Controversial director makes rare appearance and speeches at Danish film awards.

Robert Awards Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier has once more broken his “vow of silence” to accept an armful of prizes at Denmark’s Robert awards.

The controversial Danish filmmaker’s Nymphomaniac: Director’s Cut scooped eight trophies including best feature and best director at the Danish Film Academy’s awards last night (Feb 1) – and von Trier was in attendance at the ceremony for the first time.

Accepting the Robert for best feature, von Trier said: “From Peter Aalbæk Jensen (his producing partner at Zentropa Entertainments), I know that some of the Robert awards are won by five votes, so I would like to thank those five persons in the auditorium. Thank you very much.”

The director of Antichrist and Dancer in the Dark has rarely spoken in public after being expelled from the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, where he brought Melancholia, after publicly joking that he was a Nazi and “sympathized with Hitler a little bit”.

However, he did make a virtual appearance at a press conference in Venice last year - via a live feed to a laptop – to talk about his 5½-hour cut of Nymphomanic.

Last night, von Trier made an exception to his no-show rule to present an honorary award to publicist Christel Hammer. The two worked together on films including Melancholia, Dogville and The Idiots.

His presence meant he could take the stage to accept three of eight prizes. Picking up best director, von Trier revealed: “[Nymphomanic] was the film that took me the longest time to write – one-and-a-half years.

“The reason could be that I had to do so without certain preparations (read: alcohol) during that period. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.”

Collecting the award for best original screenplay, von Trier joked: “The advantage of the Bodil prize (the Danish Critics’ Award) is that you can shoot the ‘ping pong bat’ [a mirror] out of Bodil’s hands with an airgun. It is more difficult with the Robert – but I will certainly try.”

Other prizes picked up by Nymphomaniac: Director’s Cut included best cinematographer, costume design, editing, sound design and visual effects.

Von Trier’s next project will be an ensemble TV series entitled The House That Jack Built, shot in English and due to air in 2016. It marks his first foray into long-form TV drama and is being developed for Danish public broadcaster DR.

Other winners

Nymphomanic’s haul left little for the other nominees.

Mikkel Nørgaard’s The Absent One (Fasandræberne) and Niels Arden Oplev’s Speed Walking (Kapgang), both considered in 13 categories, received two and no awards respectively.

Bille August’s Silent Heart (Stille hjerte) took home one, despite receiving 12 nominations.

The Academy’s 1,700 members honoured newcomer Søren Balle’s The Sunfish (Klumpfisken) with two statuettes.

Danish pubcaster DR dominated the TV awards, where first season of The Legacy (Arvingerne) not only was named Best Long TV series, but also bagged all four acting prizes.

Best Foreign Films were Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (US) and Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure (Turist) (non-US).

Robert winners 2015

Best Feature Film

Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut
Zentropa, Producer: Louise Vesth, Dir.: Lars von Trier

Best Children & Youth Film

Antboy: Revenge of The Red Fury
Nimbus Film, Producer: Eva Jakobsen, Dir.: Ask Hasselbalch

Best Director

Lars von Trier - Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Original Screenplay

Lars von Trier - Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Adapted Screenplay

Lærke Sanderhoff & Søren Balle - The Sunfish

Best Actor

Henrik Birch - The Sunfish

Best Actress

Bodil Jørgensen - All Inclusive

Best Supporting Actor

Fares Fares - The Absent One

Best Supporting Actress

Danica Curcic - Silent Heart

Best Set Design

Sabine Hviid - When Animals Dream

Best Cinematographer

Manuel Alberto Claro - Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Costume Design

Manon Rasmussen - Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Make up

Louise Hauberg Lohmann, Thomas Foldberg & Morten Jacobsen - When Animals Dream

Best Editing

Molly Malene Stensgaard & Morten Højbjerg- Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Sound Design

Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersen - Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Score

Tina Dickow & Marie Fisker - Someone You Love

Best Visual Effects

Peter Hjorth - Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut

Best Short Fiction/Animation

M&M Productions, Producers: Kim Magnusson & Tivi Magnusson, Dir.: Anders Walter

Best Long Fiction/Animation

SF Film Production, Producer: Birgitte Skov, Dir.: Caroline Sascha Cogez

Best Short Documentary

Me and Dad - No Expectations of Applause
Made in Copenhagen, Producers: Mathilde Hvid Lippmann & Mille Haynes, Dir.: Kathrine Ravn Kruse

Best Long Documentary

The Look of Silence
Final Cut for Real, Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen, Dir.: Joshua Oppenheimer

Best Long TV-series

The Legacy (1)
DR Fiktion, Producers: Karoline Leth & Christian Rank, Hovedforfatter: Maya Ilsøe, Dir.: Pernilla August

Best Short TV-series

DR, Producer: Bo Mortensen, Hovedforfatter: Poul Berg, Dir.: Kaspar Munk

Best Actor - TV-series

Carsten Bjørnlund - The Legacy 1

Best Actress - TV-series

Trine Dyrholm - The Legacy 1

Best Supporting Actor - TV-series

Mikkel Boe Følsgaard - The Legacy 1

Best Supporting Actress - TV-series

Lene Maria Christensen - The Legacy 1

Best American Film

Dir.: Richard Linklater, Distr.: UIP - Mis Label

Best Foreign Film

Force Majeure
Dir.: Ruben Östlund, Distr.: Øst for Paradis

Blockbuster Audience Award

The Absent One
Zentropa, Producers: Louise Vesth, Jonas Bagger & Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Dir.: Mikkel Nørgaard