Danish films win top awards in Göteborg

AWARDS. Tea Lindeburg's historical drama 'As in Heaven' won for Best Film, while Simon Lereng Wilmont's 'A House Made of Splinters' on young lives in Eastern Ukraine was named Best Documentary at the Göteborg Film Festival, ending its 2022 edition this weekend.

As the Göteborg Film Festival announced the winners of the Dragon Awards 2022 on Saturday, two Danish films were named best films in their separate categories. 

'As in Heaven', Tea Lindeburg's debut feature about one fatal night in a young girl's life during the late 1800s, won the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film.

'A House Made of Splinters' by Simon Lereng Wilmont, a close-up account of children in war-torn Eastern Ukraine, received the Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary. This marks the second Dragon award to the director, who took home the trophy for his first long documumentary, 'The Distant Barking of Dogs', in 2018.

Simon Lereng Wilmont with his Dragon Award. Photo: Diego Pereira

Jury motivations

The jurors at Scandinavia's leading film festival gave these motivations:

'As in Heaven': "It is a character-driven film that tells a story about hope, superstition and obedience, where we follow a young woman’s transition from being free to feeling the suffocating weight of responsibility. The main character delivers a remarkable performance and we are truly touched by the perspective: Giving birth is a natural part of life, something that has to do with us all – and still we have rarely seen this phenomena depicted with such an insisting and painfully raw quality in a film before."

'A House Made of Splinters': "The award goes to an exceptionally beautiful film. A film that with its presence and despair is more urgently burning than ever possible. With poetically unforgettable images, it gives a voice to the children’s heartbreaking stories, with a brutal war in the background. The story and the images that carry so much weight, sometimes feel light, like a soap bubble floating carefree in a room. In its total darkness, there is a little shimmer, a spirit of warmth and hope."

Awards at Sundance and San Sebastian

Just a week prior to winning in Göteborg, 'A House Made of Splinters' received the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at its Sundance world release.

'As in Heaven' opened at Toronto Film Festival and went on to win two Silver Shells at San Sebastian – for Best Director to Tea Lindeburg, as the first Danish director to win this accolade, and for best leading performance to Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl, sharing the award with Jessica Chastain.

Watch interview with Tea Lindeburg on the occasion of the Toronto world premiere in September: