Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The winner of the Nordic Council Film Prize 2012 is PLAY, written and directed by Ruben Östlund and produced by Erik Hemmendorff for Plattform Produktion. The prize will be awarded during the Nordic Council Session in Helsinki on 31 October.
The Film Prize's Adjudication Committee, which is made up of film experts from the five Nordic countries, give this motivation for their choice of this year's winner:
"Director Ruben Östlund once again confirms his position as one of today’s most original filmmakers in the Nordic countries. Through his ongoing artistic project - dissecting and analysing human behaviour, Ruben Östlund presents thought-provoking insights into social roles and role play. The stylistic imagery, the relentless pace of the story and the astounding performances from non-professional actors makes Play a gut wrenching drama that prompts us to reflect on important issues in modern western society."
PLAY had its world premiere at the Cannes Directors Fortnight in 2011 where it won the ‘Coup de Coeur’ award. The film has since won a number of important international prizes, such as Best Film at Moscow's ‘2 in 1’ Film Festival, Best Director in Tokyo, Best Director and Best Cinematography at Sweden’s 2011 national Guldbagge awards, and a Greta for Best Swedish film in 2011 from the Swedish Film Critics Association.
PLAY opened in Swedish cinemas in November 2011 and has since had cinema premieres in, amongst others, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
THE NORDIC COUNCIL FILM PRIZE is awarded annually to a film of high artistic quality and with strong roots in Nordic culture. The film must also stand out through its artistic originality, and combine and refine the many elements of cinema in a convincing and integrated work.
The winning film 2012 was chosen from amongst all the Nordic films that have had their premiere from 1 September 2011 – 31 August 2012.
Referring to the announcement of this year's winner, Ruben Östlund and Erik Hemmendorff said:
”At one and the same time it is both fantastic and incredibly flattering to win the Nordic Council's Film Prize. Even though we have toured with PLAY in four of the five Nordic countries in 2012, and have experienced wonderful reactions and receptions of the film, we never dared hope to win the prize this year when the competition has been so fierce.
In both PLAY and our earlier film INVOLUNTARY, we touch on our boundless fear of losing face and this is described as typically Nordic by many people outside the Region. Maybe they are right?
For us a good film is marked by constantly posing important questions to and about people, in relation to the society we live in. And precisely the society that Nordic films stem from helps to give the films a specific tone and character. Perhaps that is what is particularly characteristic of films which come from the Nordic film environments? This is something that we have to consciously work towards given the dominance and influence of Hollywood films on our area of expression,” say this year's prize winners, Ruben Östlund and Erik Hemmendorff.
ABOUT THE NORDIC FILM PRIZE:
The Nordic Council Film Prize is administrated by the Nordic Film and TV Fund and has previously been awarded to:
Aki Kaurismäki for THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST (2002), Per Fly (2005) for MANSLAUGHTER, Josef Fares (2006) for ZOZO, Peter Schønau Fog (2007) for THE ART OF CRYING, Roy Andersson for YOU, THE LIVING (2008), Lars von Trier for ANTICHRIST (2009), Thomas Vinterberg for SUBMARINO (2010) and Pernilla August for BEYOND (2011).
The Nordic Council Film Prize is just one of several prizes awarded by the Nordic Council and is related to the prestigious Nordic Council Literature Prize, Music Prize and the Nature and Environment Prize. The Film Prize, the Music Prize and the Nature and Environment Prize will be awarded at the Nordic Council Session in Helsinki on 31 October.
Nordic Council Film Prize 2012 nominees