Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen's animated documentary 'Flee' has advanced in the Oscar race.
Also, Martin Strange-Hansen's short film 'On My Mind' advanced to the finals.
The news came Tuesday, as the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on 27 March in Los Angeles.
'Flee' was nominated in three categories – for best international film, best documentary and best animated film, while 'On My Mind' will be competing in the live action short film category.
Tuesday's announcement marks the first time a Danish film is nominated in the animated feature film category – and the first time for a Danish film to receive more than one nomination in film categories. Last year, 'Another Round' created a sensation when the film received a nomination in the international category, while Thomas Vinterberg himself went on to compete for the title of best director.
Claus Ladegaard, CEO of the Danish Film Institute and chairman of the Oscar committee who selected 'Flee' as Denmark's Oscar entry, says:
"It is more than well-deserved that 'Flee' is now in the finals at the Oscars. Not just nominated in one, but three categories. Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen and his team have created an important film that shows us the actual human tragedy behind the story of every refugee, and at the same time insisting on love, humour and hope.
Also, congratulations to the Danish short film 'On My Mind' by Martin Strange-Hansen making it to the final stretch, and to the film's producer, Oscar veteran Kim Magnusson.
Denmark is now nominated for the second year running. In fact, looking at the last ten years, Danish films have received an impressive six nominations in the international category. But the selection of 'Flee' also demonstrates the range in storytelling and talent in the Danish film industry. Not only powerful, well-acted dramas are attracting attention at the Academy, as we have seen in previous years. This time, Danish film breaks through with a documentary narrative that is no less dramatic and intriguing, yet one that strikes completely different artistic chords. This is something for the Danish film industry to be very proud of.
The members of the Academy have seen what we in the Danish Oscar submitting committee believed in from the very beginning: That 'Flee' is an original and thought-provoking film that has far-reaching appeal. Congratulations to the whole team!"
'Flee' backed by an experienced Oscar team
Jonas Poher Rasmussen's film offers an intimate account of how Amin, the director's close friend, arrived in Denmark as a young refugee from Afghanistan 25 years ago. The film is told mostly through animation, with sections of real life footage woven into the narrative.
'Flee' was among the Official Selection titles at the Cannes Festival's digital edition in 2020. The film opened at Sundance to warm reviews, winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize. Since then, 'Flee' has received several prominent awards, including for best feature film at Annecy.
Other festival heavyweights include Telluride, Toronto, New York and Chicago, as well as awards at prominent US ceremonies such as the Gotham Awards and the Critics Choice Documentary Awards.
More recently, 'Flee' was nominated in two categories at the BAFTA Awards, and it won two prizes at the European Film Awards for best documentary and best animation, respectively.
The film was warmly received at its US release on 3 December through Neon, the company that launched 'Parasite'.
Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte de la Gournerie have produced for Final Cut for Real, a company with two Oscar documentary nominations under their belt – for Joshua Oppenheimer's 'The Act of Killing' in 2014 and 'The Look of Silence' in 2016.
Short film from M&M Productions
Martin Strange-Hansen received an Oscar in 2003 for his short film 'This Charming Man'. Now the director is ready to take part in the awards show once again, this time with a story about a desperate and loving husband who wants to record a karaoke version of the song his wife loves the most.
'On My Mind' is produced by Kim Magnusson from M&M Productions, a company that holds a distinguished Oscar record. The company has previously been nominated eight times in the short film category and ended up with an Oscar statuette four times. With Tuesday's nomination, M&M Productions can now count a total of nine nominations.
More Danes headed to the Oscars
Nominated for the international category is Norway's 'The Worst Person in the World' by Joachim Trier, co-produced by Denmark's Snowglobe led by Katrin Pors, Mikkel Jersin and Eva Jakobsen. The drama also received a nomination in the Original Screenplay category.
Dan Laustsen is nominated for best Cinematography for his work on 'Nightmare Alley' by Guillermo del Toro. The Danish cinematographer was also nominated in 2018 for his work on del Toro's 'The Shape of Water'.
Danish films and the Oscars
Four Danish films have won an Oscar in the International Feature Film category:
Thomas Vinterberg's 'Another Round' in 2021, Susanne Bier's 'In a Better World' in 2011, Bille August's 'Pelle the Conqueror' in 1989, and Gabriel Axel's 'Babette's Feast' in 1988.
Below is an overview of Danish Oscar entries since Susanne Bier's winning film. Sorted by awards ceremony year:
2021 Another Round / Thomas Vinterberg / Oscar winner
2020 Queen of Hearts / May el-Toukhy
2019 The Guilty / Gustav Möller / Oscar shortlist
2018 You Disappear / Peter Schønau Fog
2017 Land of Mine / Martin Zandvliet / Oscar nomination
2016 A War / Tobias Lindholm / Oscar nomination
2015 Sorrow and Joy / Nils Malmros
2014 The Hunt / Thomas Vinterberg / Oscar nomination
2013 A Royal Affair / Nikolaj Arcel / Oscar nomination
2012 Superclásico / Ole Christian Madsen / Oscar shortlist
2011 In a Better World / Susanne Bier / Oscar winner
See full list of nominations and awards for Danish films on our Oscar page.