter)

  • Antichrist (2009)
  • Direktören för det hela (The Boss of It All, 2006). Golden Shell nomination – San Sebastián International Film Festival.
  • Manderlay (2005). Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival.
  • De fem benspænd (The Five Obstructions, 2003). Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival.
  • Dogville (2003). Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Dancer in the Dark (2000). Cannes Film Festival.
  • Idioterna (The Idiots, 1998). Cannes Film Festival.
  • Riket II (TV) (The Kingdom II, 1997). Venice Film Festival.
  • Breaking the Waves (1996). Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Riket I (TV) (The Kingdom I). Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
  • Europa (1994). Cannes Film Festival.
  • Medea (TV) (1988).
  • Epidemic (1987). Cannes Film Festival.
  • Förbrytelsens element (Element of Crime, 1984). Cannes Film Festival.
  • Befrielsebilder (Pictures of Liberation Images of Relief, 1982). Berlin International Film Festival.

 

Meta Louise Foldager (producent)

  • Antichrist (2009)
  • Välsignelsen (The Blessing, 2009).
  • Dansen (Dancers, 2008).
  • Gå med fred Jamil – Ma salama Jamil (Go with Peace Jamil, 2008).
  • De fortabte sjæles ø (Island of Lost Souls, 2007).
  • AFR (2007).
  • Partus (2007).
  • Direktören för det hela (The Boss of It All, 2006).
  • Liv (Twinkle, Twinkle little Star, 2006).
  • Nordkraft (Angels in Fast Motion, 2005).
  • Den tredje makten (King’s Game, 2004).

For further information on the Nordic Council Film Prize 2009 please contact:

Freddy Neumann, tel. +45 2046 7846 or neumann@mail.dk